Living on the edge can mean a lot of different things to different people.
We’ve often heard the phrase used when referring to folks who take extreme risks or love to deal in danger. Or we’ve heard it used for folks who are swept up in addiction and desperation. We may have heard it used to refer to people who can’t differentiate between right and wrong, kind and cruel, inhuman and human behavior toward others. I suspect there are also a number of other implications for the phrase “living on the edge”.
What if we reflected on the way people have been forced to live on the edge due to war, famine, displacement, disaster, poverty, oppression or disease? What if living on the edge meant having the ability to see “just beyond”…just beyond a border of tyranny to freedom, just beyond hunger to having basic human needs met, just beyond…?
What if living on the edge meant being aware of others who have excess while you cannot find enough food to feed your child?
What if living on the edge meant sleeping with one eye open and your ears tuned to hear guns and bombs because you feared for your life?
What if living on the edge meant you rarely got enough rest because you were working multiple jobs to simply provide housing for your family?
What if living on the edge meant you lived in despair instead of hope?
What if living on the edge meant living the beatitudes or spiritual truths we say we believe in?
What if living on the edge meant the human community actually started speaking and behaving the way civilized human beings should?
What if living on the edge meant we always walked on the side of compassion, on the road of justice, on the path of goodness?
Sadly, some folks do not have a choice about whether they are forced to live on the edges of humanity….while most of us do have options. Some are forced to the edges of prejudice and ostracization due to the geographic country of birth, or because of their creed, color or orientation. Some are forced to the edges of inhumanity due to poverty, others forced to leave all they know because of war and oppression.
I believe that those of us who have been blessed with so much, must continue living “with an edge”...an edge of humility, truth, and justice.
I believe that those of us who have been blessed with freedom and education and options, must continue living “with an edge”..an edge of understanding, an edge of inclusion, an edge of welcome.
I believe we are all called to live “with an edge” of gratitude, an edge of global awareness, and an edge of hope. And I believe we must continue being the voice for the voiceless and witnesses of hope and compassion in the face of the erosion of human goodness.
Thank you for living and being hope in your corner of the world!
Sr. Debbie Blow, OP