Phlebotomic is a blog experiment that seeks to gather multiple perspectives around a common prompt, which is provided weekly.

Last week's prompt was "Beauty"...

This week's prompt is "Path"...

02 January 2009

Resolution: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Silence

Not too many years ago, I was angry at the world. The world, you see, had decided that all of the things that I cared about were beyond it's control and so those things were simply ignored.

I had just returned to America after some time in Africa and no one else really seemed bothered (at least not as bothered as me) that millions of children were dying needlessly from a lack of food, a lack of medicine, and a lack of insect repellent.

I would pick fights and hold grudges and generally snarl at anyone who didn't at least acknowledge that we were all fat, lazy, American jerks who were infinitely-more interested in our own wealth than in the things of the Almighty.

Then, life began to happen around me. I was blessed with a wife. Somewhere along the lines, I was given a job and a car and a house. My first child is seven days old today.

Along that journey, I began to realize that I wasted a lot of energy beating my head against a wall. I wasted a lot of energy trying to convince the world that they should care about something that they obviously cared less about. I had a lot to love around me and only so much time to love it. The busy reality of life began to choke out my ability to be angry at the world. (As recently as a week ago, I read a blog post encouraging people to buy as much as they could since Jesus was the ultimate gift and buying gifts honors him. I almost exploded in rage. Millions are still dying - do we really need more stuff? And in the name of Jesus?!?! Deep breaths...)

Instead of exploding, I vowed to stop reading that blog, to simply remove that from my life. I vowed to remove the dissonant noise so I could better hear the beauty that surrounds me. I realized, maybe for the first time, that such anger and bitterness actually hampered my ability to love fully. My resolute devotion to my heart's causes was actually a distraction. So, I left that blog page and clicked over to "Save Darfur" to make a donation. Then I picked up my daughter and smiled.

I am only realizing now that I can be idealistic even if I never convince detractors to adopt my ideals. I can be an activist even if I never inspire another to action. I can change the world without raising my voice.

So, I am more resolute than ever. Only now, I am satisfied with changing the world in silence.


  1. There is a continuum...I'm not sure I like the "satisfied changing the world in silence" pole of that spectrum. I'll chew on that, but presently I have some indigestion. Maybe it's because my coffee appointment cancelled...

  2. there is no doubt that those within my sphere of influence will continue to hear from me about all sorts of things...

    still, i am learning to value my time enough to promote the causes which have a chance versus the dead-ends that will only lead to more frustration.

  3. Nice Blog, silence can be golden.

  4. Hmmm...a though...for what it's worth...we don't want to "betray love in the pursuit of love..."

    Great transparency here Kyle...

  5. we don't want to "betray love in the pursuit of love..."

    that is something to chew on...interesting.