Monday, September 14, 2009

It finally happened....

I snapped yesterday. I almost heard it. Literally heard something snap in that crisp green bean (or pole bean) sort of way.

I saw how Serene Williams wanted to "sincerely apologize" for her ugly, unprofessional display at the end of her US Open Semifinal match against Clijsters (that I know is pronounced CLIGH-STERS, but that I like pronouncing CLI-JI-STERS). You can read about it here: Serena "Sincerely" Apologizes

The thing is...this is about two days too late. She could have apologized after the match. In fact she could have not made it worse by not going back to threaten and berate the lineswoman a SECOND time. She could have apologized at the press conference, instead of claiming she didn't remember what she said.

But what made me snap was the audacity to even bother trying to publicly apologize at this point...and talk about being a role model. She made a choice...decided to be stubborn...and so she should own it. Any "sincere" apology needs to now include not just the actual incident, but also the arrogance and stubbornness she perpetuated for the next 48 hours.

She is the epitome of all that is wrong with us...with this culture. Not each of us individually (though in some way we are al like little ways...on a daily basis)...but of the collective behavior we created...and have allowed to persist...and even elevated to where we admire those who behave that way. Primidona...diva...self-absorbed...whatever you want to call it. The point is it is selfishness. It's all about us.

And yet the greatest that have ever been among us (or in their own minds...the most insignificant among us)...the people we revere...not admire...not idolize...but respect and revere...they were about others....not about self. I mean come on...who is not awed by Mother Teresa? How can you not be...she denied herself continually...for the sake of "the least of these"...the least of us (in the worlds eyes).

We've all heard the saying that "whoever has the most stuff wins." Well...I guess today it's more about who ever does whatever they want the most often wins. But we couldn't have it more backwards. It's suppose to be about less of us...and more of others. [Which coincidently actually means they'll be less need to worry about us...because everyone else will be worried about us.]

Anyway, the snapping sound by the way was wanton selfishness. I know I can't really eliminate the selfishness from my life in one fall swoop...but I can tell you...I'm going forward with renewed vigor. Sure I'll fail...sure I'll still initially want to rip into the guy (or gal) who cuts me off on the highway....or the person at the grocery store who is completely oblivious that there was anyone else in line...or my friend who I get in an argument with because I'm more worried about pride than I am about what is right or true. But when I do those things...I'll apologize...and I'll mean it. Sincerely.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Eternity Now

I am convinced the secret of life is...

  • ...seizing the day.

  • like there is no tomorrow.

  • ..being in the moment.

  • like I was dying.

The trouble is...I don't know how to know if I am succeeding.

On one hand it seems like to really be in the have to let go of the past. Looking back suggests you are trying to relive a moment that has passed...that no longer is...that basically has died. But too often I've heard people say how their memories keep them company...reassure them...even carry them forward...particularly in the later years of life. So that would seem to suggest that some moments involve looking back.

On the other hand, it seems as soon as you be IN the are out of it...because you are distracted by your own efforts. The whole moment becomes artificial...and certainly that isn't the goal.

I actually read somewhere that from a neurological perspective "now" is about six seconds, meaning that is how long it takes before your current thoughts move into your memory. I have no idea if that is right...and I imagine it varies based on what is happening at that moment...but it certainly gives some perspective for what "the moment" is that we want to try and live in.

Anyway, at this point, I feel like all I can do is try to experience each interaction, each event, each moment...fully. I try not to let my mind wander away from what is happening "here and now" (especially when I am with others). I try not to dwell too much on yesterday...or yesteryears. (Afterall, I can't change what has happened....what I have done...or failed to do.) I try to remember at the moment of each decision which things will last and are eternal...and which things are not. Things pass away. People...relationships...actions...thoughts...these things "echo in eternity" borrow a line from the movie Gladiator.

"Every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part
of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before.
And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your
life long you are slowly turning this central thing either into a heavenly
creature or into a hellish creature; either into a creature that is in harmony
with God and with other creatures and with itself, or else into one that is in a
state of war and hatred with God and with its fellow creatures and with itself." - C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

I guess when you boil it down, THAT is what "living in the moment" means to me. It means that I try to think and act in full awareness that what I think and say and do can move me...and potentially others...closer toward becoming a heavenly creature or a hellish creature...since we are ALL creatures. If what I say and do doesn't move me one way or the other...then that isn't a moment that is worth living. I don't want to wait for heaven...I want Eternity Here...and Now!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

You Don't Have to Believe in God

I have to be honest and admit that I sometimes chuckle when I hear statements like, "Well that's not the kind of God I believe in."  My reaction to this if.   As if...granting there is a God....or if you want...gods...his (or okay...her) nature could be modified based on our belief.  As if...we have that much control over anything...because if we did...wouldn't we make our lives much different from how they are (or at least somewhat different)?  As if...we can presume to have any idea about how God SHOULD behave or what He SHOULD look like...because we have that kind of omniscience.   As if...we would want a God that can be affected by our fickle desires, by our our whims.  As if...God doesn't chuckle when He hears someone say, "That's not the kind of God I believe in." 

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Unnoticed Change

Change happens slowly.  Actually...noticed change happens slowly.  By the time we experience a change whether a change in us..or a change in others...or a change in society...there have already been innumerable small changes leading to that one.  Even big changing changes are just the culmination of smaller, unnoticed changes.  Makes me think we should pay more attention to what is changing....right now.  Otherwise, we may wake up one day and wonder how we got here...or worse...not wonder.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Begining...of the End

Have you ever woken up after a hard sleep and immediately sensed that somehow things were different?  Somewhere...somehow a decision had been made, a corner had been turned, and you realize you are no longer on the same path you were when you went to sleep.  And then you realize you aren't on a path at all, but more like a track...and while you can't see exactly how the track winds and turns, dips and climbs, you can see where it's eventually going.  And you realize...this is how it needs to be...and you must play your part.  Though this track will lead you where you do not want to go...the end...whenever it gets here...will be glorious.  

That's how I woke up today.