Sunday, May 04, 2008

Love is the answer?

What about all the people who have not felt completely loved and tended? What about people whose parents were drug addicts and unable to care for their children properly? What about people whose mothers and fathers were so busy building careers or simply keeping a roof over their heads and food in the family's collective mouths, they had nothing left to give?

What about all the rest of us? The flip answer is: That why god made therapists.

Perhaps you've been lucky in your life, as I have, to know amazing individuals who beat all the odds and grew into productive, healthy, happy adults despite a childhood of horror. Perhaps you've known a holocaust survivor who lived a long and successful life filled with family and friends, despite all they endured. Or perhaps you know someone who, faced with one severe life challenge after another, is always the most upbeat person in the room.

How do they do it? I haven't seen a study on that, though I'd like to, but I have observed a few similarities among the people I've been lucky to know. Here is what they have in common.
  • They are experts at taking stock of a situation and, McGyver-like, making the most of what is at hand.
  • They are forgiving.
  • They laugh a lot, big bellyful laughs.
  • They smile a lot.
  • They are generous.
  • They have good boundaries.
  • They treat others with respect, even when others show them disrespect.
  • They are quick to express gratitude.
  • They are forgiving.
  • They are forgiving.
That takes love. Love is always the answer.

Unlike the Village of Ordinary, we have not yet known hundreds, perhaps thousands of years of harmonious living. Every child has not yet felt completely loved and supported from the moment of conception. Yet, in our world, there are people who have learned to live with conflict, to live with violence, and to remain whole. There are people who love no matter what. There are people with an astonishing capacity to forgive and to build and rebuild.

These are our examples. They point the way to the world of Ordinary. Who in your world is like that? Celebrate them here. Post a comment and tell us about the gift of their presence in your life. This is one of the ways we hold and strengthen the vision.

2 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:12 AM

    I see resiliency every day in people who could have given up or given in, but didn't. People – young and old-learn to adapt despite the difficulties and often unimaginable pain and harshness of their lives. We’re all born with a capacity for resilience, to change, to transform, to survive adversities and grow from them. But it takes something to sort of “activate” our resilience, to give us hope, to strengthen us to overcome the odds.

    One “activation key” for me as a child that suffered abuse was having a caring adult in my life that noticed me, that I knew cared about me because they gave me time and attention when they could, and kindness and compassion–they listened and believed me. Their belief in me turned into my belief in others. That’s resilience in action. koko

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  2. Koko, once again you have given us a cogent reminder of the power of kindness, compassion and of being present for another. I wonder if that adult knows of the impact he or she had on your life, quite possibly on the lives of others. This is a good example of the Buddhist principle of taking right action then letting go without attachment to the consequences. Thank you again for sharing.

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