14 May 2010
" I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day." ~Elwyn Brooks White
I saw this quote from a friend and it resonated. Story of my life. I am so blessed, there is so much good and beauty in the world and I want to bask in it. I see the new buds changing into fragrant blossoms. I see the way a mother looks at her new baby and how that babe reaches up to touch his mothers face while he nurses. I see the children laugh and play, ignorant to the suffering of the world, not quite grown up enough to expand beyond their own realities. Here in the mountains of Colorado, the grass is green, spring is in full effect, my children are healthy and safe, loved and fed. What more could I ask for?......that every mother be blessed as I am.
The suffering that is taking place each moment is as real as the beauty that takes place in each moment. Thank goodness we have so much good in the world, it can be easy to forget. While my son plays happily in my safe yard, in my safe town, there is a boy his age elsewhere being neglected, perhaps starving. I am somewhat self conscious about being so morose about the state of the world, as not every person wants to engage in a conversation about the war in the Congo. In reality, I don't want the woes of the world to consume my every thought, my every conversation, but I am ok with it consuming enough of them to light a fire inside of me and use my privileged situation to give others the opportunity to be aware, to do what they can to raise awareness, even if the only thing in them is a prayer or a tweet or a, ahem, blog post.
What I mean by "privileged situation" is that we have choices; something I know is rare for women in many parts of the world. The fact that we get to choose where to work, whether or not to go to school, who to marry, whether or not to have children and how many, is a bigger blessing than many of us realize. The ability to choose between a hike or the pool is nothing short of amazing. Should we feel guilty for being blessed so? Heck no! But I'll revert back to one of my favorite quotes/scriptures "To whom much is given, much is required." Are we all required to blog about activism? no. Are we all required to give money to charity? no. In fact, none of us is "required" to do anything, but I do believe that we should continue to give in the areas where we can. We all give in our own way whether it be time, prayer, money, social networking, writing, working, connecting. I am convinced that giving of ourselves for the good of the whole is the true path to a fulfilled life.
Of course we have our daily trials that are validated; troubles with the boss, children acting up, coming up short every month, life changes, never ending laundry. I talk about trials in mothering and never ending laundry as much as the next mama, and I realize that it is possible to still complain/get caught up in these things and be grateful for all of them at the same time. Just because our laundry pile might not carry even a smidgen of importance compared to boy soldiers in Uganda, it is still important for us to connect. We are human and our troubles are all relative. Just because the amount of teens living on the street in America is heartbreaking, doesn't mean we don't have a right to get overwhelmed with our day to day lives. It also doesn't mean that we shouldn't soak up all the goodness that is available to us.
As so many of my posts come back 'round to, it's all about balance. In our society, "good" and "success" too often get's muddled up with material possessions. The fact is anybody, rich or poor, can look up at a clear blue sky, a flower, a small child and be filled with the miraculousness of life. Even when we are 5 loads of laundry behind and we are beside ourselves about he state of the world, we can still stop and remember what a miracle life is. I don't expect to change the world, but that won't stop me from trying.