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Richard Dawkins & Maria Von Trapp has seven words for you.

Nothing Comes From Nothing - Nothing Ever Could.

I’ve yet to find or know of a person who prospered by choosing “nothing,” either as a method or as a source of motivation. So, if you want a real challenge, choosing to do nothing will increase your challenges. If you want to disable your part in a process, stop communication. If you want disconnections to persist, be silent. If you want worry and fear to increase for yourself and others involved, don’t give them any expectation when or if communications will continue. Or you can choose love, choose speech, choose music, and choose action. The choices are always yours. Individuals can choose to do nothing. But the world tends to keep moving in pursuit of things.

I have benefited too much and too often from others’ actions, therefore I rarely advocate doing nothing. Too often, the fears that stall us are unreal fears, existing only as a result of our individual misperceptions and inactions which keep the fears in play.  If a fear stops you, call it out by name. Write it down. Show it to others. Gather many opinions on the validity of the fear. Use your community to surround your fears and to address them.  Sometimes fears are only large because they are so close to our head. Sometimes it takes a community to step us back so that we can see how small our fears are in actual scale.

Maria & Reverend Mother visit privately in the Reverend Mother’s private office.

Maria: Which brings me to another transgression Reverend Mother. I was singing out there today without permission.

Reverend Mother: Maria, it is only here in the Abbey that we have rules about postulate singing.

Maria: I can’t seem to stop singing wherever I am. And what’s worse, I can’t keep to stop saying things . . . everything and anything I think and feel.

Reverend Mother: Some people would call that honesty.

Maria: Oh, but it’s terrible Reverend Mother. You know how Sister Berthe always makes me kiss the floor after we’ve had a disagreement? Well, lately I’ve taken to kissing the floor when I see her coming . . . just to save time.

- – - -

Later in the story, Maria returns to the Abbey to seek the Reverend Mother’s advice.

Maria: Reverend mother.

Reverend Mother: Why did they send you back to us?

Maria: They didn’t send me back . . . I left.

Reverend Mother: Tell me what happened.

Maria: Well, I . . . I was frightened.

Reverend Mother: Frightened? Were they unkind to you?

Maria: Oh, no, I, I was . . . I was confused. I felt . . . I’ve never felt that way before. I couldn’t stay, I knew here I’d be away from it. I’d be . . . safe.

Reverend Mother: (Instructively) Maria. Our Abbey is not to be used as an escape. What is it you can’t face?

Maria: I can’t face him again.

Reverend Mother: Him? Captain Von Trapp?

Maria nods affirmatively.

Reverend Mother: Are you in love with him?

Maria: I don’t know! I don’t know! The Baroness said I was. She said that he was in love with me, but I . . . I didn’t want to believe it. Oh, there were times when we would look at each other. Oh mother, I could hardly breathe.

Reverend Mother: Did you let him see how you felt?

Maria: If I did, I didn’t know it. That’s what’s been torturing me. I was there on God’s errand. To have asked for his love would have been wrong. Oh, I couldn’t stay, I just couldn’t . . . I’m ready at this moment to take my vows. Please help me.

Reverend Mother: Maria, the love of a man and a woman is holy too. You have a great capacity to love. What you must find out is how God wants you to spend your love.

Maria: But I pledged my life to God. I pledged my life to His service.

Reverend Mother: My daughter, if you love this man, it doesn’t mean you love God less. No. You must find out. You must go back.

Maria: Oh, mother, you can’t ask me to do that. Please let me stay. I beg of you.

Reverend Mother: Maria, these walls were not built to shut out problems. You have to face them. You have to live the life you were born to live.