Tuesday, February 14, 2012


I'm about to give up on relativity. I want to be an absolutist. And I want to toss out my preconceived notions of highs and lows. I want to live in the moment and declare it a high. Every single one of them. Except, of course, the ones that totally kick me in the gut. I'm not sure how I'm going to deal with those yet. I'll let you know when I figure it out. Or maybe you can give me a clue.

For the past few days, I've been trying to smile on my commute to work. Do you know how good it feels to smile at pure randomness? It's awesome. Sometimes, I see something and I think "wow, that's cool". Other times, I see something and I force myself to think of something good.

The Dalai Lama published this on Facebook yesterday.

"If we can manage to refrain from harming others in our everyday actions and words, we can start to give more serious attention to actively doing good, and this can be a source of great joy and inner confidence. We can benefit others through our actions by being warm and generous toward them, by being charitable, and by helping those in need."

How awesome is that? And then my friend Ellen noted on facebook that someone had been second-guessing her parenting, and it obviously hurt her. I hate that. I wished that person was reading the Dalai Lama's words.

I've been reading a lot of words meant to heal.

After rain, beautiful flowers.

Understanding sadness makes the joy more real.

Only through death can we experience life.

But I don't think it has to be this way. Or maybe I just don't want it to be this way. Why can't I look at the daffodil fighting to get through in my garden and know joy, without contrasting it with the dark earth that appears so sullen? Better yet, why can't I look at the dark earth and say to myself "that earth is perfectly placed and beautiful" and know that it provides life to untold plants and animals?

What if every moment we lived life we declared it beautiful? Because that rain? It is awesome. And not just because it makes the beautiful flowers.

Today, Helen brought home a pile of handmade valentines from her classmates. She loved them. Until she saw Connor's collection of cards decked out with a piece of candy. Suddenly, hers seemed somehow inferior. Hers will be around for months to come while Connor's will be devoured and moved on from. The mere existence of his today, though, dampens her feelings toward her own. That makes me sad. If relativity weren't involved, Helen would've loved hers even in the face of Connor's sweet treats. Helen's valentines? They are absolutely beautiful. I'm going to sit with her again tomorrow and listen to her tell me who made each one.


  1. Are you comparing Waldorf and public school experiences? Or am I reading too much into this post?

    1. I think it's more than that. We allow ourselves to look at what others have, do, etc., and then feel badly about our own lot. When, in the absence of that knowledge of others, we could be perfectly happy. Much pondering to do.

  2. Doing good for others 'creates inner joy and confidence'? Completely agree!
    And thank you for not calling the earth 'dirt'. There is something about how it's called in the US that grates me. This soil of the earth, deep loamy goodness should never be confused with dirt.

  3. Yeah, I wish they would have read that too ! Thank you for the comforting words of the Dalai Lama. I'm posting it on my FB page.

    Susan Niebur once posted something along these lines, but it was more about being happy with being given what one needs.