Sunday, June 12, 2011
I am a great fan of Anthony De Mello, leaving the religion out of it. I've read most of his books and admire his wisdom and humour and his great gift of insight into the human condition.
He was a Jesuit priest who was much influenced by Buddhism and incurred the wrath of the present pope, Benny, which adds an additional level to my admiration for him for daring to think so far outside of the Vatican box.
One of his many stated profundities was the fact that we hook our children early in life, as infants in fact, on a drug. That drug being "approval". And it distorts and diverts our journeys as we seek it throughout our lives whether in financial rewards or other material and personal benefits. We get lost in the diversion of it.
I was thinking about this today and remembering a time, not so long ago, when I stayed in Ireland in this rambling old farmhouse with a mish-mash of family and friends and we were commenting on how ridiculous the custom of applauding the pilot for a safe landing of a plane was. It was his/her job! Then we discussed how lovely it would be if we applauded others for a job well done.
So from then on in for the whole month anytime someone swept the floor or washed the dishes or hung out some laundry, they received lavish applause with supportive remarks.
"Beautiful job on those dishes there, sis," *clap* *clap*, "I don't think I've ever seen a floor so well swept there, bro, take a bow," *clap* *clap*. And so on, to much laughter and gracious curtseys from the recipients.
It is a great drug, approval. A terrific motivator. And it's free. And when one is in a depression, a goodly dose is needed.
Especially for the nearly insurmountable task of being vertical.