I posted this famous quote by Fred (Mr.) Rogers today, and then a friend texted me back those questions and concerns that go raging through many of our heads and hearts in this day and age. I thought my own thoughts might be of use to some of my blogging friends who are some of the “unseen, unsung” helpers in my own life. Thank you to all of you who keep trying to help others in these times. I hope you can each believe that you make a difference in the world — after all, isn’t that really why we write?
I am beginning slowly and painfully to discover a few things:
1. Although I continue to believe as D.L.Moody said that one should have a Bible in one hand and a (valid) newspaper in the other, there is much more opportunity today to endlessly be sucked into “news” and what is ultimately the “junk food” of our times, than to be sucked into spiritually enlightening “food”. There is always bad “news” but I don’t have to believe that it is more powerful or ultimately more true-Truth, than something beyond anyone or any nation or any time and place, whatever people may call the “Other Reality” and what I think of as true Truth and God’s redeeming love for our planet and His children. It helps to say to myself what a friend said wisely to me yesterday, “If it is something that is out of your hands, don’t let it take up too much space in your head.” Hard for me but helpful. This friend is always one of my own “helpers” not just for me but quietly in the world. At the same time, I want to believe that if I do a small unsung kindness here and someone else in the world is doing an unknown kindness over there, then all the little truly unselfish kind things that all the little people do as “helpers” will always tip the scales in the world towards Martin Luther King’s “arc of justice” and towards the mustard seed of faith and the mighty waves created by the power of truly loving hearts. And —
2. Sometimes my being the sort of person who is always trying to help others is more about me than it is about them. There is a difference between being ready and alert to help a need that appears than what we often do which is to look for ways to “fix” people or ways to disguise what the human hubris always is in part, a way to assuage our own ego needs. One struggles with comparing one’s “intelligence” or “compassion” with what one assumes is another’s lack of these things, and so the big beam grows in one’s eye. And conversely, I often neglect loving myself enough to be a helper to myself (Psychology 101 is still a distant achievement for me — LOL)
Anyway, a couple great books to recommend that were recommended to me by some of my “helpers” in the world doing good for others in quiet, unsung ways, “The Wild Edge of Grief” by Francis Weller (helps with grieving for what is happening in the world and on our planet as well as personal griefs). And the other is the Powers trilogy by Walter Wink, which helps put what is really happening in the world in a Judeo-Christian but rather radical context which is both empowering and mind-blowing.
Love you. Thank you for your kind sweet words. I hope to get to your neck of the woods this fall and actually see you, dear friend.
And so Blogger-Pals, carry your weight today because the only way out is through, but also look up, see the sun or lovely clouds that bring rain or the stars that are out in your own “neck of the woods” and know that our grief makes us human and compassionate and better able to be “helpers” in the world; but our love for ourselves and others and the place in which we live, and the planet which I sure do hope we can help survive — all the love in the world, whether they are tiny drops of water like mine, or big rolling waves like Mr. Rogers’, or Martin Luther Kings’, or Jesus’, or Buddha’s, or… ______________(insert the name that comes to your mind in the blank) — all the helpers are here. May you seek and find them today and then go out and do likewise,