Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Balancing Act

Lately I’ve been thinking about forgiveness and atonement. This is perhaps due to circumstances in my personal life, or perhaps due to the upcoming Yom Kippur. No, I am not Jewish…however, it is my favorite holiday of all the major religions (at least of the holidays I know of). A day of forgiveness and atonement would probably serve every community well…no matter the faith.

Actually, I’ve given thought to writing a diary on my thoughts pertaining to Yom Kippur. In pondering such a diary, other things have come to mind. Sayings, teachings, thoughts, and beliefs…some held as truths by me, some only observed as truths held by others.

Thinking on this quote:

You are not obligated to complete the task (of building a better world), but neither are you free to desist from the effort. – Pirkei Avot 2:21

…led my wandering mind to another saying that I’ve long held close. Follow me below the fold and I’ll share it with you.


Balancing Act

I am nothing.

The Universe was created for me.

I quote this quite often, in fact, I may have already shared it with some of you. I do so because those few short words resonate so deeply within me. So I got to thinking, as I am prone to do in the wee hours, and decided to share the results.

I am nothing. Friends find it odd that I struggle so much with self-worth. My ego is fine…in fact, some would say it’s quite a few notches beyond ‘fine’ (huge, even). I don’t struggle with the confidence of knowing who I am or what I am capable of…I struggle with whether or not I am deserving of it. If I am worthy of it. More often than not, I don’t feel as though I am. I am not worthy of the love I have in my life. I am not worthy of the health I have and the strong body I inhabit. I am not worthy of the friends and family who care for me, who laugh and weep with me. I am not worthy of the alert and active mind that has withstood the abuses I have wrought upon it (I’m REALLY not worthy of that!). I am not worthy of the knowledge I hold. I am not worthy of the wealth I have gathered. I am not worthy of the security I rely upon so. I am not worthy of the career I have been led to. I am not worthy of the life I live. All that I am, everything that I possess, are gifts that were not deserved. I am nothing.

The Universe was created for me. Just as strongly as I believe in the first line, I believe in this one as well. This life is mine, all that the Universe holds is for my taking. All the lessons life can provide are for me to absorb. I have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge…all that there is to know is there for me to discover. There are a million million paths to choose from and all are open to me. Love, hate, joy, fear, triumph and every other emotion imaginable are mine to experience. The hills and valleys and oceans and mountains and forests and deserts were all created for me to explore.  It is for my pleasure that the Sun rises. The night sky was created for my wonderment. Animals (especially dogs ) were created to teach me of innocence and the beauty of unconditional love. This time, out of all of the millennia, is mine to travel through. I was given the gift of countless other souls as travel companions. This is my life, my time and I am responsible for doing all that I can to make my world a better place. The Universe was created for me.

Long before I found the quote (which is actually an old Jewish saying), I was intimately aware of the odd juxtaposition of those seemingly conflicting beliefs. For me, it has been a constant struggle to reconcile the two sentiments within myself. A struggle to hold, and believe,  two opposing thoughts at the same time. That’s life though. Everything seeks a balance. It is the quest for that balance that makes things interesting.

Least that’s the way I see it.  😉

Oh, by the way….

You are nothing.

The Universe was created for you.



  1. Kysen

    but, I already had this…so figured I would post it.

    I am not a religious sort. Most old Moose know this, but we have enough new Moose I figured I would put it out there.

    While not religious, I am infinitely curious about religion, about faith, about the various belief structures that my fellow wanderers on this silly planet adhere to. While the saying above is a Jewish one, I do not see that it pertains only to those of the Jewish faith (or, to those of faith of any sort). For me…it speaks to a more universal truth. A truth that relies not upon a faith in a power any higher than one’s self.

    That’s just me, though…what do you Moozoog think?


  2. is right.

    I wonder and learn and then wonder even more. Those who imagine they know some ultimate truth must lack the ability to imagine anything beyond that truth.

    An ant sees the world as an ant. That world is vastly different than ours. It is also vastly different than the one occupied by the bird that eats that ant. Dogs, because of their intelligence and association with humans, probably have a completely different view than a bird. Dogs experience the world through their noses. Birds rely on their eyesight. Each of them sees a part of reality. They can’t view the atomic structure of the plant they are eating. They know nothing of the vastness of space and time. They only know what they know.

