Facebook has many gifts: we can stay connected, we can reconnect, and we can meet new people and places. There are days when the amount of outrage and rage on Facebook makes me think of swearing off of all social media.
But then there are weeks like this one, where people post links to all sorts of inspirations, which lead me to various sites which make me happy to be alive and hopeful for the future. Let me record some of the links that I've been happiest to find:
Here's a wonderful quote from Desmond Tutu:
“I don't preach a social gospel; I preach the Gospel, period. The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is concerned for the whole person. When people were hungry, Jesus didn't say, ‘Now is that political or social?’ He said, ‘I feed you.’ Because the good news to a hungry person is bread.”
I love that last line. This site gives all sorts of other inspirational quotes.
I've noticed several people finding inspiration from Richard Rohr, and this site gives a daily meditation.
Parker Palmer has been inspiring me for decades, but this blog post spoke to me in multiple ways. It's a graduation address that he gave in 2015 at Naropa University. It includes 6 suggestions for living a good life. Here's a quote that spoke to me this week: "Care about being effective, of course. But care even more about being faithful, as countless teachers do — faithful to your calling and to the true needs of those entrusted to your care. You won’t get the big jobs done in your lifetime. But if, at the end of the day, you can say, 'I was faithful,' you’ll be okay."
And then, while I was at the blog section of the On Being site, I came across these wise words of Sylvia Bernstein: "Spirituality doesn’t look like sitting down and meditating. Spirituality looks like folding the towels in a sweet way and talking kindly to the people in the family even though you’ve had a long day." (for more, go here)
I had never heard of the poet David Whyte before my Mepkin Abbey retreat, and now I feel like I come across references to him every week. This essay was just what I needed the other morning.
For example, he talks about the way that we experience time:
"Sometimes we forget that we don't have to choose between the past or the present or the future. We can live all of these levels at once. (In fact, we don't have a choice about the matter.)
If you've got a wonderful memory of your childhood, it should live within you. If you've got a challenging relationship with a parent, that should be there as part of your identity now, both in your strengths and weaknesses. The way we anticipate the future forms our identity now. Time taken too literally can be a tyranny. We are never one thing; we are a conversation—everything we have been, everything we are now and every possibility we could be in the future."
He's got a great way of thinking about how the way we act now will impact our future: "What could you do now for yourself or others that your future self would look back on and congratulate you for—something it could view with real thankfulness because the decision you made opened up the life for which it is now eternally grateful?"
The whole article is full of lots of interesting ideas, lots to ponder, lots to mull over. He says things that I already knew, but in new ways--and it's good to be reminded of the essential questions!
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