Skip to main content

I Want Love to Win

While the Paris nightmare was going on last weekend I was safe in Los Angeles with my son Caleb and my daughter-in-law Kameron and my little grandchildren Avery and Austin. It was the weekend of Avery’s 6th birthday and we all had such a nice time together.

I caught glimpses of the terrorist attack on my phone and here and there on television. Late at night before I went to sleep I would check the Internet on my phone to see the latest details. My heart was broken by the tragedies in Paris. So many people killed on a lovely Friday evening while sitting in bistros and cafes or attending a concert or the theater. I thought of how precarious life is, and how fragile. I thought of all of those who didn’t get to go home to their loved ones that night. And the many still severely wounded and hospitalized. The agony of it all, the loss, is still with me.

In the meantime I was surrounded by love. Caleb and Austin picked me up from the airport Thursday and as I got into the car I heard Austin’s gravely little laugh and felt his warm hugs. Later that afternoon I went with Caleb to pick Avery up from school and felt her fall into my arms, so innocent and sweet, skipping happily to the car and chatting away that she got two jelly beans from her teacher, awards for something I never quite figured out, but praised her for anyway. That’s what granddads do.

On Friday I laughed with Caleb and Kameron over drinks and dinner that night while the kiddos slept snug in their beds at home with Carmen their nanny watching over them, a loving nurturing woman with a charismatic smile. An immigrant from Mexico. Someone who has endured the hard struggle of assimilation into another country. None of us had any idea that faraway in France people were being murdered in the streets. 

On Saturday we walked in the California sun and reveled in the goodness of life. We celebrated Avery’s birthday with a band of screaming little girls oblivious to terrorists and hate and how cruel the world can sometimes be. I met their parents, good kind people, solid and decent and loving. There was cake and munchies, games and laughter, easy conversations and the joy of celebration.

That is how life should be for all of us. The closeness of family. The delight that comes from being with friends. The gentleness of children. The symmetry of fall with its changing colors and the arrival of chilly nights reminding us how lovely the earth is.

And yet, there remains the reality of terrorism, of seething hostility from people in places near and far. Often without our slightest awareness abominable things are happening to others. The awareness of these horrors eventually breaks into the routine movements of our lives and we realize how dangerous the world can be, how incomplete we all are in our humanity.

The flood of people trying to escape the brutality of war and its atrocities fills me with sadness. So many people displaced with nowhere to go. Can you imagine? I cannot. How can we as a country say to no to refugees from Syria or other war torn places where their daily lives know nothing about birthday celebrations or warm family gatherings, where there is no longer the meaningful routine of work, of traditions, or even the sacredness of safety?  

I want to live in a country of generosity, in a nation of people who are willing to take in the hurting and the frightened from dreadful places plagued by war and violence and devouring evil. I want America to act with grandeur, with grace, to demonstrate over and over again compassion unparalleled across the globe.

I and most of you reading this are so fortunate. We live our comfortable lives enveloped in love with people who care about us. We have plenty to eat. We entertain ourselves easily and often. We have a cozy place we call home where there is food and drink and a warm bed. So many today have so much less. Here, and around the world.

I’m rambling, I know. My thoughts today are with my kids, with the people of Paris, with our president. I feel a bit unmoored, restless, aching for our world, and our own country. Where is the simple kindness toward others that keeps us sane and human? I long for that today. I want people everywhere to be safe today. I want love to win.


© 2015 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…