Wednesday, March 31, 2010

And In the Re-Write, I Say...

Twenty years ago, I wrote a paper.  I re-read the literature involved, and then posted the paper on my other blog, the review blog:

Parts of it are a little impressive. 

Other parts suck. 

I spent a year writing the paper after reading and thinking about my topic for two.

Here's a quote from Walker Percy's The Second Coming that made me consider my topic in the first place.  The speaker is Father Weatherbee, an old-school Roman Catholic priest asked to perform a marriage for the two very special main characters:
How can we be the best dearest most generous people on earth, and at the same time so unhappy? How harsh everyone is here! How restless! How impatient! How worried! How sarcastic! How unhappy! How hateful! How pleasure-loving! How lascivious! Above all, how selfish! Why is it that we have more than any other people, are more generous with what we have, and yet are so selfish and unhappy? Why do we think of nothing but our own pleasure? I cannot believe my eyes at what I see on television. It makes me blush with shame. Did you know that pleasure-seeking leads to cruelty? That is why more and more people beat their children. Children interfere with pleasure. Do you hate children? Why can't we be grateful for our great blessings and thank God?" As he gazed down at the desk, he seemed to have forgotten Will Barrett. His voice sank to a whisper. "Why is it that Americans who are the best dearest most generous people on earth are so unhappy? (410)
We ARE unhappy. Even those of us who profess to be happy, who do all the things that happiness requires, who have all the wealth, spiritual and/or physical, and who are also being GOOD, are not happy.
I know this.
I know it because I listen to women.
I have a friend who is so hard on herself that she sabotages every relationship she starts with a man.  She's AMAZING with women; in fact, she is my best friend.  Put a man on the scene and she turns into the-woman-we-all-hate AND the woman-she-herself-hates.  I can't understand it.  AND, I will not let her be THAT woman anymore.  Time to shift paradigms. 
I have a friend who takes such good care of those in her life that those she cares for do not have to care for themselves.  AND while she's taking care, she's devastating her own situation.  She, also is a best friend.  I love her.  I want to make her situation better.  Time to encourage HER to shift paradigms!
I have yet another friend who is constantly searching for approval from men.  Not only approval maybe; she wants their submission.  Yet she doesn't use her best attribute, her intelligence, to achieve her goal.  She uses her sexuality. Another best friend.  Wow. Time to hope she starts to value her intelligence and finds a way to change her own world.   
I have yet another best friend who hates men.  At least she professes to hate them.  She still has tons of male friends.  I pray for her, though I'm not sure what to pray for.  It's time for her to figure out who she is and what she wants and then let grace change her world.
I'll just say this.  Real love, real commitment, real life is about giving yourself.  Does it matter which woman you are? 
I think not. 

In fact, isn't each of those women really... me?  You?
I think our last, best option is to accept what life hands us, do what we know how to do to improve our lot, and then accept who, what, and where we are.

If we don't, how can we be the best dearest most generous people on earth?

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