Saturday, August 05, 2006

engaging with the real world

Sometimes I wonder if I don't walk around with my head buried in the sand! I know this is a big, bad world where lots of big, bad things happen, but - my own dysfunctional family aside - not in my town, not amongst my friends.

So it's been something of a shock to discover over the last few weeks that I live and move amongst people caught up in big, bad happennings. Like one-night-stands that break a heart and crazy one-night-flings that break a relationship. Or all-consuming longing for someone to walk through life with and walking away from a once-loved partner. All here in my very own neighbourhood, amongst my very own circle of friends.

I feel as if I'm playing a computer game where I have to dodge flying objects that threaten to hit me in the face. Bad news keeps flying at me from every direction and I'm ducking and weaving in an effort to avoid the fall out of other people's tragedies.

Only I'm not really ducking and weaving to avoid their pain - I genuinely want to help and support them, to offer love and acceptance, to hold out hope. But how? I'm one little person - how can I ever make a difference in the face of such overwhelming pain?

It strikes me that the only way to make a difference is in the small things. A smile, a hug, a phone call, a card of encouragement. I need to stop trying to take in all the pain and hurt of the world and engage with the person right there in front of me. Offer help one day, one interaction at a time. Be with a person, hear them, feel their pain and respond appropriately in that moment. Share love in the everyday, small incidents of life and watch hope blossom (in the best case scenario!).

The words of a song by Nickelback keep playing through my head:

If everyone loved, and nobody lied
If everyone cared, and nobody cried
If everyone shared, and swallowed their pride
Would we see the day that nobody died?

Unlikely that everyone will ever love, care or share... but if I do, I just might make a difference for somebody. That's my plan anyway! May God make me an instrument of his love and peace.


At 9:31 pm, August 05, 2006, Anonymous luke said...

Hmmm. It is truly a big bad world.

My advice: get a pet. They're delightfull uncomplicated. And very cuddly. If they have fur.

All advice aside, I think you've hit the nail on the head. We like to be able to fix things, but we just can't. All we can take responsibility for is what we do, and OPC (Other-Person Centredness) will make the biggest difference.

Pity that we all suck at OPC tho. Well, I do anyway. Maybe you've got it sorted :-)

Oh, and about the dysfunctional family ... didn't know you'd put us in that box! We, like most families, have had more than our fair share of crap dished out, but, according to your own thesis, it can't be fixed ... just helped along by some OPC.

At 2:06 pm, August 08, 2006, Blogger Robyn said...

"Offer help one day, one interaction at a time. Be with a person, hear them, feel their pain and respond appropriately in that moment." Sounds like a very good strategy to me. Otherwise it all gets a little overwhelming. You're a good friend, Cec!

At 8:13 pm, August 10, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mmmm - every post has a subtext. If only you could know every conversation your random ponderings spawn. Not that I actually read with any focus - I do apologise. The reason I came to look was the apparent distress that the concept of divulging the family skeletons (to the world wide community of interested blog trackers - which devour such tasty morsels as one finds on this masterpiece of webery) caused. If that made any sense we're not as dysfunctional as first thought.

Still what to say - dysfunctional self-diagnosis would seem to be a misnomer. How could a dysfunctionalite provide meaningful analysis of one's own state of upbringing? The very nature of our formative years would frame the paradigm of judgment, so thus relegating us to the place of irrelevance.

Mmmm - this 'anonymous' blog has been a masterful attempt to trivialise a hot topic in non-cyberspace, arising from a non-event really. Still dysfunctionality breeds sensitivity, and thus the conversation that captured my partial interest in your blog.

Your annonymous other sibling...

At 9:15 pm, August 10, 2006, Blogger Cecily said...

LOL... I thought that comment might spark comment from the family. Ah well, what can I say... I'm honest when I write, and that was not the point of the blog at all. Big shame that what I was really writing about got lost in just one word.

Thanks Robyn for your nice comment that indicates you actually got the point of the whole blog!

At 2:27 pm, August 11, 2006, Anonymous luke said...

I got the point of it. Didn't stop me ranting about one word tho! And our 'anonymous other sibling' just fluffed on. Don't know how he manages to make his sermons meaningful really ... :-D


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