On importance and significance

How much of our public discourse is explanation and how much is justification?   How much is about truth and how much is about a determined pursuit of truthiness?   How much is about what I find and how much is about what I  can get?

Perhaps it is too much cynicism or perhaps I  am just worn out on people so full of answers in times that seem to beggar any answer.   I don’t know.  

We seem forever stuck in a crescendo of competing monologues. We live with the illusion of the importance of volume and so many conversations seem to be about little more than who can be the loudest.

I am no less guilty than anyone else.   When so much is so loud I  too compete to make sure I am heard.

I think sometimes when we try so hard to make a difference we lose sight of what matters.

I  used to have a neighbor who was a refugee from the Sudan and he had developed the greatest appreciation of kindness of anyone I think I have ever known.   He was genuinely thrilled when someone was kind to him and I  don’t know if I ever saw him be less than kind to anyone that he met.   To visit his home was to be at home.   In the overall scheme of things he was probably never going to make a great difference but he knew what mattered as much as anyone I have ever known.  

Sometimes I think our addiction to importance leaves us blind to our significance.   We try so hard to show we matter that we never understand that we already do.   We think that what is important is what we get from others,  the reputation,  the status,  the power and forget that what matters most is what we freely give.

A long time ago someone told me that kindness and wisdom were the same thing..   He told me God never asked for us to be smart only to be kind and care for one another.   I  asked him how could something so simple be so hard.  Sometimes it seems too hard.

I know that tomorrow will be filled with big answers but it is the little questions that torture me the most right now. I worry about getting from the beginning of the day to the end. Sounds stupid I know but it is not my best thing right now. So much is struggle right now I hope that I do not get so wound up in what I want that the things I need slip by unnoticed. I hope someone will be glad I was there and that no one doubts my gratitude to them. I hope that I remember that the things I struggle with are not all things. I hope I find something tomorrow to amaze me. I hope I sleep for the rest of the night. Sleep is never easy. And I when the day is done tomorrow I hope I will know it was time well spent.

I do not mean to say big answers are not important. I think they are. All is not contrivance. I just don’t think they should be as much competitive sport as they sometimes seem to be. In the end I think the quality of who we are is inseparable from who we are with each other. I wish we were not so easily defined by what separates us and that none of us would ever believe we are victorious in the defeat of our neighbors. I think justice and fairness matters and that fear and lies and hate take us to places dangerous and hard to leave.

I hope that all of us find in tomorrow a better day. For now that would be enough answer for me.


2 thoughts on “On importance and significance”

  1. I’m tired of the fight some days. Tired of the loud, loud, incessant voices that suck all the air out of any room where they show up. Particularly tired when those voices belong comrades who have gained a little power–whatever power means in a movement that of which probably less than one half of one percent of the world’s population is even aware. Don’t talk down to me. Don’t tell me what to fucking think. Don’t tell me what jobs I should and should not hold, based on my education or lack thereof. Yeah, fuck off. Other days, I suppose I might be the overly-authoritative, entitled voice putting forth my own opinion as the gospel truth on various issues. I am rarely accused of being loud; but, it does happen. And then again, I’m never really sure if whatever the various voices, including my own, say is actually audible to others.

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