Neil Tambe

Let’s go.

I'm a Detroiter who happens to enjoy writing, national parks, orange juice, the performing arts, and fanciful socks. More than anything though, I aspire to be a good husband, father, and citizen.

I wonder why...

As I listened to the beautiful carols and meaningful homily at Christmas Eve mass, I wondered why so many people resort to violence over “disagreements” of faith. Why can’t we recognize the beauty within others’ traditions and leave it at that?

As I lounged with Robyn on our couch, reflecting on our year, I wondered why for so many people a peaceful home and loving family isn’t enough. I know we are blessed to have stability in our basic needs and the ability to have leisure time, but isn’t peace and love a minimum that most people can reach?

As I took time away from work after a month on overdrive, I wondered why I’ve always had an unhealthy relationship between work and identity. When did work become about status and avoiding shame instead of putting food on the table and sharing my gifts with others?

As I realized this morning that I may have messed up Spirit Airlines check-in (it’s equally possible Spirit’s check-in process has really bad design) and may be at higher risk for a flight bump down to Florida, I wondered why I became to angry with myself over something that may not even be a problem. Why is it that I treat myself with more cruelty than I treat others?

As I chat (literally as I write this) with my man at the quick lube, I wonder why this conversation is so less guarded than many others I have with semi-strangers. What is it about our culture that makes us behave in ways that are so cutthroat and skeptical?

As I make all these observations, I wonder where the need for moremoremore comes from. What do I truly need more of, and what am I merely fooling myself about? 

And as I contemplate the way out of this culture, all I can think of is the first step...but maybe that’s enough. I think I individually and we collectively ask ourselves, especially when in the throes of anger and despair, why and what. Why are we doing this? What are we trying to accomplish? What’s it for? Why does this really matter?

It is through those questions that two really important things happen. First, we reorient away from distractions that seem important by really aren’t. don’t really matter. And perhaps more importantly, the questions force the pause we need to do the long term essentials to reach challenging goals - like think, plan, reflect, learn, and heal - that are easily trumped by the urgencies of right now.

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Please do say hello: neil.tambe[at]gmail[dot]com