define common ground

Posted on March 1, 2010


i had an interesting weekend. i saw my older brother who i hadn’t seen in almost exactly 1.5 years.
let’s just say it was weird.
i talked to my dad a little bit tonight about how it was odd and i said we really don’t have anything in common. he said we lived in the same houses as each other for 16 years, we had to have something in common.
well, sure.
but how much does the commonality of that sort of circumstance translate to common ground when that commonality literally doesn’t exist anymore? it only exists in memories and reminiscent tales of the past. sibling rivalries and such.
family can be such a sticky, messy, awkward sort of thing.
kinda like accidentally super-gluing yourself to someone else.
you are quite stuck and forced to deal with a variety of bizarre issues.

in the other realm of my life (the one that is something of a black hole for the rest of my existence) also known as my job, i have been thinking a lot about the idea of gratitude.
one may naively think (myself included at one long-gone point in my life) that people who have
no home, or
no family, or
no clothes, or
no (insert something most people have or need here)
would be maybe not intensely, but at least marginally grateful when someone gives them these things…at least to the point that they are not turning away offerings because it’s not the kind of (insert thing needed here) that they wanted.
one might think that.

needless to say, one might be quite wrong.

this is by no means a completed thought, but i have been thinking/wondering/meditating a lot on what it is to be grateful — how to teach others to be grateful — how to expand my own perspective, as well as others’ so that we can realize more fully what we have to be grateful for — and how to enable the recognition and acceptance of the benefits that come with self-denial and humility.
i crave these things for my boys as much as i crave them for myself because i know we throw ourselves into quite a miserable existence without them.

i’m trying to find a way to visit my other brother who i haven’t seen in about…oh…2.5 years. any ideas on how to get to new orleans real cheap?

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