Just a quick post to put something out there to think about…
I bother myself with reoccurring thoughts of “how I am helping”, “how am I contributing”? I ask and I come up short. I know that I am hitting all of the big marks – taking care of myself and my family – working at a job of service – trying to be kind to the planet – doing art – but it’s the small things I am short of, the things that are so easy to do. I think of this because of my twins – I was told a story yesterday about something they did long ago in high school – something they probably don’t even remember but the recipient of their kindness does and the positive effect has remained with them – how wonderful is that, how great that we can make a difference?
Anyway, this little story inspired me and made me question my own contributions. Sometimes I feel so caught up in my little world and I am not as sensitive to those around me and not helping when I could; I’m too “busy” and self-absorbed – know the feeling?
That is what is on my mind this Sunday morning, the realization that sometimes just a word of praise or a genuine smile can be a difference, a difference that will never be forgotten. It is my goal to become more mindful of those opportunities to do just that. We all know by now that things are not as they seem, people tend to exist behind facades of deception – underneath, there are concerns and we all have the power to readjust damaging thoughts and make the day better for others and consequently ourselves. Our outer selves are what the public sees – it showcases snapshots of our lives that appear fine,it’s our “Facebook” and many times we are all “Pretenders”, but somewhere beneath, we are the same, experiencing the same anxieties, fears and similar problems.
I don’t mean for this to be a negative post – I just mean for it to be honest and on this Sunday, a day revered by many, I thought it fitting to think about what else we can do.
There is a quote by one of my son’s (William) favorite guys, William James, that puts all of my awkward words in one little package: “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”
I end with an image, an image that may affect you in a positive way. I resurrected this old kitchen staple yesterday and made coffee for my daughter and I just the way my mom made coffee for she and I many years ago.It dripped and then we drank a cup and shared a moment, one that I hope will make a difference.
I am writing this in stillness, complete quietness – not a machine running, not water dripping, not a voice. I type (peck) softly and I hear almost nothing. These moments rarely happen for me – aloneness, quietness. It’s funny but we mostly know ourselves through the people we are around mostly. It’s hard to find a spot where you can know you for real – not some reflection of whomever you are with.
It’s good to be able to “find yourself”. I suppose I was able to do that when I took the proverbial trip to Europe in my youth. I was in a place where no one even knew my name. I was able to discover many things about myself that I needed to know, things I still draw from today. But now, with all of these layers of life draped over me it is surely more difficult to get in touch with “ME”. I don’t say this as a narcissistic kind of thing; I say this because we need to know who we are so that we can be who we were born to be.
It is so difficult today because of the distractions, propaganda and lies that bombard each minute of our days. I don’t really watch TV but when I am in “there” after about 10 minutes I feel, as they say, dumber and so violated with the fabrication that the media wants us to believe is life. If there were one single modern invention that has done more for the demoralization and dumbing of society, my vote would be, hands down, the TV. Even in my day, the fresh scrubbed late 50s, it began its handy work – telling mother’s how inept they were at their jobs and their marriages. The lies were not quite as big then, they were only selling Tide and Tang; today they are selling plastic surgery and overpriced luxury cars. The jury is still out for me on FB and the ramifications it is having. Like most things, it can be a useful tool – I have found a few old friends on it and I can learn about community events and I can post this blog entry on it but I suspect, as all things human, there will be negative issues attached to this means of communication. I am treading softly – trying to “keep it real”.
Any way I am having a few moments to ask myself a few questions and get some honest answers and this entry is the manifestation of one of my questions – I absolutely hate the propaganda we are being fed intravenously every single day of our lives – that’s who I am, that’s the thorn. I remember what my dad stubbornly proclaimed and infused us with – “Don’t believe anything you hear and only half of what you see.” I thought that was so harsh and bitter when I heard that in my adolescence but, Dad, like so many other things you said, I so get it now.