** things that seem true to me. But who knows, eh? I could be full of … well, the proverbial s*it for all I know… We all need a tribe to belong to. None of us can carry alone all the joy, work, responsibility, pain, happiness & potential (etc. etc.) we humans possess / are capable of. Seems to me we now don’t get born into a tribe; we have to seek out & find (or maybe help create?) the one we belong to. No one ever tells us this, btw. You won’t hear it on the nightly news. (I was helped by the novels of Kurt Vonnegut, that Pall Mall-smoking old fart who always made a big point in his books of saying we humans are lost souls & need more community – more good people in our lives. I got turned onto Vonnegut decades back. What a treasure he was.) I feel so fortunate that I found my tribe quite some years ago now… (& trust me, I could expound almost endlessly on this topic of tribe & community, but how about I spare us all?). I do believe it, though. I believe we become lost souls with dried-up spirits if we don’t feel we really & truly belong to something a good deal bigger than our own puny-ish selves (plus, we all have plenty to bring to whatever tribe it is we happen to belong to. Synergy is the grandest thing, isn’t it??)
Things are not liable to make you happy, no matter how frantic & furious the advertising in this ‘Shop ‘till you drop’ culture of ours. Possessions bring us rather fleeting joy, mostly. Had the thought yesterday that that is really the “One True Religion” in the world now: Shop ‘till you drop.** It will make you happy! (So the ads claim.) But it doesn’t, & it won’t. Sorry about that, disillusioned Spaceship Earth inhabitants. The sooner you clue in, the better!! (btw too, contributing very likely will make you happy. See awesome quote about this down below.)
We all need to practice gratitude on a regular basis. But only because it’s free, it’s magical, it’s transformative … & if we had all done this all the way along, we would perhaps now not be facing the likely/possible imminent (or soon-ish) demise of our species. But never mind that. I say all I say in the face of this likely imminent demise – & most of my days are quite joyful, in fact. You see, the magical thing about gratitude is, it’s a wonderful circular phenomenon. You learn to be grateful for things (your list grows, the more you practice; how-to here), you begin expressing your gratitude to the people around you; they “catch” the disease & appreciate you back, & all that wonderful circulating gratitude makes you feel wonderful. It also energizes you. How cool is that?? Gratitude is really worthy of being its own religion, I think. For sure, it’s basically the one I live by. But a religion we need not create institutions around, thank you very much, with all kinds of rules & regulations & admission criteria & control freak-ism run amok & the resulting intolerance, violence & war-making. You dig?? Just simple, garden-variety gratitude. Ahhhhhhh. If only we humans had always “kept it simple,” eh??
p.s. solitude & silence are good things to partake of on a pretty regular basis, I think. I think too many of us get too little, or none. Doses of honesty & truth probably don’t hurt too much either.
p.p.s. all this drafted in still-chaotic surroundings in new apartment, with the shards of a broken wine glass (oops, got careless while washing big load of dishes, using too-small dish drainer) needing to be swept up, & countless neatening, straightening, organizing tasks breathing noisily down my neck…
p.p.p.s. a gratitude habit is the closest thing I can offer you to a magic wand. I’d love-love-love to have a gigantic magic wand to wave over the inhabitants of Planet Earth, but alas, I do not possess such a thing. Gratitude will have to do. (& I am not making up how transformative a thing it is, btw. Would I lie to you??)
p.s. # 4: I say ALL this in the face of possible imminent global nuclear disaster. The thing about gratitude (mixed with Nature appreciation, it can be quite intoxicating!!) is, even when there is nothing else left, it will still serve us all well. (I think. I’m prepared to gamble on it, anyway…)
p.s. # 5 - ages later: another thing folks don't know & need to: it is pretty amazing how much a small # of people can accomplish. No shit. Not making that up. Activism rocks, & so does protesting. Apathy deadens; activism energizes. Don't take my word for it - try it out for yourself!!
** re: Shop 'till you drop: btw, Guy McPherson articulated this (& quite a bit else) in this presentation. Hard-hitting dude, this one! No candy-coating whatsoever.
‘Quote of the day’ with this post: “I would not interfere with any creed of yours or want to appear that I have all the cures. There is so much to know… so many things are true… The way my feet must go may not be best for you. And so I give this spark of what is light to me, to guide you through the dark, but not tell you what to see.” – Author unknown
Some Other Relevant Quotes
“Until you make peace with who you are, you’ll never be content with what you have.” – Doris Mortman (according to the little piece of paper with that saying, the one that’s up on my fridge).
“Two centuries of philosophers stand in opposition to the modern American recipe for happiness and fulfillment. You can’t buy your way in. You can’t amuse yourself in. You can’t even expect falling in love to deliver you. The most promising way to happiness is, perhaps, through creativity, through literally creating a fulfilling life for yourself by identifying some unique talent or passion and devoting a good part of your energy to it, forever.” ~ Kalle Lasn/Bruce Grierson in Utne Reader
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Norman MacEwan
“Without music, life is a journey through a desert.” – Pat Conroy (now ain’t that the truth??)
Quotes from the queen of quotations (that’s me!) on