Tuesday, February 02, 2010

"The search for consistency is flawed from the outset"

We wanted all of his life to make sense, all of his choices to be good choices. It’s the sentiment of a child to want your parent to be consistent at all times. And one of the conclusions we came to in making this film is that the search for consistency is flawed from the outset, and that real change happens in inconsistent moments, in gray moments, and that the only way that we’re going to move forward as a nation is by not being afraid to act in those moments.

Sarah Kunstler, on the NPR show Tell Me More, 11/19/09

I love this quote more and more, every time I read it. It's from one of William Kunstler's daughters, who with her sister made a documentary about him. Her words are so helpful to me on several levels--as a parent, a citizen of this troubled country, and a human being trying to be a better person. She reminds me life, personal growth, communication, and as she says, change, is really all about shades of gray and ambiguity. It's scary to be uncertain, but what I have found is I feel safer when I trust in that small still voice and make my decisions and take whatever action, based on listening to that.

I am learning to trust in that voice more and more, and how I hear it is through prayer, meditation, listening to others--really listening, not sitting at the edge of my seat waiting to shout my story--being in the woods or on the water, floating in a canoe, helping other people, trying to see other people the way God might see them. That last is very Quaker:

Be patterns, be examples in all countries, places, islands, nations wherever you come; that your carriage and life may preach among all sorts of people, and to them; then you will come to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone; whereby in them you may be a blessing, and make the witness of God in them to bless you.

George Fox

Fox was the founder of the Religious Society of Friends (ain't the internet wonderful?)--Quakers--and this is from quakerquotes.org, specifically from this link.

I love that. I attended lots of Quaker meetings when I was in my teens and twenties, and what has always stayed with me is that phrase, "walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone." Sometimes it's more academic than realistic, the idea that God, or the Light, or whatever you choose to call it, is in everyone, and that my task is to see that and respond to that. But I do try to remind myself that everyone is always doing the very best that they can--ha, even me!--and that helps to keep me out of resentment and anger and fear.

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