Monday, May 7, 2012


I’d like to take you on an imaginary trip today. I think we all need to get out of here and imagine a life free of pettiness, disappointment and clawing selfishness.

Now, I’m not at all interested in utopia (from the Greek, eu=good, top=place); Sir Thomas More first coined the term in 1516 in his book by the same name. He wanted what we all want; a peaceful, secure society in which everything moves smoothly.

Unfortunately all attempts (fictional or actual) to create a utopia have ended in death and destruction – John the Savage hanging from the lighthouse at the end of Brave New World, or the horror that was the Soviet Union, which, for the “greater good,” starved 30 million people. Given man’s unending twistedness, utopias inevitably become dystopias (dys from the Greek – bad, ill).

The problem with More’s approach is that it depended on outside systems to arrange the copacetic conditions he dreamed of, and outside systems always depend on outside force which means that people die. What I propose is internal and dependent on no one but our selves. After all, that’s all we can really control. 

I’ve been reading an amazing book entitled Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss and it has me thinking – what would America look like if we were still a grateful nation – if a large percentage of us quit complaining and spent our thinking time in a state of praise and thanksgiving?  Let’s imagine…
We’d hear a lot less whining about anyone’s “fair share.” We’d be so glad that we live in a land where there’s an opportunity to get rich that we would begrudge no one his success.

Years ago my brilliant son-in-law had a chance, through MIT where he was doing his graduate work, to go to Northern Pakistan, high in the Himalayas, to study insulation possibilities for the homes of people living in inaccessible mountain villages. The people there subsisted mostly on bad goat meat and dried apricots, sheltered by precarious mud and stone houses.