Seeking My Best Self

trying to make sense of my life – and lose some weight

Accidents Happen – and other political thoughts

on December 4, 2013

exuberantA funny thing has happened since we moved. I’ve relaxed. Other than terroir, nothing has changed, really. Finances are still challenging. I’m still overweight. (Again. The Wii and I aren’t currently on speaking terms.) I’m working at settling my business in – to the third town in three years.

This does not seem like a recipe for relaxation. But in this place, in this time, I’ve been able to let loose worry and anxiety.

I think it’s because we live in community. When we lived in the city, we felt alone. In this rural setting, we find community all around us. A short walk. A short drive. A quick call. The change it’s made in my outlook is dramatic.

I believe humans are meant to live in community. I believe our American idolization of ‘rugged individualism’ is misplaced. We are better as individuals and as a society when we look to the corporate good, not merely personal prosperity.

That means that we are only as successful as our least successful member. Our current ‘every man for himself’ mentality is destructive. The Declaration of Independence says that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are inalienable rights for each person, yet 45,000 people die in America each year because they didn’t have access to health care. They were certainly denied life, and I doubt they felt very happy or liberated in their suffering.

It should be unthinkable that one person has access to health care and the next does not. It should be unthinkable that one person has a fully stocked pantry and the next an empty plate. It should be unthinkable that there are three empty houses in America for every homeless person. If that’s American Values at work, then it’s time for our values to change.

Ahem. <stepping carefully down from the soap box>

Being relaxed. There’s an unfortunate side-effect when I’m insouciant: the five-year-old in me ascends. That means explosive joy. Exuberant gestures. Spilled drinks and elbowed noses. Oops.

In a business meeting yesterday, I spilled my coffee. Twice. Two rounds of cleaning the furniture and the carpet. But I didn’t MEAN to, I said with hunched shoulders and a repentant expression.

Lucky for me, I’m part of a community that loves my energy and enthusiasm, and understands that…well, accidents happen. Especially around me.

 

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