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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Long Term View

I've been thinking lately about how transformed we all are by the journeys we take in life. And how positive the transformations are.

Yet we get so bogged down in the day to day mire and grind of the ordinary details of our lives. I'm reminded of a James K. Baxter poem, "Ballad of Calvary Street". The poor, sad couple, "National Mum and Labour Dad", who are the antiheroes, grind on through the monotony and gloom of their lives and, "Habit, habit clogs them dumb". And we do get clogged round the head by these tiresome, lifeless rhythms of life that we need to play along with. Shopping for meals, hours of mucking round with food, hours tidying up, and food to throw in the bin.

And it is so easy to get stuck in the misery of the small view of it all. And it's easy to come up with an embittered, though 'realistic', view of it all, just as James K. Baxter did.

But I'm compelled to look at the bigger picture. The twenty-something year picture that I've been looking at lately when I reflect on the lives of some precious friends I have had for all that time. And when the focus is not on the small, grinding details, the big picture view is an astonishing one.

Kindness, gentleness, patience, love.

These are the qualities I see growing in us over the longer, bigger picture.

These are the qualities that are gifted to us through this grinding process of parenting. And through the tumultuous ride that this life can be for us all.

The long term view. It's the one worth having.

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