Posted by: Dennie | September 8, 2013

Anne Lamott, Syria and Ignorance

I went to bed last night with the intention of getting up early this morning to finish an earlier draft post for today’s blog, do some laundry, wash my car then go to the flea market with my husband.

That didn’t happen.

I shut off my alarm and slept another hour but still had time to write.  I fired up my computer and it opened to Facebook.

I don’t consider myself a FB junkie like some, but if it pops up, well, I can’t really help but scroll through and be nosy.

I stopped in my tracks when I saw a post from Anne Lamott.

I think she’s brilliant. I love the way she writes, I love her views on life, God and raising kids. And I love that she can get me to think about things, as she did today.

But as much as I love her, she shakes that insecurity within me. Not like the women of yesterday’s post, but in different sense. Not the I-feel-less-than-sense, but the intellectual sense.

I admire her intelligence. She is college educated. She has, as her son states, a “rich vocabulary.”  She seems to have an abundance of life experience and is well versed in many areas. When I read her I become aware of how little I know, which applies to ignorance in the title.

She often speaks of her dad, and the deep intellectual conversations they shared when she was young.

I didn’t have those with my father. They didn’t move me.

Newsweek magazine was always a visible component of the reading material in my childhood home, but I don’t ever remember even flipping through the pages. I loved to read, and still do, but current events were never at the top of my list.

They aren’t even on my list.

Time Magazine, Newsweek, USA Today, The New York Times….. uh, no.

That’s not my cup of tea.

I’m ashamed to admit that. Because I am an American. I should have some knowledge of government issues in today’s world. But I don’t.

And that is another reason I admire Anne Lamott so very much. She knows what the hell is going on.

I’ve tried to understand. I really have. When the war in Iraq broke out, I said, “I’m going to follow this from the start. I want to know what’s happening here. I want to understand why we’re involved in this conflict.” I hoped that if I jumped in as it began to unfold, that I might grasp what was happening.

I was wrong.

I was lost almost immediately. I quickly understood that there was way more to this than just the beginning of a war. It was like someone handed me a book with the first hundred pages ripped out, expected me to begin reading, and figure out the plot.

That’s how politics have  always been for me. Complicated. Convoluted. Deep. And  I’m embarrassed to admit that  I. Just. Don’t. Follow.

Anne’s Facebook post this morning expressed her upset over Syria.  What I gathered is that our country is on the precipice of  possible involvement in another war. And thankfully, the Powers-That-Be are considering, so far, the move very carefully.

She expressed her helplessness at the situation and using prayer as her recourse. Most of the responses to the post were in agreement.

So this is where I am. I am clueless about the current situation and all the other politically explosive situations that have come before. What I think I know is that the driving force behind each and every one of those situations is fear. Fear that one man, one country, one government will try to control another, take personal, political, or religious freedom away from another. And that creates more fear. And those who follow these political dramas  become filled with fear worrying that those in power will not make the correct decision.

I think.

And so I wonder. Is it better to be in the know about world politics? To be able to carry on an intelligent discussion, argument or debate about global events?

Or  better not?

I volley back and forth with this.

I’m politically uneducated. I am guilty about it, yes, but that’s the way it is. Like math, it’s just too damn hard to figure out.

Furthermore, I have enough worries of my own about things  I can’t control. I don’t need to add more to the pile.

And would my knowledge make a difference?

I think not.

So I do the only thing I know how. The only thing  I hope will help.

I pray for strength and knowledge for those that do have that power.

Then try to let it go.

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Responses

  1. Lately, I’ve been thinking. We generally do everything. We worry about everything and fear everything. Meanwhile, we put prayer as our last recourse, when in fact it should be first.
    Thank you for that enlightening moment.

    • Hi,
      Thanks for your comment and I apologize for the late response. Life has a nasty habit of getting in the way of my favorite things…like reading and writing….
      Dennie


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