Saturday, January 10, 2009

Non-zero Compliance

The news headlines economic disasters, yesterday's, today's and tomorrow's. Trouble is real but what a thief worry is. I totter inwardly on the divide between actively doing what I can to ward off troubles and the mental casting about in the waters of time not yet mine. The dread of a thing can take on more power than the thing itself.

In the early morning my little cat is looking for a responsive object. Her ability to sleep and toy is notable, she has no anxiety to rob her of rest or play. I listen to the refrigerator humming and the gas hissing as I heat water on the stove. These are ordinary seemingly inconsequential sounds and yet awareness of these simple privileges brings me gratitude.

The bigger the trouble, the further from home, the more powerless I feel. There are starving people, warring factions world wide, violence on foot, on wheels, on wing.

Having done all else, scripture says, stand. Where to stand? The concept of circles of influence is helpful. Take starving children for example. I am fat. If I feed myself properly, feed my family, then in widening concentric circles I may have more to give in this realm to others. The excess can go to those who need rather than hang around and hamper my frame.

I know it is only a non-zero drop in the pot of gruel, the bowl of soup, the cup of milk that's daily needed in the famine stricken realms.

And war, it brings up primal questions right away. In moments of stretching for grand compassion I want to see everyone as truly believing they are right; they must believe they assert out of peril for life. But then another awareness, the foul smell of evil asserts itself. There is evil hunger for power, there is insanity, there is fear that leads to hatred. What can I do?

Seek justice, love mercy, the book I read says.

So back to those little concentric circles of influence, in relationships at hand, and in any circle of influence available to me, seek justice, love mercy. There really is nothing new under the sun, but there is so much I have been told and shown that needs entering into.

Where to start, where to start? Postive non-zero compliance, it's a beginning.


1 comment:

Mark said...

"The dread of a thing can take on more power than the thing itself."

This is a cardinal rule for me...over-thinking it only makes the task at hand take even longer and seem harder before the fact. OTOH, under-thinking it leads, predictably, to frustration & futility. So, there remains an appropriate amount of dread...that necessary to realize what is do-able, possible, and what's at stake if not risked.