I see goodness in each


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I awoke this morning as usual and – as usual – checked my “always on”.  A message sent last night after we had gone to bed, another message sent in the middle of our night, and a post on Facebook from our son’s partner.  I replied to the first message, reflected on the second and then replied, and then read the post and added a few thoughts.  All this between getting out of bed, kissing my wife goodbye and even before starting my morning cup of coffee!

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The post by Grace was particularly relevant: “Now, sitting in a quiet van with Otis asleep and only myself to occupy, I see how much of a hole it has left when I don’t have any emails to read or messages to reply to.  I see now how I’ve gradually written less over the years, how I read less, how I actually just pay attention to myself less.  Not just physical needs (stop skipping lunch at work, guys! It’s not healthy!), but mental ones, too.”

Even in my lifetime the “always on” never used to exist.  There was no “inner reflection” there was simply “living”. Getting up in the morning and getting on with the day.  Chatting to (or ignoring) those around me.  Playing or schooling or walking or sitting or zoning out.  And then later in life playing or working or sitting or zoning out.  And then nowadays “always on” and working and “always on” and sitting and “always on” and zoning out (between “always on”).

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And then that message and some reflection.  The word that caught my eye was “inoperable”.  A word that defines the ending of life as we expect it to be.  The message was sober but full of hope.  A suggestion to enlist angels because of that word inoperable.  No longer within our control.  Out of reach of our now assumed and expected “always on and in control”.

This creep of control extends to life itself.  No longer the “gift of life” – now the “right to life”.

A right that includes a standard of living we define.  Not just the heart pumping and the lungs breathing “standard” – but the full “quality of life” we demand and expect (and regularly upgrade). Isn’t that why we pay our insurance premiums?  Isn’t that why we pay our taxes?  Isn’t that why we are the “master race”?  We who now control the “always on” lifestyle we assume and expect!

We have rights – we are entitled!

And “faith and religion” are not exempt.  We can control God if we pray long and hard enough.  We can make God do our bidding (in the name of Jesus we pray) if enough of us have enough faith … if we have enough “spiritual wealth” …if we are “always on” with God … THEN we have control of life itself ESPECIALLY WHEN this world concludes its own scientific-expertise-control is not enough.

Although even that admission is wrapped up in non-admission – the word “inoperable” makes it not our fault.  The fault of God – or God neglecting to pay attention.  An act of God – not man.

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As I grow older I find I become more childlike.  

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It is not a quality I find much valued.

This absence of “need”.  The absence of “I have rights”.  The absence of “what about me”.  The attraction of living in the moment.  The desire to see good in all.  The urgency of connecting with the wealth of goodness in each.  The wonder of who we all are – both stripped of all our “always on” – and clothed in our “we have rights”.  We are a species that has evolved massively – perhaps so quickly that we don’t know quite how to keep up.

And yet we do keep up.

We reach out to others.  We connect with others.  Even when we are looking down at the “always on” we live in the hope of connection.  And in those moments of reflection we really do “get” that we are not in control of life itself.  We have too many reminders.  Too many tragic accidents.  Too many inoperables.  Too much death.

I think each of us is a walking wonder – no matter our “status of operable” – no matter our own journey through this “always on” (that confuses as much as it enlightens).

I see goodness in each – especially when in that inner place we hide from others.  That place inside – where goodness … kindness … love  –  are ALL alive – are in rude health.

A disconnection?

Yes.

But never inoperable.

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