Pillars: Peace, Love, Joy, Hope by Walter Simon

This is an introduction of sorts, one with a wondering eye, given I took inspiration from the Peace, Love, Hope and Joy banners that surround us. The prospects, herein, are tools supporting  what I consider emotional survival; I thought it expedient to dwell on these expectations, as an offering of goodwill.

It may seem a contradiction when I suggest words are not the things people are speaking of, words in the mouth of a fool can be translated into anything, when overused seem compromised.  However, joy to the world, words with substance survive through generations, expressed as values.

Take for example: What is the value of life?  Interest for the credit company? Revenue motivated through purchase? To a minister an opportunity to roller skate through the pearly gates… redemption as the engine?  To a passing drifter the next buck?  To a very old fatalist waking-up in the morning, hoping for another day.

Quaker inspired: life has no value without a peaceful and positive purpose. Why denigrate our very existence?  It’s “a crucifixion of the heart” (Campbell) exploiting words compromised by aberrant* motive, toxic lies, a dark passage, steps endorsing irrational consequence.    (* Deviating from truth.)

Existentially speaking: staying alive is as real as it gets! Based on experience, I understand reality is what happens.  Hope in the face-of-reality is a component supporting our emotional survival; and we seem to measure our value by this standard.

I offer a conclusion that my hope is to keep a good thing going, stay in love, seek positive interaction, creative energy that stimulates the brain –that sensitive engineer of mind and body — giving all consideration to emotional survival, and please add daydreams as whimsy to sharpen focus.

The emotional survival I’m suggesting is important because it buffers our feelings against offence. Accept that life is worth nothing without constructive purpose…a useless rocky road that leads to shallow regret, as we try to distinguish between fact and fiction, as applied to the value of our lives, shaped and  advertised, and woefully created by backroom word-mechanics, marketing the very same banners under discussion.

As to the complexity of this survival: My kind is about emotions; and how we handle critical issues of modern life to help us flourish as human beings?  Understand there is no society of one.

As helpful vehicles I offer: religion, social interaction, inventions, interventions, laws, and our hopes and expectations.  Most important: a moral sense of responsibility as to regulate and support our lives and those we love, through feelings founded on reasoned goals.

I recall Norman Cousins writing on Albert Schweitzer:

“The sense of paralysis comes not so much out of the mammoth size of the project, but out of puniness of purpose.”

Better yet, consider the offering of  Native Americans Adoph & Beverly Hungry Wolf:  “Let our spirits hold hands, our friends become tribes, our minds join in the happy power of life”; add to this… thoughts that embrace our life as a blessing of coincidence.

Consider the thinking of William Saroyan:

In the Time of Your Life 

“When in the time of your life… live,

So that in that wondrous time,

You shall not add misery & sorrow to the world,

But smile on the infinite delight and mystery of it.”


That’s life, a metaphoric smile, hoping for a spiritual reunion, expressed as a prosperous thought, to power the human spirit forward.

Twisting Saroyan’s words, I offer that emotional survival is the bond that supports concrete gestures, a psychological protection in a very complex world. I ask you to consider the banners on the walls as thoughts on how best to survive, no matter the consequence of our fate.


This message was given to Spokane Friends Church by Walter Simon on March 24, 2019

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