Life of Meaning

Rethinking Dignity

June 13, 2020 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

… a human being should never become a means to an end.” Viktor Frankl, Yes to Life

All great literature is defined by a handful of common features, one of them being timeless relevance. Viktor Frankl’s lectures in 1946 are indeed timelessly relevant. Written in the post-barbaric times of Nazi Germany, Frankl experienced the very worst of human nature.
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Before It’s Too Late

May 23, 2020 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

“What are the small ways in which you can contribute to peace on earth? What monumental prayer can you pray to alleviate suffering in this world, one human being, one grey wolf, one old-growth redwood tree at a time?” Mirabai Starr

In her song Wake Up, Alicia Keys hums, “When we gonna wake up… before it’s too late?”

Haunted by a Daunting Reality

I was listening to Alicia while pondering this post and found her words touching a haunting spot in my soul. Although written with romantic love in mind, her message nevertheless reflects an altogether daunting reality. As a people with influence, we need to wake up before it’s too late… for so many reasons.
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Making Space… In My Mind

May 9, 2020 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

We want to fill up what is empty. Our lives stay very full. And when we are not blinded by busyness, we fill our inner space with guilt about things of the past or worries about things to come. Henri Nouwen

Space. A vast frontier. No, not Star Wars. More like room to wander about, in the cosmic expanses… in my mind. And yes, these wanderings are best discovered in silence, sans distractions and disruptions—the norm of normal times.

So as we begin the emergence or resurrection back to some kind of normal, I wonder: will I still create time for making space—that room to ponder and delight in the magical mystery tour… in my mind?

*****

The operative words in this little litany of thought are “in my mind.” Yesterday, for example, I toured the regions of my youth—literally. I left the house, drove thirty miles to Pico Rivera and Whittier, where I was raised until about 20.
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On Patience—Ugh… Or Not?

May 3, 2020 by Charlie Hedges − 2 Comments

Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting. Joyce Meyer

About a week ago my friend Terry told me a quote he read: “Hell hath no fury like that of an inconvenienced American!” Ouch.

Living in quarantine is unprecedented in any of our lifetimes. Talk about inconvenience—and a costly one at that, costly in lives, finances and personal freedoms.
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On Journaling: Discover Your Secret Self

April 18, 2020 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

“There are a thousand thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up a pen to write.” William Makepeace Thackeray, (b 1811, d 1863, author of Vanity Fair)


Just last week in a chat with Maggie, my new daughter-in-law, she and I discussed the pleasure and insight to be discovered in the practice of a daily journal. New to the habit, Maggie shared with me the startling discoveries rooted in her deepest self, and yet unrecognized until she began to put them to words.
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Kindness: An Antidote to Troubles in Quarantine

April 11, 2020 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

“Before you know what kindness really is you must lose things…” Naomi Shihab Nye

These days of quarantine remind us of our need for human connection and kindness. I believe that kindness (and acceptance without judgment) reconnects us with our innate humanity and our need for meaningful human connection.
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Change: Here It Comes Again…

April 5, 2020 by Charlie Hedges − 2 Comments

The one constant in our lives is change.” Dan Gilbert

One thing I can say about our lives in the USA for the past 4-5 years: As a nation, we’ve been stuck. The tedious battles between left and right have gotten us nowhere but alternating states of anger and angst.
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Love and Despair

March 28, 2020 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

There is no love of life without despair of life.”― Albert Camus

He was an active leader in the French Resistance in World War II when Albert Camus wrote those words. The world had found itself in a time of uncertainly and great despair. Yet Camus discovered a place for the love of life even in those most globally desperate times.
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The Essential Nature of Human Connection

March 21, 2020 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

“Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.” Martin Luther King Jr.

 At of the time of writing this post we are only days into “social distancing” and “self in place,” which means we have been mandated to stay home, only going out for necessities. And in following this State of CA mandate, I have discovered something very important: I actually miss the presence of other people, even bodies with whom I have no relationship, like when I used to go shopping.
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