Monday, June 3, 2013

We are Tragically Flawed

I am on the plane ride home and just finished watching 'perks of being
a wallflower' for the first time. 5 hours to go until I am home in

What have I learned from this trip? Or maybe better said- reminded of?
The importance of not doing this life alone. The necessity of kindness
and grace and compassion. Why humans are such beautiful and other
times desolate creatures. The kindness of a cab driver, a bellman, a
sister. The courage and sweetness of street performers. How we some of
us pay a lot to walk the same walk as someone elses daily commute to
work. How the entire world exists in our relationships with others.

Our worst enemy and our best friend is our mind. We give it so much
power over ourselves sometimes without bothering to train it. I can
walk through paris in awe, i can see the eiffel tower as nothing
extraordinary and focus on my headache instead. Our minds can filter
the light of the past into the present world and color our days black.
Our minds also can ignore the predicaments of pain or numbness by
noticing the beauty of the few on the grass.

Humans are all tragically flawed- like the heroes I used to read about
in Greek mythology and Shakespeare for my English classes. We are
great, well meaning people who yearn to do good and have often at
least one thing that can really take us away from that. And if left to
our own devices we can let that tragic flaw consume us- or at least
stop us. The world is needed- God is required to save us from
ourselves. My tragic flaws I know at least include: focusing on what I
don't accomplish, trying to impress others, worrying about the future.

I write when I feel. I feel sad right now because of how much I and
others can relate to the hero in 'perks of being a wallflower'. How We
know how isolating sadness and loneliness can be. Jonathan would have
loved that movie. i think one of the best parts of that movie was that
the hero never once saw himself as a victim.

And then I think about my friends and family members who have suffered
much more than I have. And then we let what we have suffered dictate
who we say we are. And then how we only accept the love we think we
deserve as the movie says.

That is one reason the story of Jesus is such a unusual phenomena-
because if it is true that his death was a demonstration of his love
to each of us- it leaves us in a conundrum. None of us believe we
deserve someone dying for us- the love that such an act requires. And
yet there it is- and all we can do is hope to embrace that idea- that
gift. What does it take to allow someone to love us? An
acknowledgement that we are at least in some small way worthy.

 I guess what I took away from my trip is that one of the things that
unites people from different cultures and places and backgrounds is
that we all want to love and be loved. I listened this weekend to
people speak in hebrew and french and english- it didnt matter the
words they were saying it was written all over their faces. We all
want to belong, to be valued and respected and appreciated. We all
want a family, a group of friends, a community to serve. We crave to
be heroes but only so far as we are positively impacting our
surrounding world somehow. And many of us fight valiantly against our
shortcomings- doing our best to be better people.

Today- I ask you to do something. To thank someone who loves you more
than you feel you deserve. And then turn around and go love someone
more than you think they deserve.

For in the puzzles of the day to day exploration of what to do and
what is right and who we are and what is good- I think the above acts,
while not necessarily providing all the answers- are assuredly

1 comment:

  1. First thing that comes to my mind-- a little idea I once wrote down that I love: "Find what it is you are willing to die for. Then decide to live for it! " Asking the right questions can lead to such beautiful answers and can eliminate less important questions. My niece and brother both have told me to go watch that movie you are talking about and I have yet to do it, so thanks for the reminder! And welcome back to MN! To be loved, really loved, and understood, and to truly love and understand in return--it is indeed what we are all living for!! Oh how I do not deserve the abundant love that I have from God and from so many people in this life, but yet I am still so loved. And I get to love as best I can in return. How blessed, how blessed we truly are.