Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Guiding star

photo of Christmas tree ornament
© harrington
Happy New Year. We've made it through 2012 which brought us: the election, the Mayan end of time, Christmas, and, I think technically, we've gone over the fiscal cliff and are in a free fall zone and have survived or are in the midst of environmental and social justice disasters too numerous to mention. All that activity, so little accomplished. One of the blogs I follow, Minnesota Prairie Roots, recently had a posting of a Christmas window display in Faribault. (spoiler coming) It concluded with the assessment: "If it had been three wise women, they would have asked directions, arrived on time, helped deliver the baby, cleaned the stable, made a casserole and brought practical gifts." When I finished smiling (the casserole was a nice addition to the versions of prior times I had seen or heard this saying), I thought that the same thing could be said if they were actually wise men. Maybe the difference isn't based on gender but on what we consider wisdom. Worshiping individual power (a king) by giving gifts (bribes?) is one approach to how the world works. I'm not sure it represents wisdom. Wisdom depends on which star we follow for guidance. An alternative vision of wisdom builds community and mutual support by helping neighbors, even if they're from out of town. In today's world, I think it's know as "pay it forward." Which star are you following this year? Are you seeking community, or individual power? What is it about living in My Minnesota that you love most?