For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin — real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, or a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.
Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for - in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.
The meeting of a customer and a clerk across the service counter in a store is as significant as two leaders of nations meeting over a conference table in search of peace. If peace and understanding is possible, it must occur in the moment that is present. It can occur only when relationship is real and unconditional. Relationship begins with thoughtless awareness, an openness that sees and hears with humility, and a consideration that has already forgiven all things that the mind might present as a barrier to unity.
This is what the world honors: wealth, eminence, long life, a good name. This is what the world finds happiness in: a life of ease, rich food, fine clothes, beautiful sights, sweet sounds. People who can't get these things fret a great deal and are afraid, wear themselves out rushing around on business, spend night and day scheming and scrutinizing. Man lives his life in company with worry, and if he lives a long time, then he has spent that much time worrying. This is a callous way to treat the body.
I gathered my shoes and wallet on the other side of the metal detector and took a last glance at my father, who was still there, still waving.That mangled finger had always been a symbol of his shortcomings and deformities to me, but now I saw it was also a testament to all that he'd sacrificed for our family.He'd lost that trigger finger building the business that had fed and clothed me. I imagined he was not only waving me goodbye but waving me forward with that symbol of his own woundedness.