Feb 25 1 Comment

What do you think are the three essentials in life?

Boy, do I remember my days as a radical activist of 18. Life was so easy. It was mostly black and white. You were either good or bad. It was easy to categorize the world into neat compartments. The poor and the rich, the conservative and the liberal, the healthy and the unhealthy, the smart and the stupid. I would always, and I mean always, sympathize with the poor. And I considered myself liberal, healthy (I ate whole wheat and raw foods), and smart. I also thought that all smart people would agree with me.

Life was easy when the solutions were simple

Life was easy when the solutions were simple

Now I see that life is not that simple. Some people are smart who don’t agree with me. Some poor people are jerks. Many rich people are incredibly kind. People can eat healthy and still get cancer. Others can live on Coke and chips and stay skinny. Life is not straight forward, black and white. Life is not fair. And life is not predictable.

Now, as a middle aged woman I have learned that most people care mostly about themselves and the sphere they live in. I read in the new today that the members of the International Olympic committee are going to change the rule that says they can only stay in the committee until they are 80. They think that is too young to resign. They feel discriminated.

I read the news and try to understand the conflict in Ukraine and the more I read, the less I do understand. Just trying to keep the names of the actors straight is a challenge. Never mind who is for the engagement with the West and who is for the East. And who is the less corrupt of the ones who are struggling for power.

I see that the president in Uganda says that gay people are disgusting. So he signed a bill that will allow the police to arrest and imprison gay people because they are gay.

What a messed up world!

I read that the world has stopped caring for the people in Syria. The world is a bit bored with the whole situation. Been there, done that. Tell me something new instead. Not the same old story about children getting killed, of a generation lost, of millions without blankets in the cold. That is so…Yesterday.

Today my friend and colleague in Fortify Rights, Matthew Smith published a report with undeniable proof of the Burma government’s systematic and planned discrimination, oppression and harassment of the Rohingya population. And after the release the government of Myanmar came right back and said: “The government does not remark on baseless accusations from Bengali lobbyist groups.” What else could they say except to admit that what the report said is correct?

I am working on a degree in development. Not that I have the time, but I do have the desire. We are studying the effects of climate change this semester. If you want to get really, really depressed, then study that.

The paper I have to read this week challenges my brain cells, and has forced me to drink more coffee than I should. But it is challenging in a good way. It is written by Archbishop Rowan Williams, and he says good stuff. One of his points in this paper is that the real problem with climate change, as well as other social issues is that we have lost a sense of what life is. We are disconnected and need to be reintroduced to life. He goes on to say that saving the human future is inseparable from  securing a future for all living things. Later he talks about how we need to understand that we all live in a shared world, not a world that belongs to ourselves. 

I felt encouraged in a weird way as I read this. To save our planet from climate destruction, from moral and ethical destruction, we need to be reintroduced to life. We need to start connecting with the things that really matter. And if I build that down to the essentials, I think I am left with just three things: God, relationships and nature. Botox, exotic travels, decadent meals, leather boots and designer purses don’t make it on the list of essentials. We lived in a shared world. That is what it is all about.



1 Comment

  • reyajoy says:

    I ALWAYS appreciate your authenticity and candor. Your willingness to let us into your introspective internal dialog and thought process is such a privilege to me. I meet a lot of people that I want to learn from, but many of the lessons they choose to share are provided from other sources… and that is great too! I’ve been so blessed with a handful of people in my life that will just be open books to me. It means more to me than you’ll know. I so value openness and transparency. You willingly let others learn about you… your strengths and frailties… certainties and questions… brokenness and frustrations… all of it… It’s all real! You challenge me to analyze the interpretation of my own thoughts processes and examine it before the Almighty and let Him weigh it out, and call me into check. It’s convicting. I relate to much of what you say, and some of it, not as much. 😉 But that’s the beauty of it! I love the beauty in diversity, and I’m SOOOOO thankful that as diverse and beautiful as each sunset is, God has truly done so in His creation of mankind. Whenever I’m having a not so great day, I love to pic up your book and read the wonderful stories… all so unique and enriching. My favorite is the Pee Pee and Poo Poo story! =) Anyway, the long and short of it… Thank you for challenging us to evaluate the true motives behind what is driving us, and ultimately let God rearrange our thinking. I appreciate that about you so much! Big Fat Hugs to your whole family from Tim and me!!! <3 Not sure I made much sense… It's almost 4 AM here, and I've yet to go to bed. I'm pretty exhausted. Forgive me, if it shows. =D Good night!