We are to obey the rules, and yet the greatest among us always break them. We are to perform with perfection, but, when we do, we draw a crowd of those jealous of our success. Try to eat healthy and friends will constantly urge you to take an extra dessert.
Peer pressure to "fit in" exerts enormous power. It's no wonder that our natural creativity wanes early. By age three our wildest creative ideas are generally tamped down by parents who want what? - for their children to fit in!
In spite of wide-ranging success across my life, I've never felt I fitted in. In school, I was often punished for breaking rules. In work settings as a lawyer, judge, hospital CEO, television producer, minister and artist, I have always been viewed as a renegade.
Where do "renegade" caregivers, ones who insist on living Love while caught in a maelstrom of rules, turn for advice and comfort?
June 7 marks the fifth anniversary of the Journal as a "place of sharing for loving caregivers." Part of our goal has been to help you find balance amid the cross currents of your life.
Your more radical efforts at loving care will often find resistance. Your patient's hope you you won't give up. We are here to support you.
Over one thousand essays have been posted here over the past five years. I used to write them every day. Finally, I cut down to two a week and tried to focus more on the quality of each piece.
Then, Liz Wessel joined the Journal as weekend writer. Her contributions are consistently fabulous. She brings us not only her prose but the poetry of her paintings and mandalas - great gifts of peace and Love.
Substantially more than five thousand comments have been posted on the Journal by those who seek to share caring words with others. Your contributions are deeply appreciated.
We are approaching nearly two hundred thousand visits to the Journal. Lovely as that is, more people visit the sites of stars like Justin Bieber in five minutes than have visited us in five years.
A journal about loving care has no chance of competing with sites like these. Yet, we remain grateful for those who choose to visit the Journal and who pass along the work we offer.
The teachings of God's Love are always more popular than the practice. "Love your enemies?" People who try to do that are often viewed as fools - as people who don't "fit in."
Love, if it has a reward on earth, must always provide its own gift. Each day, we have the chance to decide whether we will choose to live Radical Loving Care against pressures to fit in.
Right now, someone nearby needs you. God's gift is that whatever choice you make, you are loved.
-Reverend Erie Chapman