GeoFee's picture

GeoFee

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The Court of Opinion

Does what we do in our everyday action and interaction count for good or ill?

 

I take the position that one person living with integrity makes possible a new way of being in the world. I believe this just as I believe a line may be extrapolated from a dot. It is the persistence in singularity that marks one for the purposes of God. The way is narrow and straight.

 

Those who have chosen to walk this narrow way influence every situation with the leaven of possibility for decision and purpose. This though we occupy no position of formal authority. Being in a room introduces light as we loose ourselves in the love of God.

 

I lectured on spiritual care with an entering year nurse class. We spoke of presence as the key component of competent care. The practice of care consists in being present with support and encouragement in the circumstance of some set of circumstances. I proposed that a momentary encounter at the bedside could have trajectory shifting implications. A student called me on this. How could a few moments of being with the other bring about any meaningful chance of change?

 

Serendipity seems the hallmark of spiritual liberty. Each moment in the succession of moments seems somehow opened to disclose it unique opportunity for preferring that which helps over that which hinders.

 

Buber notes that the whole diversity of being conspires to educate the human soul, to draw it forth to the fullness of its gift and calling. He goes on to notice the educator as one who participates consciously in the Holy purpose.

 

Each of us occupies a realm of influence. There we shine and cast shadow. There we are formed and reformed, by the critical concern of others walking with us along this opening way.

 

I was much encouraged by Kierkegaard's "Knight of Faith" reflections. The ordinary made extra-ordinary by a step beyond the limit of reason.

 

Living the most ordinary lives of all we make present at the heart of each moment opportunity for meeting, encountering and welcoming strangers met along the way. Gaining the benefit of differing perspective on common concern.

 

Socrates gives me hope. Doing little more than meeting interesting persons in public places he influences the whole of our western trajectory. His relevance today is astounding. All because he practiced the art of inquiry by which power may be called to the bar of reason.

 

He lived his experience with a critical concern for the means by which the good may be obtained. As a single one in the court of opinion he continues to hold his own against the rationalizations of power. The very idea of the good as a numerical value; a commodity!

 

Does our meeting here matter?

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SG's picture

SG

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I have seen a few lines from dots here. So, does our meeting here matter? I would say so.

MikePaterson's picture

MikePaterson

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Very well put, Geo. 

 

Engagement and curiosity (for its own sake) are two traits/practices that fairly reliably lead us to compassion, openness and "right" discernment. A big obstacle is the ambient noise level in our society.

Pilgrims Progress's picture

Pilgrims Progress

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GeoFee wrote:

   

I lectured on spiritual care with an entering year nurse class. We spoke of presence as the key component of competent care. The practice of care consists in being present with support and encouragement in the circumstance of some set of circumstances. I proposed that a momentary encounter at the bedside could have trajectory shifting implications. A student called me on this. How could a few moments of being with the other bring about any meaningful chance of change?

 

 

GeoFee,

Here is my answer for your student nurse.................

 

In my twenties I was hospitalised on several occasions with clinical depression.

I began to despair of ever leading a meaningful life.

 

A conversation with a nurse played a major part in my subsequent recovery.

 

I told her I didn't want to die - but that I found living too painful.

Why was I weaker than other people? My crises were no different to theirs - but they coped so much better?

 

She herself was a strong competent woman - much admired by we patients.

 

She looked at me and said, "Weak? I don't see you as weak. I've seen you re-admitted here very ill - but in no time at all you bounce back and are discharged. You're like one of those plastic toys at the fair - it doesn't take much to knock you down, but you sure know how to bounce right back up again. That shows strength in my book."

 

 

I'm now 60+ - and each time I face a crisis in my life - I remember that nurse and her words. That image of a plastic toy is now foremost in my mind  - and I say to myself, "you'll bounce back", and I do.

 

GeoFee wrote:

Living the most ordinary lives of all we make present at the heart of each moment opportunity for meeting, encountering and welcoming strangers met along the way. Gaining the benefit of differing perspective on common concern.

