Monday, March 22, 2010

A Work of Art

Dear Reader,

This post will differ from past posts; I have used this blog almost exclusively for spreading the news about the Parental Rights Amendment which is working its way through the US Congress (130 co-sponsors! Yeah!!!). I want to return to something else now -- a root to a number of our problems today.

We talk about how government needs fixing, lawyers need straightening, neighbors need to keep the party noise down late at night, we need more sleep, and our bosses need to learn how to lighten up (though my bosses are actually pretty cool guys; I haven't had a cross word from them yet, and I've been on roll for almost three years at one of those jobs and a year at the other job--I think that's pretty cool, :D ). We talk about all of this casually, thinking that something is wrong with the world.

Well, of course, something is wrong with the world--and we had best start with us. I've got my flaws: I forget to brush my teeth, I don't notice that my hair is a mess, I don't recognize when I snub people sometimes, and I don't always hear you when you call my name (being lost in thought isn't quite the same as being out of the office, because I don't have an answering machine to take the message). But even deeper than that, we are all so concerned today about me, me, me, mine, mine, mine, and up, up, up the corporate, social, and, dare I say it, spiritual ladder. Yes, perhaps even in an attempt to climb Jacob's Ladder we step on others, neglecting the needs of our friends, acquaintances, and strangers who labor beside us.

Maybe we're just tired: we've been working hard, we've been so focused on "getting ahead" and "making it" that we are so burned out now to care about those around us. Everything is set on getting to that final destination--which always ends up being only a gas station to fill up to get to the next place. When does it end? When do we start to care?

Maybe right now: you'be been patient enough to read through to this point (or you cheated and skimmed to this point, in which case: shame on you, ;D ), and so I will bet the house that you have enough time to look around the room/office/wherever you are, see a person you know (or don't know), and be grateful that that person exists, and exists in proximity to you. Say "Hi!" Make a new friend or catch up with an old one--do something which is truly progressive today. Make a difference.

You don't need to have a position which shakes our world to leave a mark on this earth. You don't have to be someone of importance to have an impact. Only God knows how much you and I have done for others, so keep it up, even if it seems like you are dreadfully alone.

I bout with depression just like the next guy: I don't have this down, I feel alone and useless at times, and I tend to close up to others when I am like that -- "Don't touch me! I want to be alone!" syndrome -- where what is best for us is what we fight most vehemently. But that is not who we were meant to be: we were made to be a person amidst persons, an everlasting being amidst everlasting beings in the sight of the Eternal Being.

A life well-lived is not full of stuff (shout out to my fellow Spartans across the world!), money, or even dare I say laughs and giggles. All of these things pass away, and are gone in no time. A life well-lived presses on toward the goal while helping others along the way, because who wants to cross the finish line alone? First is a lonely place except in team sports--when friends win the prize together, then the party is on! :D

A life well-lived demands much of us, but boy is it a work of art. It's something to smile at, because it isn't just gratification. It has left its mark by taking others along with it. Montgomery Gentry (see, country music has its good qualities) puts it well: "That's something to be proud of / That's a life you can hang your hat on" -- loving and living is an adventure worth having, and sharing.

Get up, get out, give a shout out, and make a difference -- who knows, you might like it, :D