Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Being in relationship = being human

Just to continue the thought from my previous post. I long to be a 'contributing member of society' in some tangible way... most people probably long for that. Even though in some way that will probably look like earning my own income --enough to provide for myself and hopefully care for some others-- society needs more than people that can make money. Maybe part of the problem with the world is that we train people to be money-makers and we don't teach people how to be human.

Even though my pride has been on the line this summer, my humanity has been affirmed. I have had time to watch, listen, and enjoy people. I have watched people rushing, exhausted, and apparently frustrated with their daily tasks. I have listened to people trying to understand the purpose of the work they do (which earns them the income I am diligently trying to acquire) and I've enjoyed sharing little moments of beauty, celebration and presence with others.

The idea of 'practicing the presence of people' (some guy wrote a book with that title spinning it off of that other book 'Practicing the Presence of God') and 'living fully present' have been my companions in the midst of a diligent job search, interview process, and a cycle of excitement, disappointment, doubt, and hope. Nothing gives me quite the same kind of satisfaction that I get when I know I've had a good, deep, and meaningful conversation with someone . I've had many of those this summer and I realize that I'm blessed.

Knowing that I will be headed to El Salvador soon is exciting because finally I'm moving forward but, in this case, it is moving only through the support, love, and encouragement of people who have allowed themselves to be fully present to me, to hear my heart, to know my dreams, and to support me. This means that any success or failure is not entirely mine, it is shared. It gives me greater motivation to do well and courage to risk failure when I know that people have heard my heart and want to share with me so that I can do those things that I believe are good and worth doing.

I still have a lot of hope stored up. I still have a lot of fears that I cling to but, all in all... I am growing in the understanding of what it means to be human and I hope to keep that awareness even in the de-humanizing systems of business and economics that we've created for ourselves. I hope that I will work to create because it is human to create not merely for the sake of earning money. I will work to serve others because it is human to be connected to others and be in relationship, not to use others or get anything from them. I will seek to love because I have been loved first.

*I'm going to try to be-friend some Salvadorans before I leave... yay for Pupusas!

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live the questions now... R.M. Rilke