This I Believe

Harvey - Minneapolis, Minnesota
Entered on August 28, 2006
Age Group: 65+

This I Believe

…in the beauty and sanctity of life. I am a teacher above and after all. I get to “inspire” the future of and for my students. At least, I hope so. But this is increasingly difficult in these puzzling times.

I believe that we are in a very strange moment of history, when our ideas and beliefs in the present and future have come into question. Many of us are looking away from life’s experiences and possibilities, toward the past-times of the prophets we invoke and worship. Instead of looking toward the world and life, many of us are praising books: texts which we seek to inform us of the possible…but usually beyond life.

The sorts of people who offered us life and its gifts (and costs and complications) -parents and teachers, seem diminished. The world of people has shifted into our being consumers, removed from ourselves and the sanctity of others. There are few students of “their” teachers, no patients of “their” doctors. Fewer of us seem to be “at home.”

Our children are tuned increasingly into toys, videos, and audios which entertain, and tend to direct them within themselves. There is less a sense of self and the other. Much more is directed toward some notions of success; or toward a “Return,” by others’ definitions. How can we offer them meaning, and be exemplars of our love for life, however complicated?

We are in some ultimate argument about what is real: life – or death? How did we get here: as the positive outcome of our parent’s love – or a “fall” from heaven to earth? Not love of ourselves, others, and life – but a sense that we must be redeemed, and return to a pre-destined place of ultimate permanence.

Why? Most is driven, I think, by the plethora of technological changes. When the changes get too large, so quick, it takes our breath away. To catch our breaths, to push away the sense of change which feeds a feeling of chaos, we look away: back in history…as the present and future fade.

What can we do? I believe that we need to imagine the ongoingness of each of our lives. We need to direct them toward the continuing expression and understanding of who we are and might want to be in the context of the longest lives we can imagine for ourselves and everyone. It is very helpful to meditate on who we are, how we got here, where we are now, and where we might want to change and go toward our next places in life.

I believe in the beauty and sanctity of life, each day and toward the future. I believe that I am a teacher above all, and hope to inspire a sense for and towards a living future.