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Life of Meaning

Bored or Becoming

November 10, 2018 by Charlie Hedges − 2 Comments

“…the paradox of the waiting that goes on in boredom is that the individual does not know what he was waiting for until he finds it, and that often he does not know that he is waiting…” Adam Philips

In our American way of thinking a person’s identity is predicated largely on his ability to be productive (and to be useful). One of the very first questions you are asked by a new acquaintance is, “So… what do you do?” It’s as if you are being asked, “So, what makes you a worthy human being?”
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Trust: The Rock of Relationships

November 4, 2018 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

Most good relationships are built on mutual trust and respect. Mona Sutphen

I am currently standing at the site of the installation of a new clean water well in the heart of rural Uganda. This well will provide water to a village community of more than 1000 people. The funds for this well were provided by a generous done to our non-profit, Wells of life. This donor trusts that we will deliver a well of this community.
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Uncertainty: The Key to Contentment

October 20, 2018 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

“The capacity to tolerate uncertainty is a prerequisite… for all patterns of belief and triumph.” Irvin D. Yalom

As I grow older one of life’s most meaningful learnings is that, “the older I get the more stuff I know, but the less I know FOR SURE.” I was certain about a lot more at thirty years old than I am now as a approach seventy. Perhaps that is one reason young people are so successful: they exude great confidence in what they believe to be true of life and how it is to be lived.
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Rambling Thoughts from Crete

September 22, 2018 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

Written Sometime in September 2018

“Because I am old enough to know the world cannot delight me, my expectation is not of the world but of myself: delight in the gift of life and be grateful.” Parker Palmer, On the Brink of Everything

The waves lap gently on the protected shores in front of the beachside restaurant at the elite hotel where I am staying on the island of Crete. We don’t normally travel elite, but this is where the travel agent booked us. I am not complaining. The entire hotel is magnificent as it sits on a hill above the Mediterranean (or is it Aegean) with the beach a mere two hundred yard walk from my room.

The point is, apart for the lobster at lunch, I remain the same lowly contemplative and curious self. I am reading Parker Palmer’s ever so thoughtful insights about aging in his latest book, On the Brink of Everything. Palmer is always worthy of a read.

For some reason the thought comes to my head that a life of meaning begins with acceptance of your lot in life. I believe in a God that has some say into everything that goes on. I do not understand how, but I accept it.

I also do not understand poverty and the disenfranchised in the program of God, but I do understand the value of suffering. Overcoming suffering may be of the greatest of all human endeavors—it makes us stronger and it endows us to be truly human.

I don’t get this aspect of Divinity, but there is a whole lot I don’t get. Yet it is not for me to know. I also believe in the value of not knowing which leads me to grandiose quests of learning and experimenting—like a visit to Crete and watching the waves gently lapping upon the seaside beach.

You ARE the Meaning of Life

September 16, 2018 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

“At the moment, I rest easy with the notion that I don’t need to ask or answer the question “Does my life have meaning?” All I need to do is keep living…”

 “… birds and trees… don’t worry about whether their lives have meaning. They simply be what they can be. Parker Palmer, On the Brink of Everything

A View from the Ferry

Here I am in Greece. Well, actually I’m on a ferry crossing the Mediterranean Sea from the island of Crete to Santorini. Reading Parker Palmer’s On the Brink of Everything, I find myself once again encouraged to ponder the meaning of life and this time coming to the conclusion that it is a futile question because the meaning of life is simply to live… simply.
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From the Archives: Is the Mind Always Dissatisfied and Restless?

August 18, 2018 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

In Sapiens, Yuval Harari writes, “The mind is always dissatisfied and restless.” He continues, “We are obviously dissatisfied with pain and want to do everything to avoid it. Yet even when we experience pleasant things we are never content. We want more. Again… dissatisfied.”

I’m not so sure I agree.
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From the Archives: Longing for Permanence in a Constantly Changing World

August 11, 2018 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

“Millions long for immortality who don’t know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.” Susan Ertz

Which is it we long for, permanence or stability? Does it matter? Both are circumvented by a “constantly changing world.” Henry Miller once wrote, “… it needs to be stressed continually: all is creation, all is change, all is flux, all is metamorphosis.” 
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What’s It Worth?

July 14, 2018 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

A man’s friendships are one of the best measures of his worth. Charles Darwin

Few things reveal more about you than what you value or the “worth” you place on time, goods, and relationships. For example, some people spend time to buy money, as others will spend money to buy time. Still others worry less about money and the time required to attain it than they do on nurturing their replenishing relationships.
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Distance Yourself from Drama

June 30, 2018 by Charlie Hedges − 2 Comments

Don’t waste time on what’s not important. Don’t get sucked into the drama. Get on with it: don’t dwell on the past. Be a big person; be generous of spirit; be the person you’d admire. Allegra Huston

Drama! Such an uninviting and irritating way to live. And yet we often find ourselves caught up in drama for a significant portion of our lives. It seems we are forced into it everywhere we turn: work, home, and significant as well as insignificant relationships easily provide grist for ongoing conflict.
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