Lisa, who blogs at This Millennial Life, is becoming aware that living a life of keeping your options permanently open is deceptive, and self-cheating. Excerpts:
Yet I’ve begun to realize that the depth of life is often best experienced by narrowing in and choosing. You cannot experience the closeness and deep love of marriage without committing to a person and similarly you can’t mine the richness of a community without in some way committing yourself to it. And so as much as I’ve appreciated how my transient life has helped me discover myself and new ideas and diverse people, I think it may be time for the pendulum to start swinging back, not just in my own life and in the life of other 20-somethings, but as a culture at large.
A recent book, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, touches on this need for a broader cultural shift in values, especially among the more mobile educated elite. It’s a nonfiction tale contrasting the transitory city life of an older brother with the settled small town life of his little sister. When the little sister dies of cancer and the whole town comes out for her funeral, the older brother realizes that his sister had something that he’s missing – community. Community is a gift that is fostered over time, it takes patience and forgiveness, a heap of small acts of sacrificial kindness, and most importantly, it takes presence.
Our society still needs some movement; especially in a polarized political and religious world that is so often marked by fear and boundaries, cross-boundary relationships are vitally important. But we need to learn how to move not just toward career and financial goals, but toward people. This doesn’t necessarily mean moving back to your home town, but it means making people an important factor in your decision to live somewhere. It also means learning to bloom and set roots where you are planted, even if you will only be there a short while.
Read the whole thing. If you want to hear me come talk about this kind of thing, please plan on coming out this Saturday, Nov. 2, to the Louisiana Book Festival in downtown Baton Rouge. Here’s the info for my talk, and book signing. I hope to meet some of you readers there.
And for readers in the Monroe, Louisiana, area, I’ll be in town on Monday November 16 giving two free talks, and signing books at the Chennault Museum theater. I’ll speak at 3:30 pm, and then again at 6:30 pm, hanging around in between to meet folks and sign books. My cousin Ken Fletcher — the son of St. Jimmy of Nat Street, in fact — is hosting the event.
I’m bringing my son Lucas, because this is his big chance to visit Duck Commander HQ in West Monroe. I told Lucas this morning that he needs to pray for his heroes Phil and Uncle Si, whose brother Harold just died. “How do you know?” he asked. Because Harold’s daughter and I were classmates in high school, and she let us all know on Facebook. He was amazed to discover that there are so few degrees of separation between himself and the almighty Robertsons.
“We need to go to the funeral,” he said. Can’t do it, I said. He went away sad. But he will get to make a pilgrimage anyway.