It seems as if the world has gone mad. All I’m hearing is fear and strategizing and “Dow Jones Industrial Average” and “Bailout” and “Loss”. I can’t escape it, at least if I pay attention to the media. Everyone’s scrambling to hold on to everything they can and it seems that our culture is supporting this- promoting stinginess, promoting holding on tight to what little anybody might have left.
I have another take.
I believe in giving, even when it’s difficult. It doesn’t have to be money, it doesn’t even have to be hard. It just has to be done, and fearlessly. I can’t think of a single major religious tradition that doesn’t support this. Call it Karma, call it Grace, call it Walter, it doesn’t matter. We all would do well to remember that there are still people out there who can benefit from our giving- even when money’s tight. As we enter into the uncertainty of an economy born of greed and selfishness, it makes no sense to give in to fear and greed and selfishness. If we do that, we will simply continue the cycle.
To me, it makes much more sense to become bold, remember our common humanity, remember that hope is within our power to give, to receive and to kindle, and look fear in the face and laugh. If we can put our own concerns in context and see the others who may be in worse straits, then we will have succeeded.
To me, it makes absolutely no sense to give in to the madness. Who wants to be insane?
Always a dangerous proposition, I know, but seriously… I was thinking about the relationships I have with people who are very different from me, whether politically, gender-wise, orientationally, educationally, experientially, digestively, etc., etc.
Most psychologists would say that we tend to gravitate toward people who are more similar to ourselves than different- witness the cultural movements of the last century as an example. Most friendships thrive on common denominators- that’s what common sense says. Most married couples would say that the success of their marriages derive from the similarities of the couple involved.
That’s conventional wisdom, anyway.
I was thinkin’- maybe the common denominators are important for initial contact and possibly for staying power, but what if it’s the differences, the mystery that’s the force creating interest, that alleviates boredom, that holds the prospect of adventure and infinite arenas of discovery?
I remember hearing a conversation between a young woman about to be married and a woman who had just celebrated her 40th anniversary.
Young Woman: I can’t wait to learn everything about him!
Married Veteran: Sweetheart, let me tell you something. He’s a bigger mystery to me today than when we walked down the aisle…
Maybe commonality is important. But maybe it’s the differences that really need some credit in human relationships.
Worth thinkin’ about….
Okay, I’ve stepped up a bit. New blog host at WordPress. A lot less goofy looking, a little more professional and feels better to me- hopefully a better experience all around.
I’ve tried to move the old blog over but the formats aren’t compatible. Don’t be sad- if you want to check out the old blog, it’s under blogroll in the right column. Just click old blog.
And for those of you who wanted to see some of the most visited pages, I’ve moved a few prior postings to the pages section…
I’m also importing posts as notes on Facebook- feedback is encouraged and appreciated. Srsly.
web address: dgsma.wordpress.com
You’ll hear from me soon.