Signpostings

Relationships in a World of Individualism

  • rWorld

    The rWorld is about more than Dale Kuehne's book Sex and the iWorld.
    The rWorld is a New England based, non-profit (in formation), that is composed of a growing number of people and organizations from many faith and ideological backgrounds worldwide. We believe that much of the fulfillment for which women and men are looking can be found by enhancing the quality of our relationships. While the individual freedom we enjoy in the West is a gift, the love and intimacy for which humans yearn will not be found in self-serving materialism or hedonism, but in a variety of healthy relationships.

    Contact us if you'd like get involved:
    scr.im/rwld

  • Dale Kuehne

    Sex & the iWorld

    Professor of Politics and The Richard L. Bready Chair for Ethics, Economics, and the Common Good at Saint Anselm College, Manchester, NH.

    In this blog I'm highlighting signposts of the world in which we presently reside as a means of helping promote a civil, and meaningful dialogue about what kind of world in which we wish to live. I am particularly interested in exploring how might we reconcile the individual good and the common good, and where reconciliation isn’t possible, which should take precedence and why.

    I also blog at Sharewik.com

    [Content Caution]

Who Am I?

Posted by Dale Kuehne on October 11, 2011

I am 53 years old, and for the first time in my adult life, I am scaling back my commitments to look, above, within, and around me to try and see what I have been missing.

Who am I? They often tell me
I stepped from my cell’s confinement
Calmly, cheerfully, firmly,
Like a squire from his country-house.

Who am I? They often tell me
I used to speak to my warders
Freely and friendly and clearly,
As though it were mine to command.

Who am I? They also tell me
I bore the days of misfortune
Equally, smilingly, proudly,
Like one accustomed to win.

Am I then really all that which other men tell of?

Or am I only what I myself know of myself?

Restless and longing and sick, like a bird in a cage,
Struggling for breath, as though hands were
compressing my throat,

Yearning for colors, for flowers, for the voices of birds,
Thirsting for words of kindness, for neighborliness,
Tossing in expectation of great events,

Powerlessly trembling for friends at an infinite distance,
Weary and empty at praying, at thinking, at making,
Faint, and ready to say farewell to it all?

Who am I? This or the other?

Am I one person today and tomorrow another?
Am I both at once? A hypocrite before others,
And before myself a contemptibly woebegone weakling?

Or is something within me still like a beaten army,
Fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved?
Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine.
Whoever I am, Thou knowest, 0 God, I am Thine!

Dietrich Bonhoeffer Letters and Papers from Prison

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2 Responses to “Who Am I?”

  1. Who am I? is also the related subject of http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPIos2mXbUE where Jean Valjean, in Les Miserables, must choose to reveal himself to the authorities (Javier) and suffer the consequences of his past actions (as unjust as those penalties may be) or stay silent, escaping, and allow another man, no more innocent than he, but no guilty of his crime, to take the blame and punishment. “Can I condem this man to slavery, pretend I do not see his agony” finally reaching “My soul belongs to God, I know, I made that bargain long ago. He gave me hope when all was gone, he gave me strength to journey on. Who man I?” ultimately reavealing he is 24601. “Am I one person today and tomorrow another?” we know is “no” until at last we are recreated in Christ.

  2. dalekuehne said

    Jerry, as I posted this I thought of this song. Les Mis impacted me deeply. The other quote that will always remain with me: “To Love Another Person is to See the Face of God.”

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