Suksesvol as wie, en wat?

WOENSDAG 28 JANUARIE 2015

Ek is al vir ’n geruime tyd ietwat gefassineerd deur die verskil tussen suksesvolle mense, en minder suksesvolle mense. My aandag verskerp altyd wanneer iemand my aandagveld betree wat ek reken ’n goeie gevallestudie sal wees – in vlees en bloed, in dokumentêre programme, selfs op TV of in movies. Ek let op hoe mense optree, hoe hulle ’n vertrek binnekom, hoe hulle mense groet, hoe hulle na jou luister, kleredrag, algemene voorkoms, woordeskat, aanname of gebrek daaraan dat sukses moontlik is vir húlle, ensovoorts.

Twintig jaar gelede was my rolmodel, die persoon wat ek die graagste wou wees, die persoon wat ek geïdealiseer het, die askeet. Ek het gedroom daarvan om in staat te wees om te onttrek van die samelewing en in ’n klipfort te woon ten minste drie dae se stap van die naaste dorp af – en met geen paaie sodat mense van die dorp my per kar kan bereik nie.

Ek dink toe, hierdie belangstelling in die suksesvolle persoon wat ek deesdae koester, is nie toevallig nie: ek wil suksesvol wees. Ek wil suksesvol optree; ek wil suksesvol praat, suksesvol dink, suksesvol aantrek, en uit die aard van die saak, mettertyd verwag dat ek suksesvol sal wees wanneer ek ’n projek of onderneming aanpak.

Wat dan van die askeet? Het ek uiteindelik ’n transformasie ondergaan? Het die askeet moeg geraak vir eenkant wees, en begin wonder hoe dit sal voel om een van “hulle” te wees?

Ek besef toe, die askeet is suksesvol.

Die askeet, wanneer hy praat, praat nie apologeties nie. Die askeet het nie ’n duur pak klere aan, of ’n gemaklike broek en katoenhemp en duur paar Italiaanse sandale nie, maar hy is gemaklik in die materiaal wat hy oor homself drapeer.

Die askeet is nie arm nie, al het hy geen geld nie.

Die askeet is suksesvol, al sal studente en na-apers van konvensioneel suksesvolle mense dit nie sien nie.

Die askeet is suksesvol, want hy doen wat hy wil. Hy volg sy eie kop. Hy vra nie verskoning nie. Hy vra nie aanvaarding nie. En hy verwag, indien hy voortgaan om te wees wie hy is, om in vrede te leef, relatief goed te voel oor wie en wat hy is, en uiteindelik in vrede te sterf.

Meeste mense wil suksesvol wees – maar suksesvol in wat, en as wie?

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Donderdag 12 Februarie 2015

Ek lees vandag oor die kluisenaar, Richard Withers:

After his baptism, [Richard] Withers lived in a loosely-affiliated religious community. While there, Withers almost got married but decided that he wanted to live a religious life instead. In 1984, he took private vows of “poverty, chastity, and obedience” and became a hermit. Before taking his vows, Withers had looked into several religious orders, but he could not find one that he felt compatible with. Passionate about the spirituality of the Desert Fathers, he and Sister Margaret McKenna debated about “Where is the desert today?” Deciding it was in the abandoned inner cities, in 1989 they moved into an abandoned row house that they began restoring, continuing their work even when their tools were regularly stolen by drug addicts. There, they founded New Jerusalem Laura, a treatment center for drug addicts.

Two years later, in 1991, Withers bought a derelict rowhouse from the city of Philadelphia for $1 and parted ways with McKenna. This would become his hermitage. He fixed the building, which lacked doors, windows, or a working roof and then went on to build furniture for it by himself. After the 1983 revision of Canon 603, the option of being a consecrated hermit while independent of the system of religious orders had been permitted. In 1995, Withers attempted to be consecrated by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia but was rejected. In 2001, Withers was finally approved and consecrated as a hermit by Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua and took his public vows. Withers was the first hermit to be consecrated by the Archdiocese.

Life as a hermit

As a hermit, Withers lives in solitude. He does not own a car or television; he gets his news from the people around him and gets around on a bicycle that he found, broken, on the side of the road. Though he has an open-door policy for people that come to visit him, he himself visits family only twice a year. He does have a computer, which he uses to keep in touch with other hermits via email. To earn his food and clothing allowance, which amounts to less than $5,500 per year, Withers makes pottery to sell and works one day a week for a scientific-instrument company. At the end of each year, he donates any funds that remain to the poor.

Withers wakes up at 5 AM and then fills his day with prayer and chores, following his rule of life. He prays for 4½ hours each day. Withers claims that “it’s in the solitude that I hear God best”.

Bron: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Withers

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