quit your belly achin’

5 10 2008

When I was a kid and got to feeling sorry for myself or complaining about things that didn’t really matter my dad would tell me to quit my belly achin’.  It never felt good but just like the best lessons in life – some things take a long time to make sense.  So today I’m shaking myself by the shoulders and trying to get a grip.

Back in the spring, I stumbled on a blog site that is eye-candy for me.  You’ll have to take a couple of minutes and treat yourself to some of Maryam’s photos from her life in Morocco.  All the colors, shapes and mystery are a daily treat.  She’s living my fantasy life as she and her husband are building a guest house that we hope to visit someday. Her professional line of work, as a human rights and democracy specialist takes her to some very sad places on our planet like Rwanda . Reading about her time there started my day off with a different perspective.

It’s easy to feel like we can’t do anything to change the rottenness of the world.  Yet, I know it isn’t true.  Yesterday quite unexpectedly a friend stopped by.  He is barely older than our own kids – married six years with two young daughters.  A year ago they moved to South Atlanta working with a group called Charis.  They recently relocated to a newly rehabed house a block from where they had been living. The welcome wagon in that neighborhood came in the form of a shoot out between two rival gangs right on the street in front of their house. I stand in awe of the fact that they are even willing to be there in the first place.

Tikkun olam  is a Jewish phrase having to do with repairing our world – worrying not only about our immediate community but doing things to change the world at large one small action at a time. I needed this today – to take my puny eyes off myself.