Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the tag “Compassion”

Detachment or Indifference?

No doubt there are many reasons to be concerned about the world’s issues. Throughout history there has been focused attention on the separation of cultures, religious beliefs, power and money. There are many reasons I can say I care, but overall I can say that I have become less interested.

Charting The Course

A travesty you say? How can you be so unfeeling? How can you not  personally care about the hate,greed and malice of the world around us? People insist that you HAVE to care about the political landscape – you must have an opinion and you better well be landing on the one that whomever you are talking to is passionate about. There is this sense of urgency to be “correct”.

Sorry to disappoint, but I am likely to say that the battle of with cancer has led me to be more detached more than indifferent. .
Many things don’t  take the same priority as  they it once did.
Oliver Sacks from the New York Times recently said in an article on his diagnosis of terminal cancer at aged 81:”Seeing life from a great altitude. This detachment to things that belong to the future. The future will be left in great hands in some cases.”

Honestly I have gotten much closer to God (perhaps the greater altitude) and the meaning of my future, and that future to me means eternity. But the future here on Earth is going to go on without me. And I have to accept that day will come, as it will for each and every one of us.

So am I indifferent? No. I would like to see more people have peace in their lives, to save their temper for the fight against the deterioration of the human condition. Perhaps that would be worth some passion…

New Year or New Day?

Being away from posting on “Tracks in the Dust” for a bit. I wanted to add my comments about celebrating the new year of 2015. We are all looking for milestones in our lives aren’t we? To assure we are making forward progress, to be sure that we can commemorate the passing of a significant moments (anniversary, birthday etc).

Are you ever finished? Where do you draw the line?

A New Day: As it ends, it will start again

Over time I have learned that those special milestones are worthy of celebration, however that also recalls that every single day should be a milestone for life. There is a special meaning in everyday that we are here on this earth. We have time. Time to rejoice in God’s countenance, to embrace our loved ones with the thanks for the comfort and piece of mind that goes with knowing that we are all here for each other.

I am risking being cliché in so many ways. But as the clock struck midnight on 2014 and 2015 had arrived, it seemed like I was profoundly reminded that everyday should be about celebrating that it has come. The calendar is man-made, the pages that turn on it are governed by the 24 hours it contains, but each minute of those hours is a new opportunity to take a breath and understand the meaning of it. We connect with many people over each day, We need to do it with the kindness and compassion that we are all passing through this life “kinda fast” ( as the song “Tracks in the Dust”  says).

I am happy for the new year, I am happy for the new day. I am happy that I can share it with others, with the ones I love and that I have the faith to know what will happen when the last day arrives for me. Hopefully you have that comfort also, and celebrate the new day every day.

Happy New Day!

Thankful for Our Children

My wife has said before that as a parent you may not always like your kids, but you will always love them. There may be some sense in that for many of us. As our kids get older and become adults they have had plenty of time to formulate their own idea of the order of their lives. Sometimes they make poor choices ( and you wonder if anything soaked in during those younger years), sometimes they take things for granted or create problems that are not really there.

One thing I have learned as my kids got older ( they are all over 21 now) is that they are forever entwined in their childhood personas. When they were born, from the day they could actually respond to things around them, my wife and I could tell that each of our four children were unique in their own way. They had their own way of looking at the world from virtually the day they were born. And all the life lessons and teaching you could apply would help to shape the edges, but their personality was something they were born with.

So as adults my wife and I can still see it. We had 3 sons in a row, and each one of them had their own perspective on things. While one of them was Intellectually reason out the simplest of problems ( even at 3 years old), another one of them got easily frustrated and would work to plan to manipulate his surroundings , the third was laid back and things would roll off and he would work through things in such a simple way and just smile. My daughter was our last, she was earthy, of the earth she loves animals more than people, enjoys nature and adjusts to things overtime when she finds the balance.

One thing they all had in common was music, my children did not all become consummate musicians ( however one of them has composed a number of great songs playing all the instruments and vocals). But music was meaningful. It is the canvas in which our lives would speak through sound and emotion. It ties us together in so many ways.

So this holiday season, when my adult kids will all be visiting our home we are thankful. We are grateful that we have had the opportunity to experience being a parent and proud of what they have become.

Why Don’t You Say Hello!?

OwlsThere are times when it seems we are just not connected to what’s going on around us. There are certainly times when I pass by someone on the street or in a store and they seem to be so deeply into “their world” that it can take pause to wonder if they realize they are in public.

Strangers avert their eyes, They don’t want to appear to be eager to talk or interact in any way. With news of such violent times all around us, it is probably to be expected that many do not want to initiate something that could result in harm or anguish.

It’s a shame though really.Being connected to the world means you can understand it more. Being connected to each other would help to prevent the very fear of the unknown that roots in our aversion. It is ironic that we can be so transparent on social media, where there is an electronic physical space between all of us, but face to face, it can seem so different.

Not everyone is like that. It is refreshing to see someone you don’t know who may catch your glance and say “good morning” or “hello” or something. Just an acknowledgment that we are all moving along in this timeline together. It doesn’t mean we have to be fast friends, or relate to each other on any subjective level. Just a polite smile and a “hello”.

It may be a little easier at the holidays. “Happy Holiday’s” or “Merry Christmas” seems to be okay and has some more appeal than just looking away. But then even-so, we may be addressing someone who doesn’t celebrate the season. But no matter, it is just the fact we intended to make contact, intended to recognize that there is another human-being going through waking hours and making an effort to live life.

Like all of us I’d guess, I struggle with a lot of burdens (health in particular) and I have a lot of opinions on things, but I am not trying to throw them to someone else with a simple “hello” or “good-day” – just seems the right thing to do. It can give comfort to the fact that we are humankind. Well for the most part anyway ;)

Fear of the Unknown

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”

Maria Robinson, American author

Fear

New beginnings come with the idea that there is always unknowns about where the journey should lead. I know I struggle with that every day. It compounds itself in worry, or makes me pull-back from what I am doing and do little or nothing at all. It can make we wish that tomorrow would not come, when there is really no way to stop it. It can create things in the moment that stop me from seeing the things that are right in front of me.

So fear of the unknown is likely to be something to contend with. Our worry over our loved ones, family and children, worry over how to make ends meet or our health. With that worry comes unhappiness, and the possibility of depression.

So what to do about it? For me I have to learn better to share my fears. With my loved ones, with my friends and spiritual leaders. with God who are  all in my life. I have always been private about things in general I guess. I probably got that from my father who seemed to be like that when I was growing up. Perhaps the stoic approach seems good on the surface- after all “why burden others” with your worries and fears?

What you find out is that if you share them, most other people have worries and fears as well. Many times the very same ones. There is no way to turn back the clock. But I can start today and make a new ending…by sharing my fears and thoughts with those who love me. For some ( perhaps even reading this blog) that may mean very little, for others it may allow them to understand themselves better as well.

 

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