“You’ll lead a pretty great life and live to be old. Now go do the best you can.”
I know people who would be happy with that pronouncement. People who really don’t want too much interference from an all-knowing, all-powerful Deity who might have some different ideas about what constitutes a meaningful life.
With those marching orders, they could define “pretty great” for themselves, and the ambiguity of “old” would suit them just fine. Doing their best could mean pursuing happiness on their own terms, finding their own pleasure. That could work out really well.
Until it doesn’t. Continue reading If God said this to you, would it be enough?
I chose to be part of the OneWord365 movement this year – the idea being that instead of making New Year’s resolutions, you select a single word and focus on it for a full year, noting how it influences your life each day. I chose “harmony” as my word for 2013. This is my update on how it’s going.
The first clue is the muttering and swearing. It’s 6:30 in the morning and the train will be arriving shortly. No one has an extra few minutes; we’re all on autopilot, just trying to get to work as painlessly as possible.
The man ahead of me in line at the parking fee kiosk is now pounding the side of the machine and angrily accusing the Village officials who maintain the parking facility of everything from laziness to greed to criminal corruption.
My offer of a different dollar bill – maybe his was too wrinkled … or not wrinkled enough? – doesn’t even phase him.
“It’s not taking dollar bills. The *^$#@ machine is broken and they don’t care ‘cause if you don’t pay the fee, you’re going to get a ticket for $55 and that’s more money in their pockets. Bunch of bums.” Continue reading How NOT to Achieve Harmony
A week or so ago, I ambled through a lovely antique store in SW Florida. Everything was organized and displayed with genuine care, not at all jumbled and random as many such places can be. It felt like the shop owner had bestowed a kind of gentle honor on all these vestiges of other people’s lives.
I was drawn to a basket of old pictures and postcards. It was enchanting . . . but a little sad. These precious (at one time) family mementos were now items of little value beyond curiosity and a bit of speculation.
Postcards from the early 1900s conveyed greetings from far flung destinations like New York City, Sweden, and Holland (not the one in Michigan) to loved ones back home in small towns . . . news of stagecoaches, difficult people, and homesickness all written in careful script.
One dear lady worried in her postcard about three one dollar bills she had misplaced before she left and gave instructions for what to do with the money if it was found. Continue reading This is not a picture of my sister and me