Skip to main content

The Urgent Pull of My Wants

I don’t want to discuss President Obama’s speech to the nation about dealing with ISIS. I’m so weary with war. I don’t want to hear Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell launch another arrogant attack against the president. I don’t want to see any more beheading videos. I don’t want to watch people being swallowed up in floods and typhoons and mountain slides. I don’t want to hear anymore petty whining about defenseless children coming here from vicious countries hell bent on abusing and killing them. I don’t want any more lectures from Republican Congress members about how horrible everything is in the nation when they won’t lift a finger to do a damn thing about any of it. I don’t want to watch another unarmed young black man being shot to death by a gang of cowardly white cops. I don’t want to see anymore senseless beatings by bullying rogue cops. I don’t want to see anymore backward hillbilly racist Ferguson, Missouri’s. I don’t want to view another video of a pampered rich football player beating the daylights out of his wife or girlfriend and then calmly looking at her like she was a sack of rocks. And I don’t want to hear anymore lame excuses from ditzy fans or anyone else defending that behavior. I don’t want to hear any more sanctimonious counterfeit Christians telling the rest of us how to live and vote and believe.

I want to be with laughing children. I want to hold the hand of someone hurting. I want to be in the presence of goodness. I want to hear the music of unity; somewhere, anywhere. I want my black friends to feel safe in this country and be given the human dignity they deserve. I want your children and grandchildren and mine to grow up in a country of moral depth, where intelligence is celebrated, civility is practiced, creativity is encouraged, and independent thinking is allowed. I want to see the ocean. I want to sit on a white sandy beach and be mesmerized by the dancing horizon. I want to be in the company of friends. I want to give and receive affection. I want to understand and respect my mortality. I want to laugh so hard my stomach hurts and my mouth gets sore and I cry great salty tears. I want to hug people who need hugging. I want to give something of myself that makes one person or many feel good about themselves and be open to loving more. I want to take time to watch and be appreciative of autumn arriving with its misty cloudy mornings and chilly nights. I want to be aware of the changing leaves and hallow their dazzling colors. I want to go down a long country road where the trees bend down to touch one another and shelter the passengers beneath. I want to take off across an open field and feel the wind on my face. I want to look out my window and see a thunderstorm brewing and hear the thunder rolling and watch the rain softly fall. I want to enter a church sanctuary and be lost in something sacred. I want to have something to be awed by and fall to my knees in wonder. I want to have more compassion, not more money. I want more meaningful learning, not more of the same old ideas and beliefs that have become useless and moth-eaten.

I want to follow the calling of the Persian poet Rumi: “Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone’s soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd.”

© 2014 Timothy Moody

Popular posts from this blog

The Light in the Faces of Our Incredible Human Family

National Geographic Journalist Paul Salopek is walking across the world on foot to trace the pathways of the first humans who wandered out of Africa in the Stone Age to claim the earth as theirs. His journey will cover 21,000 miles and is estimated to take 10 years. He is four years into his massive expedition and already he has discovered that humanity is mostly kind and generous, welcoming and caring, hard-working and disciplined.
I watched a brief piece about Salopek’s journey on the PBS News Hour this week. I have included a link below.
What is extraordinary about his adventure is his realization that in spite of all the wars and turmoil across the globe, he has learned that “The world is an incredibly hospitable place.” In following the ancient trade route called “The Silk Road,” Salopek has gotten to know a variety of people young and old. And though he has so far encountered a few dangerous situations where he had his water supply stolen, was once ambushed by raiders, and was sho…

Our National Lack of Self-esteem

There is a brokenness in our society, a pervasive moral collapse, a reckless disregard for community, neighborliness, courtesy, and compassion.
Our government leads by this example. Both parties are incompetent to guide us into a more responsible living, into a serviceable structure of humanity. Our leaders are dominated by greedy oligarchs who don’t just want more, they want everything, even if it costs our society its dignity, its soul, even its future.
What is on display here daily is a wretched lack of self-esteem. The loss now influences all of us. We’re all affected in ways that keep us shamed by our actions.
When we feel powerless, aimless, without any higher goals than the accumulation of things and the momentary thrill, we then mute our intelligence. We live by raw emotions—anger, appetite, urges. We don’t think, we don’t consider, we merely react. We push. We disregard. We threaten. We act out. And we fail.
Self-esteem is a learned process. It builds on genuine successes that ar…

Is the Soul Solid, like Iron?

Mary Oliver has a beautiful little poem in which she asks:

“Is the soul solid, like iron?
or is it tender and breakable, like
the wings of a moth in the beak of the owl?”

It is both.

The soul, we are told by philosophers, theologians, and mystics, is our essence, the permanence of our true self. It is that part of us that lives beyond death. Or so we are taught by religion. Where exactly the soul exists beyond that, has of course, been long debated.

There are times in life when something deep within us is, as Mary Oliver says, solid as iron and we operate out of some sense of aliveness, confidence, and inner strength. It may be fleeting, but there when needed; or it may carry us through long periods of endurance when we build a sturdy self, confident and capable of our abilities and talents.

This is the work of the soul. This is a part of our spiritual development. This is what enables us to believe there are forces in life, loving and generous and mystical, that nurture and compel us tow…