A Guest of the World
In our society, self-sufficiency is heralded as a virtue, and chronic dependence on others can be degrading. But never being asked to help another person is isolating, even dehumanizing. In a culture that exalts autonomy, asking for help may be one of the greatest gifts we can offer. So much of life has become a calculation of costs and benefits; to ask assistance is to create the opportunity for unconditional giving in raw, spiritual defiance of economic rationality. We become mutually indebted without expectation of repayment. Each person in the relationship becomes both a giver and a receiver. Each one becomes more human. Each one has something to be thankful for.
—from “To Ask Is to Give”
A UUA meditation manual for 2006.
A professor of natural sciences and humanities at the University of Wyoming, Jeffrey Lockwood is the author of Grasshopper Dreaming: Reflections on Killing and Loving and Prairie Soul: Finding Grace in the Earth Beneath My Feet, both published by Skinner House Books. A 2002 winner of the Pushcart Prize, Lockwood lives in Laramie, Wyoming.
Praise for A Guest of the World:
“An entomologist with a mystical
bent, Lockwood brings an abiding sense of reverence and love to his work.”
—Susan Hanson, author, Icons of Loss and Grace
“Though Lockwood has the subtle knowledge of a scientist, he stands with
those whose wisdom seeks modesty, and finds such wisdom in these meditations on
worms and hamsters and grade school fistfights and broken pocket watches.”
—H. L. Hix, author, Shadows of Houses
For more information contact skinnerhouse @ uua.org.
This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.
Last updated on Tuesday, March 30, 2010.