To my vaguely depressed baby boomer wife:

To my vaguely depressed baby boomer wife:

For the last several decades you have been somehow dimly aware of something in the back of your heart, nagging at you. There are days when you can’t get anything done, you have told me. There are times when you would rather eat bon-bons and watch “The Price is Right” than do any work. You have told me this too. Sometimes you don’t tell me: we go out for supper or you make bland.

What’s going on? Perhaps it is a symptom of 1950s upbringing: every little girl’s dream is to get swept off her feet by an handsome prince, have a glorious wedding, and live happily ever after. “Happily ever after” is always vague, so we got exactly what we wished for: vagueness.

Perhaps it is our society: all individuality, all for me. Even our churches preach a gospel of individual salvation. Our advertising certainly defines satisfaction as getting more for me, ever more, and always being dissatisfied.

What it amounts to is something else you have told me, and which I myself have said more than once: I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.

The solution? Well, does life have a solution? Can you solve life, once for all? If not, how then shall we live?

We live best when we face these questions. We live most when we live a larger life: larger than the little day-to-day one we see when we are vaguely depressed.

This larger life gets us outside ourselves. It invites us into other peoples’ lives. This may be why you sang in the church choir, lead another, and volunteer in several organizations. You are reaching out to others. You are helping. You are seeing a larger world.

This larger life calls others into our lives. This larger life calls us together.

This larger life calls us to love, justice, beauty, goodness. There is much that needs doing in the world. There is much that can make this world better, whether we are righting wrongs or working on dreams.

What do you see that needs doing? How can I help?

Published in: Conversations | on November 27th, 2006 | No Comments »

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