Cover Up –
This afternoon, on the last half of my walk/run loop I came across a few blue butterflies, gathered on the road. They didn’t fly away as I approached and I thought; “how beautiful.” After a moment, they flew away, revealing a pile of animal excrement. “Yuck!” I thought as I made sure not to step in it.
It was a paradoxical revelation; beauty covering ugliness. Continuing on my way I thought about the truth of the butterflies and the dung. We like attractiveness, excellence, alluring, flashy things that catch our and others’ attention. We like to show off, surround ourselves with gorgeous trinkets for all the world to see and admire.
The problem with this is the ugliness it reveals. When we are motivated to be the envy of our family, friends, neighborhood, community, there is a repulsiveness uncovered. Wisdom teaches us to look for the beauty in others not to crave it to be seen in ourselves. Only then will we truly the whole world be beautiful.
Nipping At Our Heels –
Monday I watched the documentary; “Weiner.”(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTpnBDu6Y6Q) It is the story of Anthony Weiner’s rise and fall on the political landscape not once, but twice, both times because of a sexting scandal. Anthony Weiner is a flawed character that could come straight from a Greek Tragedy (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_tragedy). The sexting wouldn’t work but the narcissism, short-sightedness, being your own worst enemy, destroying everyone and everything you love, certainly would make a fitting template.
The question I came away from the documentary is; “Why?” Why would a person who is obviously charismatic, appears to care for the people of his community, is by all accounts a decent person, except of course the giant gorilla in the room…his addiction to receiving attention no matter the damage, and there’s the answer.
In the end, it cost him the mayoral race of New York, his reputation (again), his marriage and his child. He’s now a television mercenary, for hire to anyone who’ll interview him, put him on a TV show panel, feed his need to be in the spotlight.
Wisdom teaches us the demons of pride, envy, wrath, gluttony (the insatiable want of things), lust, sloth (laziness), and greed are always nipping at our heels waiting for us to think we’re invincible, can control them to sink their teeth into our soul and destroy us and everything we love, hold dear.
One day, a wise Abbot was fishing on the riverbank, when two of the king’s officials came up to him and proclaimed: “Sir, the king has requested that you come to his court and serve as his personal spiritual advisor. You will have servants, the finest clothes, the best delicacies, and monies to provide for you when you are old.”
Without looking up, the elder monk answered, “I have heard that there is a three-thousand-year old dead tortoise the king keeps in the palace, wrapped in silk and resting in a golden box. If you were that tortoise, would you rather be honored in this way or would you rather be alive again, crawling around in the mud?”
The officials replied, “The latter, of course.”
The Abbot smiled and said to them, “Go, and tell the king that I’m happy here, crawling around in the mud.”
Sometimes the dirtiness of life can get to us. We long for a life of ease and comfort, our every whim given to us, all our troubles only a bad dream.
Whatever our picture of a life of luxury may be it’s easy to forget that no matter who you are, what you do, what you have, life is never easy. Every person, no matter their station in life, deals with problems and hardships. No life is perfect and the life we think we want might just make us perfectly miserable.
Living life in the mud isn’t always pleasant but a life truly lived is always better than a life merely dreamt.blessings, bdl
A man invited two of his friends over to his home to present them each gifts: to the first, he gave a fine woolen robe; and to the second, a fine hat. They were both quite pleased with their gifts, but the first cast an envious eye upon the other’s gift, thinking how nicely it would go with his. The second noticed this and, once they had thanked their friend and taken their leave, he invited the first to join him at his own house. When they arrived, he asked for him to please remove his robe and, after also removing his own hat, cast both into the fireplace and burned them.
Jealousy, a powerful force in our world that destroys both the envious and the envied. To rid ourselves of this vice is not possessing what we crave but instead being content and ridding ourselves of things already in our grasp.blessings, bdl