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