I have a few convictions in life; guiding principles that steer this old boat. Do unto others as you would want done unto you and that sort of thing. One of them is a commitment to stay absolutely ridiculous.
Apparently Marilyn Monroe once said; “Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”
Now there’s an unexpected source. But principles I can live by:
- Throw my my mass media produced standards of beauty into the recycle bin
- Look at things from a different point of view, and get more information from the source, perhaps the idea isn’t that crazy.
- Risk the embarrassment. What a story it will be when I tell my kids how revolution started.
Me and JLo cutting our wedding cake
My favorite kind of nostalgia, is that brought about while listening to a well written (and sometimes sung) song. There’s just something that a sweet melody releases. The secret ingredients of a song has the ability to take me to the places I’ve been, the people I’ve shared life with and the things I’ve said. And every time this happens I realize what an incredible gift we’ve been given. Life. With all its heartache and all of its joy. To be truly alive, to truly live is to be reckless in the universe. We live everyday making decisions that impact on eternity and yet we are not in the slightest aware of what will happen in the next second. Every moment we hang onto life by a string, not knowing when we’ll be cut off and flung into the abyss of eternity future. The more I have of this life the more I realize that there is no way that the best Instagram filtered photo, or eloquent and demographically appropriate Facebook status could ever capture, the intimacy and realness of every second we get to be in a relationship (or even just conversation) with another human being. It’s glorious. Our best attempts turn these experiences into little anecdotal stories that we retell whenever we see each other. I bask in the light of those times, because for a brief moment I get to be there again, in that moment feeling those emotions as crisp and clear as a breeze in winter.
And so I write for those that have helped me create these scrumptious moments that I can return to when songs drift into my flat or when I see a sunrise or sunset. Do you remember when we were once all together in that one bedroom back yard flat or that mansion of a house with its crazy fur ball cat, or that open plan office or that cold lecture theatre (which had us dreary as heck). All the while living. We all grew up then. Life wasn’t always kind to us and each in our turn received bitter pain and regret, but also bliss and joy. Man, we caught those moments, and held it close, and forever they are imprinted in me. Life is at its sweetest when you can spend every day with your friends. We are now scattered World Changers, a family of dreamers and planet shakers. May we reunite again someday and feast on stories of old, and tell of the adventures we now know. Let’s never stop making memories that count.
I’ve been thinking a lot about hope or the lack thereof. There are moments in time when it seems like humanity has just lost it. We are frantic with trying to prove ourselves and our points of views. We sling articles like hand grenades and use social media comment boxes like machine guns, in our desperate attempts to win a war of self-righteous vindication. And I’m afraid that in the process we are forgetting our humanity. At the core of it we are all still humans with emotions, dreams and hopes. Each uniquely made and crafted. We forget our common struggle for survival in this life. We all want happiness, freedom and beauty. And therein lies hope, that we inherently want good, the reality is that Evil in the end will be defeated.
Image courtesy of Cape Town Tourism: http://www.capetown.travel/blog/entry/table-mountain-sunrise-flickr-pic-of-the-day
It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which,if you say it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree helping each other to one or the other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilites, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all of our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – These are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.
― C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory
Somehow after hearing this quote last night life just made sense and when I awoke there was a moment of clarity. I realized that every day we can have these moments of clarity. It doesn’t take a huge occurrence, or a life changing experience to have such a moment. It sometimes is as simple as hearing a hello or a goodbye, seeing a smile on the face of a stranger, or sharing time with someone you really care about, or sometimes its just seeing a sunset on your daily commute. These touch points of life remind us that we are loved, by someone, that we belong to the human race and beyond all this, there is a divine being whose love is unlimited, transcendent and perfect.
I digress; there are no ordinary people. The universe has just not been set up that way. Unfortunately we think that extraordinary people are those that do something to make themselves special. The truth is the God of this universe has chosen to love all people and that makes everyone extraordinary. There is comfort in this: there is a challenge in this. I am not just another number, or an employee in a company or a member of some club or an accountant I am a child of God and I am extra ordinary. And so are you. But then this is also a challenge because everyone I look at does not deserve to be treated the way I interact with them. At the very least they deserve wonder. Let me think about that for a while…