Friday, June 10, 2011


When I was in school, I didn't like science until I took Chemistry junior year of high school. At that point I had a great teacher and the subject appealed to my love of puzzles and logic. Up until that point, I didn't “get” science and I thought it was just a lot of memorization and weird experiments that I couldn't connect to any reality with which I was familiar. Had someone been able to show me that science was about observation, experience, and drawing conclusions about how things work based on those observation and experiences, I would have wanted to be a scientist.

For me, observation is the most important tool for effectively doing every activity that is important to me. Observation is at the heart of good parenting, gardening, writing, and photography. It is the basis for living life well and developing ourselves based on the unique set of experiences each of us has. Having studied theology, I can say that just like science, the best thinking about spirituality is rooted in paying close attention to what is happening in the world around us.

When we start from a foregone set of conclusions and try to make reality fit into those preset rules, the result is dogmatism, ideology, and incapacity for empathy. When we live in the world, feel things with our hands and our hearts, see things, hear things, smell things, taste things without numbing ourselves with the drug that is abstract thinking, the experience is exhilarating, often painful, but always educational. How can you not want to save a world you live in fully? How can you not be connected to others when you pay attention to who they are and why they do what they do? How can you not want to be your best self when you inhabit every moment of your life?

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1 comment:

Julie said...

Mmmm. What a wonderful reflection, Charlotte. I'm going to carry this with me for a while.