Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I Sing Of Ben

A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.

Nelson Mandela
I love my life because it is life living. I love my mind because it is mind thinking. I love my heart because it is love loving.

I once read an essay where it was asked why the Japanese gentleman always puts his shoes together when he takes them off. The answer was that it would never occur to him not to.

I have known a few people who I would characterize as genuinely good. One of them was Ben. Ben spent his whole life in show business. As a child and young adult he was an entertainer, a singer performing with variety shows and on the circuits. Later he became an executive in the motion picture business. He was a religious man of deep, unshakeable faith. He treated everyone with kindness, forgiveness and respect. He never did a mean thing in his life. Why did he go through life being a gentle, good person? I think it was because it never occurred to him not to.

People like Ben are a life lesson for me. I wish I could be more loving and forgiving of others, but when the frustrations of life kick in and the rage bubbles up I forget about Ben and the others who manage to be beacons of positive behavior in the dark. I think it's a question of focus. The special, spectacular idiot with my name on him is always there, just under the surface, to rant, rage and get destructive. I know he's there and so I spend a lot of energy avoiding him. What that means is that a certain portion of my being is focused down the well of unhappiness. I haven't yet reached the Elysian fields where such things don't occur to me.

One of the big traps to snare me is my habit of getting enraged and frightened by political, social and world events. Ben never concerned himself with any of those things, never defended or attacked. He had his job which he loved. He had his family which he loved. He had his religion which loved. He had his music which he loved. He surrounded himself with love. He would never allow anything inharmonious or disturbing to enter that love. It would never occur to him. He faced the same troubles in his life that everyone else does but they didn't trouble him. His faith and his love were too strong. I admire Ben.

I am trying to anchor myself in the same sort of faith and love, to treat everyone with respect even if they seem not to deserve it, to love my enemies, to behave with equanimity, patience, a good mind and a good heart.

DB - The Vagabond
Never Give up

The end of Summer is fast approaching, people.

It's a long, hot, sticky summer, so here's a hot, sticky question for you.

Same sex marriage. Should it be legal or not? If so, why? If not, why not?

21 interesting answers so far.

You have until the last day of summer, but don't dally.
I eagerly await your answer.



pacifica62 said...

The only thing getting in our way of becoming just like Ben is ourselves. We are too self centered and become too full of ourselves, our jealousies, resentments, anger, pride, self pity and loathing. All of these qualities end up controlling us, instead of having us control them. Remarkable people like Ben are an exception in this world.

Jon said...

I envy people like Ben and wholeheartedly wish that my life could have been one of peace, self-restraint, and harmony.
Unfortunately I was cursed with the cacophony of my chaotic self and feel that it's too late to change.........Or is it??

Sue said...

Dana,I too have to stifle that not so nice personality inside me. I wish it was not there at all. I think most of it is jealousy, not a pretty trait. However, I do believe that every person can and should be polite and considerate. It is the easiest habit to learn, and one that pays many dividends. When I want to fly off the handle at someone, I honestly stop and think, "what if this person is having the same bad day?" It stops me in my tracks every time.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

I have found that counting ten helps tremendously.