To Plant Something Good Anywhere
For all of the hate, there is this love.
For all of the anger, this contentment.
For all of the despair, this hope.
This is as real as all of that.
Each of us, to some extent, lives in a bubble of our own making. It gets punctured from time to time by ourselves, by our circumstance, by life in general, and even a tiny hole can leave us out of sorts – disenfranchised, even – by the change in air pressure around us.
We feel off, then; life feels off.
When it feels off, it is good to get back to the basics: to put down our phones, to make a meal and sit down to eat it, to turn off our television or our radio, to go for a walk, to talk to our neighbor, to listen to the people we love, to make eye contact with another living being, to smile, to laugh, to garden, to plant anything good anywhere that might become something more beautiful eventually.
Doing any of that is just as true as whatever else has occurred in the world that has felt awful that day. Adding any bit of beauty to our world counts. If each of us, instead of asking the question “What is our world coming to?” when bad things happen in it, went out and managed to perform some large or small offering of goodness, what would it feel like? What would our world actually come to then? After an offering of goodness, if we still needed to, we could ask, “What is this world coming to?” and we could look around and see something beautiful that we helped to create, that we somehow set in motion.
Instead of blaming, we’d be creating. Instead of asking loud, rhetorical questions, we’d be offering quiet, real solutions.
This sun was shining. This baby – he will always be my baby – was trying to kiss my face off. I was laughing. All the kids on the block were playing outside, yelling and running through my muddy yard. My husband was working at a job he loves.
I am privileged. We are privileged.
Terrible, unconscionable things were happening somewhere while all of this went on here. Terrible, awful things. Terrible, awful things have happened even in my bubble; even if we think we can keep everything terrible and awful out, we cannot. Even with privilege, life offers no immunity. Without privilege, you have already been exposed.
There is no known inoculation for all of the terrible and awful things, but peace can help. And peace comes from love and compassion.
And this love, this goodness is as real as anything.
Find it, spread it, offer it, give it, plant it, grow it, work on it, receive it, and make it as real as any of the terrible things we see in the world so that someday it grows into something that offers a beautiful answer to the question “What is this world coming to?”
To beauty, to love, to kindness, to goodness. From planting something good somewhere.
It is Holy Saturday today for Christians and it is holy Saturday for everyone because it’s the only Saturday like this one we’ve got. Give it something good.