Monday, November 14, 2016

Between reality and possibility

Author and educator Parker J. Palmer speaks of living in a "tragic gap"—"a gap between the way things are and the way we know they might be."

I've read his thoughts on this and many other things before, and he makes so much sense. Somehow following a difficult presidential election cycle, the idea of a tragic gap is surfacing again for me. There most definitely does exist a gap between how things are and how we know they could be—or at least how we hope they might be. Sometimes we simply accept the way things are in a resigned ay, never believing that change is possible. We disengage, believing that nothing will ever change.

However, as Palmer says, " be in the world nonviolently means learning to hold the tension of opposites, trusting that the tension itself will pull our hearts and minds open to a third way of thinking and acting." Further, he says, "If we want to live nonviolent lives, we must learn to stand in the tragic gap, faithfully holding the tension between reality and possibility in hopes of being opened to a third way."

I like that image: holding the tension between reality and possibility. And I like the idea of a third way. You, too?

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