Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Belief


Spring is the cyclical reminder of beauty of the earth. Birth and rebirth happen each year without any help from us. If you aren’t a midwife, a father, a child, a pet owner or a doctor, Spring may be the only time you really get to experience nature’s miracle of birth and rebirth. Sadly, the heralds of spring have been stifled somewhat by the nasty tragedies that doted our human existence recently.  And so I stumbled on this quote from Kurt Vonnegut.

Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.

If you know Vonnegut, you know that he was the king of “Gallows humor” (humor in the face of or about very unpleasant, serious,or painful circumstances.) Gallows humor has been described as a witticism in the face of – and in response to – a  hopeless situation. It arises from stressful, traumatic, or life-threatening situations.

If you read Slaughter House Five, you’ll know that Kurt Vonnegut was aware of pain.  He was not naïve to bitterness.  And so it’s easier to trust him when he says, "you still believe the world is a beautiful place.”   

The world is a beautiful place.  It’s a fact. The world is a lot of other things too. (Also a fact)  However, the good news is that our belief that the world is beautiful doesn’t make it more or less true.  Similarly, our belief in gravity has no effect on its force.

The only power that our personal beliefs have is that (depending on what they are) they can make existence better.  Believing in something doesn’t make it more or less true, what believing in something does is make it more powerful. 

There are not always answers. Things will not always make sense, but Spring does come.  Every year Spring reminds us that there is beauty to be seen, and sometimes the appearance of the witch hazel and the cherry blossoms have to be enough to sustain us until we can once again believe that the world is a beautiful place.

After Winter, must come Spring...-Lauryn Hill






All photos copyright@Becominagardener