Friday, November 21, 2008

calling and caregiving

at a recent concert, my wife picked up a book real love for real life by andi ashworth (wife of charlie peacock, who was in the concert -- desi wrote about it in her blog,

this evening the phrase "we can rest in doing what we can without ever pretending we are more than the little people we plainly are"

a lesson known, but so often lost sight of. no one in my family is in a medical profession, and when i went to college, i studied engineering. in my family there was an unspoken sentiment that men were "supposed" to be engineers, but it really wasn't right for me as a life's work. as i looked around to figure out what to do, i ended up with a night job taking care of an elderly man with parkinson disease. what did i really contribute? i helped him get to the bathroom, get in to the kitchen in the morning, get a bowl of cereal. it certainly didn't undo his disease at all. but it was huge. he couldn't do those things without me.

i came away from that with a changed perspective. i hadn't done much, but i'd done all that could be done. and there was great satisfaction and sense of accomplishment in that.

the book falls in the "artful living" genre, which is what drew my wife to it, and these thoughts get a fair amount of discussion in our home, which is what got my curiosity up enough to start reading it. but unexpectedly, i found myself dealing with other, perhaps even deeper issues. i found myself hashing out the issues of a productivity focus, and an accomplishment or capability based sense of self-worth.

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