09 June 2007

Contentment & Revolution

For a guy who often wears a shirt that says "Change Everything" (actually, I designed that shirt), I'm really quite content (or "extremely gruntled," as Michael Scott from The Office would put it)

I suppose my inherent contentment makes me an unlikely revolutionary, but I don't think contentment and a desire for radical change are mutually exclusive.

I think the world is beautiful, not because it's perfect, but because it's dynamic. Change makes me happy. I love my life, not because it's all exactly as I want it to be in every detail, but because there's always the potential for change and improvement. If there's one thing we can all learn from Paris Hilton, it's that we don't really want everything we want (how miserable must she be, and I'm not just talking about when she's in jail. I mean on a daily basis). I don't have everything I want - and that's a wonderful thing.

I mention all that because so many revolution-minded people, whether in the political, professional or theological spheres, tend to be angry, critical, and generally discontent. In contrast, I tend to be joyful, content, etc... and somehow, that hasn't prevented me from seeking, pursuing and implementing Big Change. I'm sure some of it is just biology/chemistry. Some of it is how I was raised (thanks, mom & dad!). No doubt some of it is connected with the fact that I'm an imperfectionist. But I'm coming more and more to understand that it's possible to be content and to push for change.

As Walt Whitman said, "Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes."


revolution said...

I couldn't agree more. I believe that you can put your faith in Jesus and be content. But at the same time, you can be disgruntled at the sight of so many people tarnishing what it means to "put your faith in Jesus." Disgruntled to the point of affecting change among those very people, and more importantly, among the newcomers to the faith.

Dan said...

Thanks, Rev! I think you nailed it - the idea is to affect change within (with & for) the people who need it. Sort of like being in the world but not of it... and content both with where we are and where we're heading.