    Humans go beyond them to view the world with the aid of tools. We can make deductions and theorize. We can smash atoms and look millions of light-years across the universe. We can postulate about black holes and dark matter. Some people believe that knowledge is finite and that someday we may know everything.

    I wonder about that assumption. Is it possible that our view of the universe is as limited in its own way as the ant’s view? The ant knows nothing about cosmology. It knows what it sees. Is it possible there is far more to reality than we will ever know? I wonder…

  3. sricki

    She confused me a little as a kid because I didn’t always have a firm grasp of the concepts she believed in. On the one hand, she always told me that I was special and unique and could be anything I wanted to be — excel in any way I desired if I put my mind to it. Sort of like the idea that the universe was created for me. I was made, at times, to feel like the world existed for me to move and grow in — and that I had a right to the things that belonged to me and the things I set out to accomplish.

    But at times, when I would get caught up in my own personal day-to-day problems, my mom would be quick to remind me of the enormity of life and the world. She always wanted me to know that even though the lives of my family members might, to a degree, revolve around me… the rest of the world never would. I might be special and have rights and talents — but so does everyone else. In the end, I’m just a blip. Just another ant in the pile.

    Maybe sort of fits what you’re saying, maybe doesn’t.

    You’ve actually shown me something pertaining to this before, and it always struck me as a “profound sentiment” in a way. Sitting here thinking on it now — and what it means to me… I’m not sure what I believe. It’s not that I have trouble with reconciling the potential truth in both statements because they seem, on the surface, to be mutually exclusive. I think I get what you’re saying with this — and what it means to you — and I love the way you’ve expressed how you relate personally.

    But at this very moment… at 3 AM on a Wednesday morning… I don’t know that I have an easy time agreeing with either statement. Maybe I’m feeling too cynical or “literal” at the moment after the diary I just wrote.

    I am nothing.

    Well, I am nothing to a lot of people. Most people will never meet me or know my name (or even remember it if they hear it), and after I’m long dead, I’ll only be remembered as long as the people I knew personally are alive. Once they’re gone, there will be little trace of me. Maybe a “cyber trail,” but by the time I’m dead and gone, it will have long grown cold anyway. I certainly struggle with issues of self-worth myself — perhaps more so lately than I have in many years. But do I feel like nothing? Not really. I don’t think anybody has ever been “nothing” in the way that I understand the word. The world would go on spinning and time would go on ticking whether I were here or not. But I have known a lot of people in my lifetime — and for better or worse, made some kind of difference in many lives. For the individual people I have touched — whether I improved their lives or did them harm in the past — their worlds spin a little bit differently because at some point I was a part of them. Can a person be nothing in a real sense? Not to my eyes, not in this moment. Doesn’t matter what they do or don’t do. By virtue of being born, we make an impact — we change a life. My mom especially could attest to that. She had a couple of problems with pregnancies years back, and she could affirm that life which is begun… even if it ends before it really begins… is very much something. We may all be small pebbles in the pond, but no matter how we go through life, the effects ripple outward… and far beyond our physical reach.

    The universe was created for me.

    I know you, so I know you’re not getting all religious or CT with that. (I can get a little grandiose and CT in this vein when I’m off meds, lol.) Again, I like the way you personalize it, and I appreciate the perspective. I can look at that statement, and from a personal point of view it is appealing. There is much to explore and enjoy and take part in. And maybe the world belongs to each of us equally. As human beings, we all have the same fundamental rights and worth. And the world is here for each of us to participate in however we can. I guess what’s fussing me in this moment about the universe being created for each of us… is that it’s a great bit of knowledge/philosophy for those of us who can take it to heart and take advantage of it. Good for the people who know enough to reach out and make the most out of life. But then there are so many people who don’t know it — or don’t have access to the parts of the world I treasure — or never learned how to appreciate the things the world has to offer us to begin with.

    Dunno. Maybe I agree and disagree with both parts of what you’re saying. Maybe tonight I’ll feel this way, and tomorrow I’ll feel another. In fact — know what? Yeah, ask me again tomorrow. Bet you ten bucks you get a whole different answer. 😉

    Btw really good to see something other than an open thread from you, Kysen. Not that your open threads aren’t masterful, because of course they are. 😉

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