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44942Re: making a difference?

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  • louise
    Aug 10, 2008
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      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, bartleyoreg@... wrote:
      >
      > the first thing I think of when reading these posts, what does make
      a difference mean?? I would like to get a little personal when
      talking about this.? I am a hospice volunteer, the other day when
      working at a hospice residential home, the mother of a patient came
      up to me, with tears in her eyes to thank me for being there.? I had
      done nothing at all with the young man that is dying. Yet this woman
      was it seems to me so graceful that strangers were doing what they
      could to help ease the suffering of her son and to listen to her pain
      that she had to thank me.? This morning a co-worker is in between
      apartments, she has to stay with her daughter until the new place is
      ready for her.? She is very unhappy about this for a number of
      reasons.? I offer her my place for a week, since I will be out of
      town.? Again she was so graceful.? Again I did nothing.? So are acts
      of small kindness differences in the world, are they absurd and
      meaningless?? There are times that existentialism seems to argue that
      small acts of kindness are absurd if we think there meaningful.?? But
      then I am only a middle brow in thinking.
      > Michael ?

      Michael,
      Some days have passed since you first sent this post, which has such
      a quiet honesty amid the intellectual ferment and careful
      deliberations which often prevail at the list, and set a not entirely
      gentle tone, that I should like to thank you for the expressiveness.
      This morning I was reading in Plato's dialogues, and came across a
      passage in the "Theaetetus", explaining to me what seemed like the
      same insights offered by Nietzsche, but in a more quietly
      contemplative mode, that I could more readily 'hear', concerning how
      some ways of thinking are better, not more true. Absurdity I suspect
      emerges from the condition of our bodies, our health in the broadest
      sense, which the mind then interprets in a creative or abstract
      fashion, encouraging or surrendering the will, to go on with courage,
      or to succumb, in various ways. I think the acts of small kindness
      you describe are absolutely meaningful, because subjective, and
      unforced.
      Louise
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