Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Never suppress a gracious thought

Our campus closes every Tuesday from 11-12 for a speaker. The majority of the talks are religious in nature, but not all. The vast majority are very good and bring new insight into life. Today's talk just finished and it was powerful. The main theme was that we should "never suppress a gracious thought".

What a wonderful idea, it instantly made me think of Hermann Hesse's quote, "I want only to live in accord with the promptings of my true inner-self. Why is that so very difficult?" Of course when we think about doing something nice for someone we should do it, we know we should. But we don't always. Why? Hermann Hesse told us that it was difficult... It shouldn't be, but it is.

You're sitting, waiting for an appointment and you notice a guy carrying a whole lot of stuff out to his car. You think, "it looks like he needs a hand." Do you offer him a hand? Well that certainly isn't the "manly" thing to do. He can certainly do it by himself, but that is the suppression of a gracious thought. Why do we do that. If it were an older lady would you do it then? I think the odds just went way up. That's good, but why wouldn't we help the guy? Now what if it were a pretty lady about your age? This is where it gets tough. If you rush right over there to give her a hand it might appear as if you were hitting on her. I have a wife at home and I would NEVER hit on another woman. Does that mean that I shouldn't help her? I don't think it does, but it provides an easy excuse.

At one point during the talk today, the speaker quoted someone and said that we should, "rise above our ease and abundance to serve others." What a wonderful idea. I love the way that was put. I like how the quote suggests that ease and abundance brings us down. I think that in most cases it does. It doesn't have to, but it does. Coming "down" to the level of those in need is the only way to rise "above" abundance and ease. It is such a simple idea that would make the world a better place, why is it so very difficult?


Emily said...

We studied this in sociology. I love the simplicity of not supressing the first thought that comes to mind. The very first thought we have is always to care or to love the other, and it is when we supress that thought that we feel justified, anger, and other non-charitable emotions.

It changed my life when I started to enact the love reflex instead of rationalizing it away.

Norm said...

Ok I read this and thought it was a great entry. So here's my gracious thought: great entry, very well done.

But then what happens if you see my thought and think, nice reply. Then you get in touch with me and say so. And then I reply in kind. Will this go on forever?

I'm not being an idiot I suppose I just never suppress a tangential thought.

sans auto said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sans auto said...

Thanks for the gracious thought, I appreciate it. I don't want you to take it personally, but I think we should end it there so that I have some time to spend with my family.

Thanks for dropping by.