Thursday, October 13, 2016

On The Groundfloor, Who Are You?

We all have core beliefs we live by. Truly core beliefs.

Recently I have visited with some people I respect and admire. They don't all  share my core beliefs. And that startled me. Because on the surface, we lead similar lives.  Maybe, like me, they go to my church. Maybe we volunteer together.  Maybe we volunteer at a school function together.

That their core beliefs differ doesn't change my liking or respect.

And we ARE similar.

I have discovered that to feel good about myself, I have to do certain things. I am old enough by now to realize other people can be really good friends and not have those same compulsions.

I hope I will get some responses here.

Yesterday I was visiting with a woman who grew up as a Jehovah Witness. She told me, and I hadn't known this, that they do not believe in voting. That literally shocked me. I don't think anything on my personal "have to" list will make me better, or more worthy, or even respectable. Some of it doesn't come from my family.

But:  I always thought before
You vote. If you are legally allowed to, you vote. And, by damn, not just in presidential elections. You vote for the city, for the school, and  when taxes come up.  Sometimes you hold your nose. You vote. Now, in my lexicon, you don't have to get active in politics. That's up to you. But every chance you have,

You Vote. And voting is new to her. And after I caught my dropping jaw, we talked more. Wow.

I can't give blood any more because of medication, but I have O Negative, and for years I gave blood every 8 weeks.  Public service. You lie down for a few minutes, and you get juice and cookies. I always walked out feeling righteous. So if you can,

You Donate Blood. And you donate your organs and skin when you die.

For a few years in a tough job trying to help families, I didn't volunteer. But I felt guilty. Somewhere, something you like, kids you like, a cause you like, needs free workers. Find a place you want to work. Then,


You see places where a little cash could make the lives of kids, families, veterans, old people....pick the group. If you don't have the cash, do you have clothes or other stuff?  All you have to do, is take it in and

Donate. Something. Somewhere. I've seen folks at the soup kitchen bring in their garden produce before eating the next meal. Not at all necessary. But they walked so tall after they did it.

There's a lot of room in this for lying and cheating and doing stuff.... well.

I just was startled, that's all. I learned I had some bedrock things I didn't even know were there, but they are.  They help me live.

What are your BedrockValues?

I do have one more. I don't always like to tell the truth. But if you ask me the questions,
I don't lie. Ever.


charlotte g said...

I am sad, but not surprised. No answers. Won't be.

clairz said...

Ah, now, you think no one is listening? Ever since I read your thoughtful post this morning I have been struggling to define my own core beliefs and to put them into some sort of coherent order. You'd think at the age of (almost) 72 I could just list them right away BUT this is turning out to be hard work. As I'm sure I've mentioned before, your posts always challenge me in some way and I have to go off alone and think for a while before commenting.

However, I just couldn't let the day end without reminding you of the profound effect of your words. Be patient. You have tossed a pebble into a quiet pool and the ripples are growing ever larger. I'll be getting back to you with my list, but defining a life may take some time.

Have a lovely golden moonlit evening, Charlotte.

charlotte g said...

Thanks, Clair. I'm trying to post more, if only befcause writing for me is necessary handiwork. Your responses are always so refreshing. Are you still posting? In a recent teardown of my virus infected computer and reboot, I lost my Favorites, where I kept your URL. Please resend so I can return the favor.

clairz said...

Here I am again. Since I last commented, I have turned 72 and our country has had some surprising (distressing to me) election results. During this time of upheaval and uncertainty I have thought and thought about the beliefs that define my life. Here is my list, which turns both outward and inward, and is tinged with both sadness about the world around me and tiny hints of possible joy:

Kindness is powerful
Giving helps
Nature is healing
Peace is an idea I may never live to see, so I must find it close by
Joy is to be found in the small things
Prayer helps with the darkness

Charlotte, I thank you greatly for guiding me toward making this list. In this difficult time I will hold on to these ideas. Life is too short to do otherwise.

And yes, I am still blogging very occasionally. I don't write about big thoughts, though; the latest post is on painting my chicken coop--joy in the small things, indeed. The Zees Go West:

charlotte g said...

Clair, let me know if I can give your list--anonymously if you choose.

The election left me unable to eat for 24 hours. Sleep was disturbed. Funny how a cruise without any media whatsoever for 8 days would heal me. It did, and I wrote about it when I could on board and will post.

But the week of peace allowed me to reset my life goals, which are so similar to yours. I don't have the energy to strive for good and be angry as well. I choose to do what good I can. It is a long road. I am finding so many of us are on it.

clairz said...

Charlotte, feel free to use my list if you think it might be helpful.