"Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark. 
In effect, the people who change our lives the most begin to 
sing to us while we are still in darkness. If we listen to 
their song, we will see the dawning of a new part of ourselves."

Rabindranth Tagore

Existential Intelligence is the sensitivity and capacity to engage questions about human existence – how we got here, whether we have a purpose, and whether there is meaning in Life. Existential intelligence embraces the exploration of aesthetics, philosophy, religion and values like beauty, truth, and goodness. A strong existential intelligence allows human beings to see their place in the big picture, be it in the classroom, community, world, or universe.

First proposed by Howard Gardner, existential intelligence is one of nine theorized intelligences and is considered to be amoral – that is, it and the other eight categories of human intelligence can be used either constructively or destructively.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Inside the Box

Ever have one of those days when you just feel boxed in?
I started the day with a $700. utility bill, which is about five hundred dollars more than usual. Quick, indignant call to City Public Services, only to discover that yes - back in December when I got that low bill - even though we were in the middle of an ice storm in south Texas? It was an error and now the error has caught up with me....

OK. Off to the gym, ideas for essays swirling in my head. All I need is a good workout to help me focus. Then I’ll go home and get started. Yikes! A woman on the bench next to me in the locker room walks off with my keys. It had to be an accident, but stranded at the gym I start a slow burn.

Sound familiar? Modern life is filled with gripes and grievances. Too little time. Not enough money. Things that break or quit working.

Sometimes it’s hard to stay open to the moments of grace that can turn the bad day around. Moments that remind you everyone suffers these minor annoyances. In the words of a children’s book we used to read, It could be worse.

Most of us are no strangers to worse. Parents with dementia and a variety of age-related issues. Illnesses of our own. Kid problems. No one escapes this life unscathed.

So, I got a ride from the gym, thanks to an enterprising daughter with keys to my car. The cat on the kitchen counter (one of six in the house - anyone need a cat?) gave me a laugh packaged with a literal lesson. Sometimes when you’re in the box it just might help to settle there. Breathe. Maybe even take a nap. Get a little thinking done.

The path of least resistance might be a pretty good path.


  1. You made my week of annoyances better. Thanks for the insight. It is too easy to get wrapped up in the bad and forget all the blessings and wonder in the world.

  2. Oh, I laugh in recognition! Glad you found grace in the midst of the irritation.

  3. Moments of Grace--Thank goodness for them!!!

  4. But what about the cat who takes the path of least resistence.? He (or she) or IT never has to pay a $700 bill. You will do that for her. She doesn't worry about working out at the gym. You will toss a ball for her or chase her with a squirt bottle, thus she exercises. And when she need to go somewhere she never loses keys because you drive her. She doesn't remember all her daugahters, but you give her a little rub behind the ears and all is well with the world. She hids in the box, but will come out when you think it is time. Would you give up five minutes of your freedom and thus feel very dependent. I don't think so. It is your ability to see beyond the actual that makes you the unique individual you are and I, for one of many, am extremely happpy for that individualiaty that is you,