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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Thought for the Day - What DOES the world need, anyway?

Luke  Ch. 3 /  V. 15-38



So tough to put away all the Christmas revelry, colour, and joy, and look ahead to three months more of winter, before the first vestiges of spring begin to cheer us on to the time of growth and renewal. I have to admit I love being called "The Christmas Lady" by local has almost become a bit of a challenge to outdo myself, as a result of the smiles it always makes, on people going past....every year, a little bit different, in terms of theme....

I couldn't help thinking that, as I put away the last of it today, and dragging my heels a bit, at that.
I love Christmas, even though there is no longer a mad stuffing of parcels in the car for my motley crew of cousins, uncles and Aunts (most of the kids are grown, now, and having children of their own, and the extended group is getting too big and too many in number to continue on with the "immediate family" thing, space and cost-wise), even for what it means; just a brief time, at its best, when everyone is a little kinder, people are a little more generous, and unexpected kindnesses, no matter how people try to express them, as a direct result of both are rampant. Unfortunately, like most good things, the opposite is true, as well.

This year, we had to contend, locally, with the senseless and brutal loss of a loved teacher; a young woman with her whole life ahead of her, whose desire to be the first in a long line of, hopefully, inspirational and helpful teachers, was cut short by a sad, and horrible death.

Internationally, a group of schoolchildren, and their teachers, were gunned down by a confused, angry, and volatile young man who abused the privilege and responsibility of self-defence - which could have just as easily been martial arts, misused and affecting the same purpose, or a hammer wielded with the same vitriol - and the world looks for answers to our continued destruction of each other's hopes, dreams, efforts and aspirations.

Who do we blame? Ourselves? A growing sense of dismay at misuse of technology and freedom? Less and less emphasis on the cultivation of creative impulses in art, music, building, mechanical engineering, medicine and science as we, daily, inculcate an insensitivity to grief, loss, and the imposition of "disapproval as reward" for those who continue to strive towards a better, more meaningful life through a renewed, determined focus on working towards just that, by continuing to create opportunity, and inventions, and things of beauty and purpose, and which exemplify our best efforts as a species?

I see people who consider, quietly, the loss of waving greetings to neighbours, a simple good morning viewed with suspicion and bad manners, and a general loss of civility in society, as one which is NOT normal, and NOT acceptable, even as they begin to see just how important it is to be able to find a way to create beauty from chaos, meaningful expression in paint from grief, lament put to music from the ravages of disease and shock, beauty and order where rubble and decay once held sway, and the disappointment it creates, as even more important than ever. Knowing the person beside you is a decent and civil human being who would not stand by while someone tried to hurt you, means real community; it means kindness, and caring as the "norm" in human behaviour - no matter how different they might be from you - as people work through personal loss, even as those same people step back and ensure that when you close your door at night, your time, and your space, have the right to both privacy and personal safety. Those boundaries are being superceded, too - and not in a good way.

Privacy is not suspicious, and people who need it - particularly artists, who process violence and chaos within the framework of just that same sense of peace and consideration - transformatively, even within their own psyches, in order to protect the very creative spirit which guarantees recovery - as a respite from the chaotic nature of the world around them, are not "suspect": they simply need to know that somewhere, there is a corner where they can think, and speak, and love, be themselves, and discuss, create, and encourage those same, humane impulses in others, in a way which helps us to always examine how the ways in which we live our lives from day to day might just be creating a world which increasingly has become a much more dangerous place in which to do just that.

Like Aretha Franklin sang, "You better THINK". It's another thing in the world that there's "just too little of" case we forgot the first.