It's Tuesday, Sep 18th. Cinderella and I went down to University of Chicago today to talk to their social work and social justice student. Boy, what a college. If I worked there, I'd probably never leave Chicago. That would wreak havoc with my plan to vanish into the Rockies and take my lunch every day with the elk and tatanka.

There were 300 people there. You never can tell--some times it's 25, sometimes it's 300. I singed almost 200 books. I like it when I sweat through my jacket from signing so many books.

People were asking me how to work for justice in places like Naperville. How do you do witness work, how do you save the world in green enclaves of hunky-dory America.

I came home moved and happy. There was a lot of laughing today. And some crying, too. Cindy went up for a nap. I puttered. Suddenly, I heard my ol' pal and the blog's mascot, the paranoid wild turkey. He was making that worried wild turkey in-the-throat-trill. I spied him under the forsythia, just lurking around like a Central Parl pervert. His bald dino-head poking out to stare at the house. I grabbed my bag of wild bird seed-and-fruit and walked out there and said, "All right, turkey! Come over here!" And he came running. I didn't really think he'd respond. He ran up to me than hit the brakes about five feet away and made believe I wasn't there. I sat. He watched. I tossed seeds. He ate.

And I thought: this is the way you make peace and save the world in Naperville. You listen for, sorry Led Zeppelin fans, a bustle in your hedgerow. It's there.

You make your home a place where small miracles are welcome--and expected. Once they come, they must be accepted.

Your children learn to be kind to firflies and turkeys, field mice and cicadas. They think about the others who live here for such a short and perilous time.

You think, and you becaome aware, and becoming aware, you act.

You talk, and you read, and you show kindness, and you don't waste time feeling guilty. Guilt is bunk. It's a lie. It's a rich kid's indulgence: I feel bad; therefore, I did something moral and don't have to do anything else. Caca de toro!

You invest if you can. You look into the office at your kids' high school that helps needy families. Yeah, even in Napaerville, we have hungry and lonely kids faking it through the BMW and Corvette student body.

You vote.

You urge the world into a smarter, saner, direction.

You lock yourself in your closet, just like Jesus told you to, and you pray.

You know that each small thing you do must add up to a larger good.

You hope. Hope is prayer.

Man, if you're me, you write. In other words, you soul is telling you what to do for yourself, and your neighbors, and the lost stranger, the orphan and the widow. And the turkey! Right now, it's telling you. It's whispering. All you have to do is listen. Then act. Don't waste time feeling bad. Do. Then honor your doing. Yeah, baby. Ice cream and three episodes of DIRTY JOBS. Get that awesome new Nikki Sixx album and see someone doing just what I'm saying.

Be good to the world. The first and closest part of that world is yourself.

Have mercy. Forget pity. Don't say, "Aw how saaaaad." Mercy is action. Be merciful.

That damned turkey cleaned out my seed and then slouched back into the forsythia without saying thanks--safe and sound for another holy day.

I ate a sugar-free cookie, met my little girl at the bus stop, and wrote this.

Do well, new friends at U of C.

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