Showing posts from March, 2012

Compassion under pressure

The entire goal of the spiritual life is compassion – a s Meister Eckhart emphasised,  “if you were in an ecstasy as deep as that of St. Paul and there was a sick man who needed a cup of soup, it were better for you that you returned from the ecstasy and brought the cup of soup for love’s sake.” I fail this test frequently. And not because I am in ‘an ecstasy’ too great to tear myself away from and serve my fellow human beings…no, nothing as wonderfully spiritual-sounding as that… Most often it’s because I am too busy, ‘not in the mood’, distracted, irritated or self-absorbed… Compassion takes time, energy and the willingness to become involved in something that might snowball into something much bigger than you at first anticipated. Sometimes I just don’t feel I have the energy to ‘go there’ with a particular person or situation I am confronted with, usually at an inopportune moment (like when you are on your way to work, or already late for an appointment…) Is it even ‘reasonable’

Community and courage

I am looking for a community and society I can introduce our daughter into with pride. This isn’t it. These recent words of mine on facebook elicited many responses from friends and family - mostly those in South Africa – either saying I should move to their neighbourhood as it has good schools and churches, or that the perfect community does not exist... I found these responses most unsatisfactory, and here‘s why: A ‘good’ community or society is more than its schools and churches – these are only ‘good’ for those that are a part of the particular group or subculture – I want to be part of something bigger than that: multi-layered and inclusive, with a good mix of people of various races/ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds, age groups and religious/worldviews. Anything lacking this diversity is a sub culture, an ‘us and them’ space, and often an elite or exclusive group which ‘allows’ membership based on certain restrictive criteria or traditions. Conversely, true community is