Through others, we become ourselves.
– Lev Vygotsky, psychologist (17 Nov 1896-1934)
Friday, November 17, 2017
Thursday, November 02, 2017
We have probed the earth, excavated it, burned it, ripped things from it, buried things in it, chopped down its forests, leveled its hills, muddied its waters, and dirtied its air. That does not fit my definition of a good tenant. If we were here on a month-to-month basis, we would have been evicted long ago.
– Rose Bird, Chief Justice of California Supreme Court
I think Brother Dave would have agreed with this.
Wednesday, November 01, 2017
Monday, October 23, 2017
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Thursday, September 21, 2017
Saturday, September 09, 2017
Not with your lifestyle;
Not with your hairstyle;
Not with who you love
nor even with who you hate.
Not with your worship
or lack of worship of nobodaddy.
Not with your wife or husband
or lack of mate.
Just take some warm water,
some strong winds, and add
some flat terrain.
Thursday, September 07, 2017
Thursday, August 31, 2017
Friday, August 25, 2017
Why is it so hard to let go of a resentment?
One of Padre's less attractive traits was a tendency to hold a grudge. I remember he was upset by Sears and decided to boycott them. I never did learn what the underlying issue was, but he boycotted that store until his death.
I have the same tendency. "Holding a grudge" is another way of saying "Holding on to a resentment."
I suppose it to be a form of pride. It's a way of saying I'm right, and everyone else is wrong. And no evidence to the contrary will dissuade me. Which means, I suppose, that I'm a typical specimen of the human race.
Another way saying this, of course, is to say that I find it hard to forgive. And, in a fit application of spiritual algebra, I find it challenging to forgive myself those times when I fall short or make a mistake.
It's easier, now that I'm in the elder years, to forgive. But that lack of forgiveness is a hard habit to break. I still backslide into lonely self-righteousness.
Sometimes, on a good day, I can laugh at myself. That's the best cure for self-righteousness. Sometimes, when I make a mistake – one I've made many times before – I can say “There you go again” (helps if I hear Ronnie Raygun's voice).
Sometimes, when someone has wounded me, I can see things through their eyes. Strive to see the situation from the most charitable point of view possible.
Sometimes, on a good day, that works.
Right now, today, I find I'm still clinging to the ghost of a resentment. I hope that time will cause that ghost to fade – though, like the ghosts in a Henry James story – time tends to strengthen the hold of this particular resentful ghost.
I keep coming back to a basic notion, one that seems naive on the surface, but still is probably best for my mental and spiritual health: Everyone is doing the best they can with the tools they have.
The person who offended me is doing the best s/he can. Her motives were well-intentioned. I'm doing the best I can to forgive.