This is my ideal ...
Psalm 131 (New International Version)
1 My heart is not proud, Lord,My fantasy is, that when I grow up, I'll be able to sink into this calm place and let go of the need to prove I'm right and they're wrong. (Even when it's obvious!) I'm sure I'll add years to my life and stars to my crown when I get to this place.
my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters
or things too wonderful for me.
2 But I have calmed and quieted myself,
I am like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child I am content.
3 Israel, put your hope in the Lord
both now and forevermore.
But here's an intermediate step: asking myself why we differ. No matter what the facts, no matter what the underlying facts are, there must be a reason why my dear relative thinks that the president of the USA is a Muslim who is letting his terrorist friends infiltrate the White House. I can learn something from her. Even if I don't learn more about the president's faith and friends, I can learn about the forces operating to influence this person, and the forces influencing me.
From now on, I'm going to try to replace peevishness with curiosity. I'm going to try replacing an incredulous "What??!" (and its many colorful variants) with an honest "Why?"
- Why do we see the world the way we do?
- Why do we define our ultimate goals so differently?
- If our ultimate goals are in fact the same, why are we so unable to tolerate a diversity of methods and paths?
- Why do I think it's up to me to answer these questions?
To quote a song by Mister Rogers on anger: "I can stop when I want to, stop when I wish, can stop stop stop anytime. And what a good feeling to feel like this, and know that the feeling is really mine. To know that there's something deep inside that helps us become what we can." One of the most important tasks for our curiosity is precisely this: to know whether or not those strong feelings, those temptations to debate, those fantasies of heroic righteousness, are really mine.
Remixing the Quaker Tradition in a Participatory Culture... Wess Daniels' book A Convergent Model of Renewal is on sale.
Nathan and Richard Foster are making ordinary saints.
Parenting as peacemaking. (A "First Wednesday" event hosted by Beacon Hill Friends House, where Judy and I first met.)
Wendell Berry's special brand of sanity.
What Gary Shteyngart says he learned from a week of watching Russian TV. (But he didn't watch the "Culture" [Wikipedia] channel, I see....)
Starting tomorrow, visitors to Chicago's Field Museum will learn that Vikings did not have helmets with horns on them.
"Delta Blues Evening" in Moscow: Blues bassist Sergei Spitsyn and fellow musicians present "Mystery Train" ...