 

Since meeting that nurse many years ago I've learnt the value of this statement - and tried to live it in my own life.

 

I've learnt the most valuable gift we all possess is to give of ourselves - and when we do we are rewarded more than I would have once felt possible.

 

 

Wondercafe is no different in my experience than "real" life.

 

I've been given so much by many folks here - and I've tried to show my heartfelt appreciation by giving back whenever I can.................

 

InannaWhimsey's picture

InannaWhimsey

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Scientists discover just how right Margaret Mead was

Some 2 billion connected to the Internet

The Long Tail, excerpted from the video below this one

The Longer flick

 

I see this applying also to things like religion -- it seems that the "old idea" of monotheistic Christianity (which was a polytheism trying to get people to agree on one main worldview to save it from itself = monotheism), say, was that everyone was Christian (scarcity) but now, just like Krisnamurti has said (1 religion for everyone on Earth), Churches are going to have to deal with the long tail of religion, where everyone has and can have their own :3

 

Real self-governance/anarchy or, as I am calling it, the Global Human Spring (or Polytheistic living).

 

Hopefully the change that is happening right now from a scarcity economy (with its wasteful concept of jobs) to a scarcity-free economy won't be too damaging (as all radical change is).

GeoFee's picture

GeoFee

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Pilgrim's Progress wrote:
Since meeting that nurse many years ago I've learnt the value of this statement - and tried to live it in my own life.

 

Thank you for sharing your experience. My wife is dean of Nursing in our city's university. She thinks your story would be encouraging to nurse students as they face the implications following their practice of care. May we share it with respect for your anonymity?

SG's picture

SG

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GeoFee,

 

One single moment, one tiny word, one look, a smile... it can all be life changing.

 

We had a boarding home for elderly in our home. The dog and I knew when people were about to die. I cannot recall if the dog led me or if I led the dog. We would simply march in and sit down. There were times I held their hands,stroked their hair and times I just sat on death vigil. What did it mean? It meant they were not alone.

 

I was in hospital, on a feeding tube and told I was in all likelihood going to die in my early thirties. A nurse was frustrated with me and asked why I had to be such a pain. I scribbled on my notepad, "I am dying". She said, "I work here every day in death and you are not dying until we are calling a code blue, honey". In that moment, my whole perspective changed.

 

 

In coming to accepting my homosexuality, it was one word "oh" that made my mom pick up the phone and call me after years of silence (including during my illness). My mom casually mentioned her number of children and a woman said, "that is one more than I know of". My mom said, "I do not talk about that one." The lady, a retired nurse said something like "is that one in jail?" My mom said no. She asked about addictions, employment... Finally my mom said, "she is gay". To which this brilliant woman said "oh" in a tone that changed my mother for good.

 

I went to witness an execution in Huntsville, Texas by lethal injection on an August night. A double whammy execution, two prisoners. (It was not my first and will not likely be my last) Johnny Paul Penry's case had brought me to that place. That night he sat on death row and I was working to make sure he was not killed. A man who still believed in Santa Claus and who coloured with an IQ in the 50's.

So, I was there as a reporter, an Amnesty International worker, as a human being...

His name was Oliver Cruz. He was diagnosed with mental retardation at a young age. He had an IQ in the 60's as an adult. The person who committed the crime with him, not impaired,  took a plea and Oliver took the fall. Many nights like that since all I have had were tears and I like to think they mean something... That night, I had a tear filled smile... it was all I had... I like to think it meant something.

 

BTW  Governor Perry in 2009, the same Gov, Perry now running for the US presidency vetoed the bill to ban the execution of the mentally retarded saying Texas, the state with the highest rate of execution, "already has numerous safeguards in place to protect them." It did not help Milton Mathis in June.

 

Stop executing the most vulnerable!

 

Can one thing said on Wondercafe mean something? I hope so.

 

 

 

 

Pilgrims Progress's picture

Pilgrims Progress

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GeoFee wrote:

 May we share it with respect for your anonymity?

Of course!

GeoFee's picture

GeoFee

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Thanks Pilgrim!

 

 

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