I think everyone has a baseline of energy, from which other facets of their personality then extend from. Some people are just like Charlie Brown, wishy-washy, boring and listless as hell. Some people are naturally just very gentle and sweet. Others are full of pep and constantly on the go and mind-numbingly energetic all the time. Some are very manipulative and sneaky, everything and everyone is a game to be played according to them. The list of types is endless and as varied as humanity itself.
When Actions Become a Roar
I know my baseline is anger. Incidents which might cause most people to run for the hills in fear instead has a way of enraging me. Things which most people often are willing to just shrug off and forget infuriates me instead. I know myself well enough at this point that it is the perceived lack of justice which is my trigger and instead, need to constantly remind myself like the great Jim Marrs once said, the truth is inevitable. If you really sit down and think about that statement, it’s a very, very profound one and speaks to how strong and powerful a weapon the truth really is.
I bring up this topic of anger and truth because they are intimately tied in with forgiveness. Like every other human being, it’s something I struggle with. When I read about Tibetan monks who were tortured for years by the Chinese for example, and how they would deliberately go into deep meditation in the midst of that torture and walk away from those situations with nary a sign of anger, I for one am completely humbled because it reminds me how far many of us have to go before we can even approach that level of spiritual and emotional maturity.
I’m nowhere near those monks but I also know there are way too many people in this world in positions of influence and power who have an ever further journey than I do before they get it.
In an age of constant spin, public relations, easy imaging, quick media, branding of all human life, it’s all too easy to fall for the image and show and overlook the actions and behaviors or render them completely invisible. What’s that line in the Bible about knowing a man by his deeds?
In contrast when I look at someone like Pope Francis these days, it would seem every time I turn around, he just goes out there and does something jaw-droppingly awesome. Practically every day now, my FaceBook feed has some story or other of him going out of his way and doing something which would have been unthinkable even a few months ago. I know the conspiracy research community are extremely suspicious of anything related to the Catholic Church (which given the centuries of baggage the Church carries, can be justified) and the fact that Pope Francis is a Jesuit, however I think a huge distinction needs to be made between the institution and the individual here. You’re not going to be able to change a 2000 year old institution overnight. It happens in steps and usually involves picking your own battles and then creating an institutional culture, incrementally, where more change can then continue to take place long after you’re gone.
Today, a Canadian sculptor presented a statue of a “Homeless Jesus” to Pope Francis. The statue is of a shrouded and covered Jesus as a homeless man lying down on a bench, the only thing showing are his bruises on his feet from the cross. The statue was rejected by cathedrals in New York City, in Toronto and somehow or other found its way to Rome where Pope Francis blessed it and will shortly be mounted somewhere in Rome. I think it’s very telling of the direction which Pope Francis is trying to take the Church. In recent months, he come out directly and has bitterly condemned capitalism with indirect jabs against CEOs, bankers and other financial manager asshole types. He condemned a bishop known for his love of luxury and turned the multi-million dollar mansion into a soup kitchen. He’s also been known to call up regular Joe-like people directly and offer help. He offered to baptize a child of a woman who has recently been abandoned by her lover, a married man. Pope Francis told her if no other church is willing to baptize her child, he would do it. The man, in short is displaying EMPATHY and it’s been a long, long time, too long, since any prime minister, president, king, queen or any other type of leader has displayed such a quality and I say all the better.
People often forget that the origins of the Church were really based on ideas around social justice. Jesus, in my mind, was this really open-minded, poor carpenter in Palestine who basically tried to bring hope and dignity to the poor, prostitutes, lepers and other marginalized types and couldn’t stand the rich priests in the temples. That’s why he was killed because his ideas were a threat to the Powers That Be in his day. To me, that’s all there is to it. I don’t fall the rest of the story which the Church created. In light of that, here’s a picture of Francis with a horribly disfigured man which speaks volumes.