(Written on January 11, 2009)
Deb and I went to a funeral today to celebrate the life of a woman named Joann Downing. I didn't know Joann very well, but the time I did spend with her, even when she was in the hospital last year, she was insightful and working toward making this world a better place.
As I listened to those closer to her speak, I had to begin to take stock of my own life; my own passion to create a better world. I've gotta confess, my contribution has been far less than stellar.
There are several people that I know and admire for working to make this world a better place. Some days I wish I had their courage and committment. Just a few of those bright lights that I haold up as examples of Being the Change that they want to see in the world include people such as: John Straw, Ellen Mettler, Sue Kirby, Joann Downing, Holly Lubecki, Marguerite O'Brien, Rayna Bick, John Helsom and Marion and Van Van Winkle. These are just a few that come to mind. (I'll add a "My Heroes" list in the side column, update and change it periodically if you are interested in following this train of gratitude.)
No amount of my phansiful philosophising will change the world. I need to get off my butt, out of my house and commit to being the change that I want to see in the world. There are so many things I have to do, that I let my volunteering get lost in the business of daily living: work, school, sleep when I can, socialize when I can, write if I can. Somehow, I have set aside many of those things that move me to be a better person in order to enjoy my own selfish desires.
So, how does one go about re-prioritizing their life in order to save the world one mitzvah at a time? Better yet, how does one decide what comforts or conveniences to set aside in trade for a peaceful soul and more fulfilled sense of one's own humanity? How does one (me) get out of that rut that I so often rant about: that American trap of haveing an overinflated sense of entitlement?
Someone, it may have been MLK or Ghandi, or someone else, I'm not sure, said that everyone should have something in their life that is worth dying for. Meaning that that type of committment and dedication point toward one's destiny, passion and life fulfillment. I don't know if I have yet found that thing, except maybe Ana and Maddie. But they are people that I love, not causes for justice or mindful humanity. They are not faceless others that I can reach out to annonymously and improve their life experiences. They are only two, not a plethera of people needing rescure. They are simply souls who love, just like me. Does that count in the grand scheme of things?
Today, I have no answers, only questions. But today, my hypothesis is that usually the questions in life are more important than the answers.