This week, I am drawing inspiration from the Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai. In particular, his poignant piece “From The Place Where We Are Right.”
From the place where we are right
Flowers will never grow
In the spring.
The place where we are right
Is hard and trampled
Like a yard.
But doubts and loves
Dig up the world
Like a mole, a plow.
And a whisper will be heard in the place
Where the ruined
House once stood
In these words I feel a call to humility, mercy, and compassion.
Indeed, so much of our political and social discourse has come to feel like a “ruined house.” Yet at a time of such great division in the world, Amichai’s simple reflection reminds us that even across great differences we have so much in common. We all long for safety, love our children and families, and want to be understood. And perhaps even more fundamentally, I suspect we all have our doubts. We wonder if we are choosing the right paths – whether we are doing enough – both individually and collectively. Yet we hesitate to give ourselves permission to admit that there is so much we do not understand.
If we lead with these “doubts and loves,” perhaps we can stand together not in the place where we are right, but in the place where we are kind. If we choose to listen more, perhaps in this stillness we will hear the whisper of our own consciousness, reminding us of the beauty and promise of our interconnectedness.