Monday, July 4, 2011

Common Miracles: Week 8

“Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts.
Each time we drop our complaints and allow everyday good fortune to inspire us,
we enter the warrior’s world.”
– Pema Chodron

As I sit and wait for the sun to go down and the fireworks to really begin (the at-home versions have been spitting and popping for awhile already), I can't help but reflect on that intangible thing called freedom. To me, today especially, freedom is certainly a miracle.

We take it for granted; how can we not? It's all most of us have ever known. We murmur and grumble about loss of freedoms post 9/11, from patdowns at the airports to the more serious issue of detaining suspicious individuals indefinitely, but for the vast majority of the population, in almost every circumstance you can imagine, we have amazing freedoms that many citizens in other countries would (and do) fight for. Die for. What would I die for?

I want to be brave. I think that counts for something, the desire. But it's certainly not everything; the question always remains: would I, in the tough situation, make the brave call? To me, it means doing the brave (and hard) thing, each time I see injustice, now. Exercising my brave muscles. Daily. Standing up for people who need it. Allowing others to voice their opinions, even when they are wildly different from my own (and quite probably wrong), and celebrating the fact that we BOTH get to voice our opinions. Speaking out when I see falsehoods perpetrated. As my husband says, setting the bar high for myself, and not letting it down for others. Not judging, just not excusing.

So. That's a little more political that I usually am, here. But today, it feels like the right thing to say. And the right thing to celebrate. I have thought today, a great deal, of all the families who have loved ones fighting in foreign countries for causes that were blurry to start with and have gotten even more so in the years since. And how desperately they want their son or daughter to be one of the ones who makes it home. I do too--I would like for every single person who is currently deployed to come home safely. I know that won't be the case, but I still wish it.

And when they do come home, I hope that every time you see one in uniform, you say, "Thank you." I know that's my goal for myself. Sometimes I get shy, and then oddly weepy, and so I often just smile and nod like a dork. I am always glad when I'm flying and the flight attendants point it out, and say thanks, and the whole plane applauds. My heart fairly bursts. I am SO thankful for what they do, and have done in the past, and continue to do. I'm certainly not showing Seth the door to the military recruitment offices, so have at me for that inconsistency... Regardless, my heart is full of hurt for every family and every individual who has sacrificed so that I can read/watch/travel/pray/curse/burn/meditate/argue/hug to whatever extent I wish.

Hardly a Common Miracle, I guess. But it felt worth noting today.

To see how the Common Miracle project started, go here.


  1. That's it! Just as Grace is costly, so too is Freedom.

  2. I like your husband's comment about 'setting the bar high'. There is value in that.

  3. I liked your thoughts on freedom. We have come to take for granted the basic freedoms. Norman Rockwell summed them up in his freedom series of illustrations... freedom of speech, freedom from want, freedom from fear and freedom of worship.

    I would like to highlight another freedom... the freedom of choice. We can all choose how we want to live our lives. Yet, so often we let life slide along, year after year... often putting more thought into how we will spend our vacation then how we can realize a wonderful life dream.

    What a great opportunity we all have to realize our wildest dreams... and it all hinges on how we allow the cares and daily pressures of life to so totally consume our time that we never get around to setting the goal and then doing just a little every day towards that goal.

    One of my favorite quotes goes back to my Real Estate selling days... when I heard Zig Ziglar at a seminar. He said, "We are what we are and we are where we are because of what we put into our mind. You can change what you are and you can change where you are when you change what you put into your mind."

    The choice is ours.

  4. I really love this post. I'm all over the map with my political views, but I always get a little weepy when I think about what hangs in the balance (individual human lives- it seems so fragile when you think of the individuals that make up the military) and how this country came together. The older I get, the deeper it hits me. The whole "pursuit of happiness" never really struck me until these past few years when I finally GOT what that meant, what important words those are.


Blogger Template By Designer Blogs