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Tuesday
Apr282009

The road more traveled.

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I've seen lately that there are two ways of holding the moral high ground. The first is the one that most people think of when the topic comes up: doing the right thing, even in the face of (sometimes) overwhelming opposition. This kind of high road most of us set aside for saints & spiritual leaders & some of our elementary school teachers that we still have a crush on after all these years. Because it's not something that we want, or even strive for. 

OK. Wait a minute. That's not exactly right. I think we DO want to take the high road. We do want justice for everyone. We want all people to be free to love fully & well. We want a world that cherishes our children, all of our children. I think we just don't want the part where you have to stand on the moral high ground & actually do the work of it. Because, let's face it. We're busy. We're just trying to hang on under the onslaught of our daily fears & frustrations & the all-too-few moments of grace...

The second way of taking the high road (& much more common) is as an offensive weapon. Like this: I know what's right & you darn well better act like it, if you know what's good for you. This particular approach to the high road is irksome to me. Go tight-lipped & righteous on me & I can guarantee that my next step will be right onto the boggy low road, laughing & singing drinking songs with a vague Irish accent & generally having a marvelously bawdy time. Give me that over the hard-edged high road any day.

Besides, I like the low road. It's the place where you can actually talk to everyone else without any arbitrary obstacles like class, or money, or self-righteousness getting in the way. A place where we look each other in the eyes & see that there might be another way entirely. A place where we're willing to give up all the suffering that comes with being busy & distracted, where we don't swing so wildly in the gap between high & low. That's the day I believe we'll start to walk the middle road. The road where we GET to do the right thing, because it IS the right thing & we can all see that.

All I can say is that's how it works for me. They're simple equations: busy + distracted = you're bugging me + get out of my way. Not busy + distracted = it's all fine + come & sit down with me for a lovely glass of champagne. (I'm calling it the New New Math... :-))

So, here's to the low road. For now. It's pretty easy to find. It's where we're laughing & singing our favorite drinking songs together, at full voice & just trying to figure it out...

with love, Brian

Reader Comments (4)

Yes! - "laughing & singing drinking songs with a vague Irish accent & generally having a marvelously bawdy time" - that's where I want to be. Those are my people. I generally like doing the right thing but without the self righteousness. All that looking down my nose makes me cross-eyed.

April 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTere

Dear Brian! Practise on your vague singing accent because you're going to need it while drinking & singing in just two weeks :-) I'm with you all the way on the New New Math.
Oh, BTW, do you bring the champagne or shall I get it? (you know, the rest is just cheap wine:)))

April 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMonika

Dear Monika,

I think you're going to have to get it. :-) We have this whole Homeland Security & TSA thing that doesn't like too much fun & would probably love the excuse of confiscating my champagne on the trip over.

BTW I have a vague Swedish accent I can use when I warbling away, too. Just so I'll fit in with all the drunken Swedes you're lining up...

with love, Brian

April 29, 2009 | Registered CommenterZenBandit

I like the low road. It's the place where you can actually talk to everyone else without any arbitrary obstacles like class, or money, or self-righteousness getting in the way.... A place where we're willing to give up all the suffering that comes with being busy & distracted, where we don't swing so wildly in the gap between high & low.

I think this is the road Jesus liked. He certainly lived there all the time.

People tend to forget that Jesus was *gasp* homeless, a transient, off-the-grid, outside the law, etc.

Worse: by choice!

When he confronted householders in the villages about sharing their barely ekked out food and shelter, he knew they feared him not only because he asked for stuff, but also because...well..."There but for the grace of God go I."

But he was the grace of God...or, at least, he was demonstrating it.

Oy! What scary fun!

It sure scares me. I like to think of myself as a Friend of Jesus, but, "Not yet, please..."

He keeps tapping me on the shoulder.

And so it is.

Bless├Ęd Be,
Michael

April 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Bright Crow

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