Saturday, August 29, 2009

Inside My Mind With No Place To Go

I don't have many brilliant thoughts, but the thoughts I do have buzz around inside my head endlessly tapping, humming, strumming and bouncing back and forth trying to land in some semblance of sensibility.

Mostly I think about people. What makes them tick and why. How they relate, how they don't. How they get twisted up and out of sync. How they overcome and prevail. How they rise, how they fall. And rise up again. How they impact the world around them for better or for worse.

And always I want to know that one, elusive answer .... "WHY?!"

It's not that I have all the answers ... I certainly don't. I am simply continously fascinated by human interaction and the complexity of it.

These are a few of the great mysteries to me:

Why does mankind still not know what to say to a grieving fellow human being? Death is part of life. When will we figure it out?

Why do we insist on creating gods in our own image? We suck at it.

Why are some people so threatened by the success of others? Isn't any "good" thing worth getting happy about?

Why does "empowerment" seem to equate with rage and anger? It takes a far stronger person to live out kindness, regardless of the circumstances and responses of others.

Why do we still try to live up to other people's ideals of who we should be ... rather than living the life we were created to enjoy?

Why do we have such a difficult time moving from theory to reality?

Why do we still not understand that "rugged individualism" ruins us and relationships strengthen us?

What is it that we are all so afraid of? That keeps us from living life to the fullest? That prohibits us from building each other up and squeezing every moment of joy out of the journey?

I'm not talking about pretending there are aren't troubles and worries that preoccupy our lives and minds. I am familiar with the harsh realities of life that keep us bound to the ground under our feet instead of floating amongst the clouds like tethered helium balloons.

I'm also not suggesting we let every bozo without boundaries run roughshod over us - body, mind, soul and spirit while we sing "Kumbaya".

But in our own collective groups of family, friends, co-workers, church communities, acquaintances, neighbors ... etc. what is the basic, human need for created drama, for cold distances, for foreboding isolationism, for long and awkward silences, for sour grapes, for lonely seclusions, for harsh judgements, for quick crticisms, for lack of heartfelt empathy and for quiet withdrawals behind impenetrable walls and stony hearts?

I think the answer to what we're all afraid of ... is certainly each other ... and yet it begins in our minds. Sometimes the most dangerous place of all. Where we can believe lies about what other people think when they are worrying about their grocery list. Where we can become certain that we are the center of the joke when the laughter is innocent and carefree. Where we suspect and anticipate the next let-down before anyone has a chance to share a smile or say a kind word.

Inevitably - our minds - allowed free reign, will have us doing battle with the harmless while we fail to tackle the real challenges ... such as being the one who extends the warm greeting and takes the time to really mean it (and really hear the response) or dares to embrace the opportunity to make a difference in the life of someone placed in your path.

Recently I heard someone issue a challenge to "Counter the Culture". For me, that means swimming upstream in my own head.

Just some thoughts with no place to go ..............