Reading the following poem by Sophia Lyon Fahs recently moved and encouraged me.
IT MATTERS WHAT WE BELIEVE
Some beliefs are like walled gardens.
They encourage exclusiveness, and the feeling of being especially privileged.
Other beliefs are expansive and lead the way into wider and deeper sympathies.
Some beliefs are like shadows, clouding children’s days with fears of unknown calamities.
Other beliefs are like sunshine, blessing children with the warmth of happiness.
Some beliefs are divisive, separating the saved from the unsaved, friends from enemies.
Other beliefs are bonds in a world community, where sincere differences beautify the pattern.
Some beliefs are like blinders, shutting off the power to choose one’s own direction.
Other beliefs are like gateways opening wide vistas for exploration.
Some beliefs weaken a person’s selfhood. They blight the growth of resourcefulness.
Other beliefs nurture self-confidence and ignite the feeling of personal worth.
Some beliefs are rigid, like the body of death, impotent in a changing world.
Other beliefs are pliable, like the young sapling, ever growing with the upward thrust of life.
A prevailing theme in A Course in Miracles is that it really, really matters what you believe, that your beliefs determine how you see the world, and how you see other people in the world. I have little expectation that our world political leaders will discover Ms. Fahs’ poem and drop “some beliefs” for “other beliefs,” thus changing the world into a kinder, gentler place.
My hope lies in those of us who wake up each day to tend the children, go to work, get the car fixed, and make a grocery run on the way home to prepare supper and watch American Idol. My hope lies with those of us who, additionally, periodically and consistently step out of the daily grind to ponder what Life means and examine our beliefs. As more of us regular folk become more enlightened, moving in the direction of being for more and against less, all of our experience will soften around the edges.
I will be offering a Spring Stepping Out group very soon, an invitation to join a small group of “regular folks” who want to step out once a week and explore our beliefs. Stay tuned…