Would that the most important things in life could be simple. Things like honesty, integrity, openness, acceptance and presence do not have to be complicated concepts. Yet, somehow, we manage to tie them into knots, time and time again. There is nothing complicated about truth but, obviously and unfortunately, there is everything complicated about us.
We seem to have a need to make truth less than it is and, sometimes, larger than it needs to be; just as we make ourselves more than we are and, sadly and far too often, less than we were ever meant to be. The wisest among us seem to know that; too many, however, struggle with the twisting and turnings of self and life.
What can be more simple – and true – than the ancient and holy wisdom of those upon whose teachings temples, mosques, synagogues, churches and cathedrals are built? Why have their teachings become so complicated in all of us, so competitive, so conflicted, so divisive? Aren’t they all saying the same things? What could be simpler than our Constitution, which reflects that wisdom, and is the cornerstone of our country?
It is easy to understand competition in a democracy, in a capitalistic society, while bemoaning the abuses of power in less-enlightened forms of government. But the complexities of hubris, ego, prejudice and greed in this place and time ultimately diminish all of us. The happenings in Washington and on Wall Street these days have been far from the simplicity we deserve. Political posturings and corporate maneuverings seem to be self-serving and endless. That is the bad news.
The good news, oddly enough, is that something has broken and needs fixing. When things go wrong the negative kicks in to provide the motivation necessary to make them right. Unfortunately, the good times mentioned above bred a virus of complacency along with the seduction of wanting and expecting (and conniving to get) more of the same. Something had to give – and it did.
Fixing what is broken has not been easy. It needs all of us to hold accountable those who are confronting the problem – our elected officials, their theorists and strategists, corporate moguls and the “best and brightest” among us. That problem is far from simple but only the simplicity of truth – and a heavy dose of honesty and integrity – can offer a way out, while all of us “pay the piper” for the good times.