This I Believe:
I believe that there is core of quiet simplicity that underlies the overwhelming complexity of 21st century human existence. I believe that despite the relentless expansion of technical intrusion, life is remarkably calm at the center. The noise that washes us in constant mayhem are merely thoughts – unruly children of the unrested mind.
I believe we are each called to seek a balance between that center of stillness and the urge to produce some token legacy. Gratitude for the miracle of life impels us to give back more than we have been given – that is the ‘welcome to life” order inscribed on each of us at birth. It is a simple, but sublime choice; uncomplicated, but one we cannot ignore. It is the recognition that the human matriculation from Stone Age Survival School to a genuine Civil Society, we have a responsibility that extends beyond our selves.
Of course we are not all called to be great inventors or artists or scholars. But at the end of the twinkling wave of our given lifetimes, we are all called to have injected something into the human community that exceeds our original allotments. Nietzsche’s question, “What have you done today to surpass yourself?” is an awakening challenge to acknowledge the gift of life’s upward tending. That upward tending in which we must participate was what Thomas Wolfe said calls us “to a land more kind than home, to an earth more large,” a place of “greater life, and greater loving.” In lifting ourselves up, or in striving to exceed what we have been, we surpass the anti-living forces of chaos.
“Laziness,” observed Scott Peck, is the true Original Sin. Hence, it is the rude inertia of laziness that restrains us from the lifting up of those assignments given us for completion before we return to the calm center. I believe the rules or life are really simple. We are invited to Lift at the moment we are invited to Live. Lifting is not easy, but work is closely connected with Joy. And within that joy we can more easily hear the hum of the quiet center.