This week, I encountered a quote from poet-activist Wendell Berry:
“We have lived our lives by the assumption that
what was good for us would be good for the world.
We have been wrong. We must change our lives
so that it will be possible to live by the contrary
assumption, that what is good for the world
will be good for us. And that requires that we
make the effort to know the world and learn
what is good for it.”
I love this thought. I think it’s spot-on, speaking to a fundamental shift in how we view ourselves in relationship to each other, to society, to the environment, and to everyone and everything in it.
I do wonder, however, about Berry’s statement that such a shift hinges on a “contrary” assumption; it seems to me more an expansion than a reversal, an awareness of reciprocity that invites us, simply, to be a little less self-centered. Or, perhaps, it’s an invitation to practice thinking of ourselves and our own good with a greater, inclusive, and automatic remembrance of our deep connection to the whole wide world.
Last week, I talked about taking a STAND — greeting Life boldly with an empowered and creative declaration of self and place. This morning, I’m thinking about who/what we imagine that we’re greeting when we say, “Here I am.”
Not just “Here I am,” but also and with equally creative generosity, “Here you are.”
I recognize how much of the time I respond to Life like I’m being challenged to a wrestling match, or a race, or a duel. Sometimes I do it preemptively — before the world has even had a chance to say anything. It’s like answering the phone with “What the hell do you want now?!”
What might be available if I answered these calls, instead, with an expectation of delightful surprises, with wonder, and with eager anticipation?
Maybe it can be not just “Here you are,” but “Here you are, and how perfectly marvelous! Hello, I love you!”
I can’t wait to see you this Sunday, September 15. Service at 10. XO, Drew
© 2019 Drew Groves