Uncategorized

Be Who You Are and Do That Well

IMG_2778
Tasty waves for Spicoli or rocks ahead for Sean Penn?

Dear Anne,

All I could think of when I first saw the Sean Penn/El Chapo photos this weekend was that Jeff Spicoli’s dream came true –or maybe he was just placing a bulk order.

For the last couple of days I’ve been wondering why a respected actor and humanitarian meet with such a purveyor of pure evil?  Penn had to know that by publishing such an interview (and by giving up editorial control) he would be giving aid and comfort to a man with blood on his hands.

St. Francis de Sales taught, “Be who you are and be that well”.  Penn (and other entertainers whose forays into public discourse often highlight their ignorance) doesn’t seem satisfied to do that.  As successful, as lauded for his craft and his work in Haiti as he was, Penn must have felt the need for more.

Persevere in thoroughly conquering yourself in the small daily contradictions you receive . . . know that God wishes nothing of you at present but that.   Do not sow your desires in another’s garden, but cultivate well your own.”  St. Francis de Sales

Maybe El Chapo should learn not to sow . . .  Sorry, I got off track there.  Anyway, this quote has been one of my favorites since I retired became an empty nester.  What does God want from me in this new season of life?  As you know, I flirted with a Big Change–until I realized the massive amount of time and effort required would short-change my husband, my friends, my health and well-being and my dogs.  I need to learn the peace of sowing joy in my own garden.

And maybe Spicoli should stick with “some tasty waves, a cool buzz and I’m fine”.

Love, Susan

Dear Susan,

What would we do for entertainment if it weren’t for Sean Penn and his ilk? I see your frustration with the actor here, but in this instance, I think Sean Penn  may very much have been “being himself.” This latest caper was much more entertaining for me than any of Penn’s latest movies, which I am sure are great artistic achievements in their own right, just not on my radar screen.

I was not that surprised by Penn’s behavior (see old joke about the scorpion crossing the river) but I was shocked at Penn’s defender, Matt Damon, saying that meetings like this are just “part of what we do in our job really well,” and “I’m sure he was pursuing something creatively.”  I can practically hear John Lovitz in the background saying, “Aaaacting!” So meeting with a wanted criminal and not involving law enforcement is OK because they’re actors? Attention future felons! You have a new defense. Forget insanity, just site the “creative process.”

While I am sure Penn had many noble aspirations in meeting with a drug lord, the point you raise is a good one. This whole incident would have been a great opportunity to seek guidance in prayer. How can you truly know yourself, your motivations or what path to take without prayer? That is, unless you are your own higher power. As Francis de Sales also said:

Half an hour’s meditation each day is essential, except when you are busy.  Then a full hour is needed.

Such good advice for all of us and so hard to accept. Don’t get too upset about Mr. Penn. He is just being who he is. Here is another great de Sales quote, “…do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever.” Ooh, I really need to remember that next time we are doing homework.

Just so glad Charlize Theron is not with him any more.

Now, go enjoy some meditation and drug-free inner peace. And maybe some pizza. Aloha.

Love,

Anne

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Be Who You Are and Do That Well

  1. As somebody who’s had dinner with war criminals, people who have had other people killed and will never face retribution for it and then insisted on a selfie and e-mailed it to me, I am less willing to condemn Penn. In addition to the fact that he’s in idiot and therefore to be pitied, these situations are morally ambiguous–even one that seems clear to us–and the small, still voice can be mighty small and mighty still. The difference between what you should do and what you want to do can be very hard to distinguish, and sometimes it’s like running your finger around a Mobius strip and every thought you have brings you back to where you started.

    Like

  2. As somebody who’s had dinner with war criminals, people who have had other people slaughtered and will never face retribution for it and then insisted on a selfie and e-mailed it to me, I am less willing to condemn Penn. In addition to the fact that he is an idiot and therefore to be pitied, these situations are morally ambiguous–even ones that seem clear to us–and the small, still voice can be mighty small and mighty still. The difference between what you should do and what you want to do can be very hard to distinguish, and sometimes it’s like running your finger around a mobius strip and every thought you have brings you back to where you started.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great perspective. I think that’s why taking the time to go to prayer on these issues is so important. Not saying Penn didn’t do that but, when facing these tough calls, asking for God’s guidance is a good idea (hence the name of the blog). Thanks for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s