On worthiness

Lightning struck a bundle of cells and sparked a heartbeat, brain waves, fingerprints.

Me.

Created by Something Divine, extraordinary, unknowable. And a spark became a raging inferno of personality, soul, intellect, heart.

I am worthy.

A brushstroke upon an infinite canvas. A solitary note in an eternal symphony. A grain of sand upon a wide, wide shore, constantly caressed by a fathomless ocean.

The whole of the universe is incomplete without me. Without you. Without us.

We are worthy.

Of love; of hope; of dreams; of passion; of tears; of minor miracles that make this life somehow less lonely.

Inspired by Brené Brown’s Week of Worthiness.

Delusions of Usefulness

I don’t know if this gives me hope or depresses the hell out of me. You be the judge:

If you feel the need to turn a light switch on and off exactly seven times before leaving a room, you have OCD. If you need to run exactly five miles every day before breakfast to feel right, you are considered disciplined and athletic.
. . .
A Muslim, a Christian, and a crazy guy walk into a room. The one thing you can know for sure is that at least two out of three of them organize their lives around things that aren’t real. And that’s the best case scenario. Atheists would say all three have some explaining to do. And atheists are the minority, which is the very definition of abnormal.
. . .
The best you can hope for in this life is that your delusions are benign and your compulsions have utility.

– Scott Adams, Crazy or Disciplined?

Trixie Goes On Walkabout

Before I tell you the story suggested by the title, I have to tell you a different story. (This is, of course, a Southern thing. Telling a story that requires previous information, so you get two stories for the price of one really long one.) Anyway . . .

A little over a decade ago, Handsome and I bought our house. And within a month or so, we adopted two kittens from the local animal shelter. We had only intended to adopt one, but these two were hidden away in quarantine, cuddled together, shivering. They had never adapted to human touch, and were practically feral. Well, there was no way to take the one and leave the other lonely and cold. We took them both. (Also, I have SUCKER tattooed on my forehead.)

They hid under our bed for the next six months.

Well, they finally realized we weren’t so bad for humans and that the food was acceptable; they would keep us. They came out to play. Racer, the brother, was gregarious, mischievous, and affectionate. Trixie, the sister, was timid, quiet, and sweet. They were polar opposites and perfect companions.

About a year after bring them home, they were playing out in our back yard – the sum total of their not-so-large territory. That evening, when I called them in, Racer never showed. We haven’t seen him since, though we searched and searched and searched. Hopefully he found another loving home with a couple of kids that love him. Hopefully.

Our hearts were broken; we grieved that cat for years. Sometimes still do. Always turn our heads when a black cat walks by. Just in case.

Now I told you that story to tell you this one:

This weekend, Trixie was meandering in the back yard while we fired up the grill. She’s still timid and never strays far; she comes when she’s called and meows at the back door if we’re not paying sufficient attention. At some point in the back-and-forth between the kitchen and the grill, we lost sight of her. This happens regularly and is no big surprise. She’s usually around the corner of the house investigating the AC unit.

But not this time.

We searched high and low, inside and out. No cat. We called and called. No cat. Handsome walked the block searching for her. I climbed a ladder to peer into our neighbors’ yards. No cat. And that’s when the panic set in.

I tried to keep my cool. But inside, I was screaming. Not another one; my little heart won’t survive losing both of them.

To console ourselves, we reminded each other that she’s wearing a collar. Our neighbors are kind. We’ll get a phone call. Eventually. For the moment, we ate that precious grilled meal.

And then . . . two hours later, we hear her cry at the back door. I grabbed her up, held her to my heart. And finally lost it. Crying into her soft fur, muttering “stupid stupid cat. You are grounded forever, you dumb animal.”

That was Saturday.

She has been more quiet and subdued than any time in her life. I doubt her little cat brain comprehends the anxiety we suffered at her temporary disappearance; but she’s behaving as though she does.

We think it’s just a ploy to sweet-talk her way out the back door again. She’s probably got a secret boyfriend.

At least she’s spayed.

Unlearning the Easy Lessons (Source Material)

The function of public education was (and is) to turn out compliant workers. Not educated voters, not passionate ideamakers. No, we spend all this money on school taxes to be sure that there will be enough people to do all the work that the factories once needed done. Exceptional teachers, the ones who make a difference, are not only rare, but they’re almost always in trouble for bending the rules and not optimizing for the standardized tests.

I love math. I love the idea of working with numbers, of inventing cool ideas that click. But memorizing factors of 32? It’s clearly an effort to teach you to be taught, to instruct you in compliance, to follow the curriculum.

The brainwashing continues to this day. You’ve been brainwashed to believe that you’re stuck with what you’ve got, that you need to punch a clock, follow a manual and do what you’re told. I wonder who dreamed that up? It’s certainly in the interest of the dominant forces of our society to create an oversupply of eager and compliant workers. But now, as the power shifts, so does your opportunity.

Are you serious about transformation? I’m not talking about polishing yourself, improving yourself, making things a bit better. I’m talking about the reset button, a reinvention that changes the game. That means an overhaul in what you believe and how you do your job. If you’re up for that, then right here, right now, you can start.

Do work that matters.

– Seth Godin, Brainwashed