Yesterday the world united in grief as we watched the fire rage and consume a large part of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. It was with dismay and heartbreak we saw a symbol of our civilization consumed by a utility given to Mankind to enhance life. Yet at the same time we saw ourselves in communion with our grief.
We have lived too long lately isolated from each other and focused primarily on ourselves. We have evolved to a world where commitment to others is in direct conflict with the desire for proclaimed self fulfillment. We announce we are not caregivers and proceed either to neglect or farm out commitments.
Yet we saw our communion as we united in our grief and we all know what we have lost.
What we do in this world of 8 billion people is show our young that commitment is primarily to oneself. Yet we all age and our young may, to our dismay, shunt their commitments onto the shoulders of the unsuspecting in their lives.
I told my youngers with whom I live that I considered it a privilege to be able to prepare dinner and even do the clean up because in an institution I would not be let near a kitchen even to snack. And though my dotage inhibits much energetic compliance with more activity, I still can push the vacuum to keep the dog fur at bay. Thus stretching muscles wishing to atrophy I’m sure and forcing a heart to keep beating.
Children brought up in homes where value is placed on character, or simply on being human, good and loving will indeed foster care on their commitments. Can it be done in today’s world? To rethink a value system is necessary.
I harbor the thought that there is time and world enough for all of us. We can reclaim our innate knowledge of good in our actions. What is done from love is readily noted. Time now to reclaim the good in ourselves.
When the nudge in mind becomes a thud against our heart, it is the God Within urging us to listen.
Rest Well, Sailor, Rest Well. . .
So in this night when you lie still
and listen for the rain, listen for the wind,
listen for the stars moving about the sky.
Listen also for your heartbeat.
It is steady and it is sure.
It beats for all of your commitments,
both loving and lovable.
You are an important adjunct to this world
and your good you cannot estimate.
Rest well, sailor, rest well.
The seas have been rocky but now
we come to the inlet that will take us to port.
There will be nothing to bring in the ship.
She makes it on her own power.
photo by Joe Hallissey, Sr.