Tuesday, April 23, 2019

on holding holding on

Mother Teresa said something along the lines of how much more difficult it is to attend to the suffering of the affluent than it is to that of the poor. It has always struck me as such a powerful statement. Perhaps the difficulty lies in that the poor have, in general, had to learn to ‘let go’ to a much greater extent than those with wealth: let go of expectations, of having ‘things,’ and particularly of being privileged, whereas the affluent, in general have not developed this awareness or this skill to the same extent or in the same way. (I know I’m talking in very broad terms here. And I realize that those who are poor have their own ways of holding on.) Perhaps to some degree it is because is so very hard to let go when the hand has already been holding onto something and become so familiar with holding on so tightly that it has become second nature, an automatic and unconscious attachment and subsequently an automatic and unconscious behaviour and identification, and therefore more powerful than any power directly associated with ‘having.’ That when the hand has always been relatively empty there can become a way of life that understands the futility of holding on.

I don't know. I'm kind of thinking out loud. But whatever the case, rich or poor… Holding on. Attachment. Identification. These three activities unconsciously cycling and cycling again, gaining a denser and denser presence and momentum in our beingness. Rich or poor, this dynamic is so prevalent and multiformed. And so human. So worthy of being attended to with that same tender lovingkindness and compassion that Mother Teresa offered to so many.