Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Worst that Could Happen

No, it's not that old song by the Brooklyn Bridge, although that was a wonderful tune.

It's another meditation on life.

I've got my kit bag and my crank radio (not the one tuned to Rush, the one that's hand operated so I can do without power). I know about the maximal spread of fallout and what a dirty bomb can do. I know how to purify water. Would a terror attack be the worst that could happen?

I'm often reminded of my mother's account of the seige of Budapest. It was a time of privation -- but those who lived through it came out of the experience with their hopes and dreams intact -- the same way we would come out of a terror attack, if we survived. During the seige no one had anything, just enough food for survival -- lipton soup. And after the war, of course, everyone's property was gone. There was no money, only the determination to find a way to give that would create a cycle of giving and receiving, and, ultimately joy and prosperity.

How much worse it would be -- that suffering through a difficult time -- to know that you have actually done something that compromised your dreams or your ability to hope.

The worst that could happen would be to lose your spiritual bearings, to no longer know what was meaningful or -- even worse -- to know that you had betrayed what, in your heart of hearts, was the best in you: the ability to give love and honesty without holding back, and without fearing the consequences of being your best.

So as we strive to avert economic calamity, let's remember that the money thing is often not the important thing, necessary though it is. The important thing is striving to realize our inner value.