I just read another great book titled “A lantern in her hand.” This isn’t a review of it, but I want to credit the book with inspiring this post.
The book is, as it turned out, about love. And I am a sucker for any story where love is the focus and the savior as it were. I say sucker, but I don’t believe it’s really naive to think so.
Love gets a bad rap when it comes to making it the saving grace of a story, but I would wonder what else is better?
So I have a question to put to you, viewers, what makes life worth while? I mean, what makes anything we do important?
You see the main character of the book has dreams to be an artist, a singer, a painter, and an author. She wants to put something fine into the world. As a modern woman (or man) we can all empathize. Almost all of us aspire to greatness at one point in our lives, whatever we may settle for later, and movies and popular stories have certainly helped drive it into our heads that any life that doesn’t change the world is common and ordinary.
I personally relate. I think I tend to see life as wasted when you aren’t doing something big.
The point this book made is that being a mother and a wife is a big thing.
Now, to even suggest that motherhood might be enough of an aspiration is resented by most women.
I won’t say I haven’t seen it that way myself, but I know better.
It’s not that motherhood is all a woman is good for. That’s not it. The point is that what is done in love is done well.
If someone dreams big dreams, it’s a good thing, but they have no failed in life if at the end of it, they fulfilled different dreams.
Some women dream of doing big things, and also of being mothers. Is it a failure if they fulfilled the latter, and fall short of the former.
What if it’s not wrong when a parent’s dream of the finer things is fulfilled int heir children’s lives?
It seems hard on the parents. But if there’s one thing the age of pioneers and pilgrims should have taught us it’s that one generation has to light the lamp, or the lantern, and dare to dream, even if they will never see the completion of the dream. Because sometimes one lifetime isn’t long enough for us.
Back in the Bible when folks lived to be 900 years old, they could have all lived to see their dreams fulfilled, but maybe now that our lives are shorter, we have to learn to be more content with less.
That’s not bad, I think on the contrary a shorter life leaves less time to get too comfortable in this old world. Which isn’t where we all belong.
I guess I’m rethinking my goals. I still hope to make an impact on the world, but if I end up in some corner of the globe with a small circle of friends and family to take care of and help and inspire, my life won’t be wasted. If I only get tot ell my stories to my children they are still worth telling.
Some parents, like the father in “Little Britches” and Casper Ten Boom from the writings of Corrie Ten Boom (The Hiding place; and In my Father’s House.) shine out most in when they leave behind in their children.
The Bible knew that parents are reflected in their children, not always, not every time, but often. I think today we’ve lost that.
Actually, we’re ashamed of it. We hate being like our parents because we feel it makes us less ourselves.
But the truth is, humanity is interconnected. When I went to Cambodia, I felt a common bond with the people there who couldn’t even speak English, it had nothing to do with how similar our lives or personalities were, but in that we’re all human. WE all share certain things.
In spending a few days in their lives, I expanded mine. For I became a part of theirs, and they a part of mine. I don’t mean that they influence what I do over here a whole lot, but there is a connection.
It’s hard to describe, some people have already hit upon the idea that humanity is all connected with each other, and I believe it’s true.
Even more so in families. We are a part of each other.
I believe strongly that we are all unique. But sharing our traits with others doesn’t take away from that. I resemble both my parents according to some people, but I don’t look exactly like either of them simply because I resemble both.
People are like those math problems where you have to figure out how many different way you can arrange the numbers. Only our numbers are limitless and we all have our own special part.
But what we share is, when you think about it, what enables us to love each other.
That’s why there’s so much hate now over he areas of racial tension both in America and all over the globe. It’s because the politicians are focusing on our differences. We should enjoy our differences, and I do, but inflaming them makes them more important than they really are.
Just like in any family where the parents or children puts too much emphasis on being alike or unlike each other. It’s just not important enough to fight over. (I mean of course, to ever begin to fight over. If one side is being unfair about it, I do think sometimes it has to be fought out.)
I might be white, privileged, young, and geeky, but it’s never bothered the people around me, no matter what their background is, and why should it?
To bring it back to the idea of accomplishment, I think the big things are kind of life the differences between people. Important, but not more important then things like love, wisdom, and nurturing and protecting and dreaming.
A wise man leaveth an inheritance for his children, the Bible says. And it’s no shame if in your whole life, what you accomplish benefits someone else more than you, some might even call that selfless living.
Until next time–Natasha.