It’s a rainy day in Boston today. I love rain. I absolutely love rain. I love songs about rain. I love that it’s washing things away… I don’t like to think about the polluted acid part of it and I think that’s just fine.
We are a parable of the follies over here. I was sick Sunday night, Justin was sick Monday night, he gave it back to me last night and I have also obtained an exhaustion cold. I sound like a sexy phone line number.
I’m going to try to sneak into the link up today. My friend Jen, who I’ve known since youth group has kind of a bible study/women’s group link up. So if you’re into that head over and check out the group of she bloggers that post there.
I always feel such a pressure to write something relevant for the link up, but today I think I will just share about a conversation that DCWright, J and I had at dinner last night (Giacommo’s then Mike’s for cannoli.) We were talking about deviants. We all have them. Some are quirky ways, some are character flaws, some are major issues, some are hidden past issues etc. We were talking about how in our older age we haven’t grown more “tolerant” per se nor do we feel that there are no absolutes, but we do feel like everyone has their thing and the last thing they need is someone gasping in horror or shame when they discover it.
Think about it. You reveal or have exposed something that you are ashamed of. How do you want someone to meet that revelation. Or even this. You are a serial mistake maker. Do you want people to draw a line and condemn you and set these crazy rules and boundaries, hoops that you have to jump through to prove change? It’s like a probation time at a job, of course you can do what you need to do to keep your job, but what you desperately want is some help, some training or some equipping to help you overcome your obstacles or bad habits that keep you in a perpetual state of less-than efficiency or effectiveness. It’s the same way in our personal lives. So often we try to give people these “diet” plans for character improvement, problem solving or getting back on track. I think plans are well and good, but when what is needed is a perspective change, a heart change, a soul renewal then a diet isn’t the best solution. There is no arguing that it may be of great assistance along the way, but I think in reality what the world needs is a little more gentility.
In my English class we are talking about Internet Freedom of Speech. One of the things we discussed about things going viral is that the bad things go big a lot faster than the good. What if we perpetuated kindness the way we perpetuate frustration. Like the example from my Management class, a satisfied customer tells 3 people. A dissatisfied customer tells 9. COME ON! Seriously.
So here’s the deal. Let’s all take a deep breath. The next time your child, husband, small group project partner, good friend or stranger does something that upsets you. Stop. Take a deep breath. Think. I am loved. I love or like this person (or don’t.) I have so many good gifts. If it were me I would appreciate ___________. THEN ACT. I bet more often than not, you will offer grace. Kindness. Gentility.
Also, can I just say when someone does a great job, when someone is kind, when someone impacts you, when you feel moved. SAY IT. At restaurants and stores I ask for managers to offer compliments. In my classes I tell my professors and their bosses when it’s been an incredible experience or a great class. I share my notes. I stop and take time. I still bark at J when he doesn’t finish a task… I get confused when we make the same mistakes or have the same fights, but instead of condemning one another we are re-committing to each other and the people around us that we will keep working on behaving and thinking about each other in the right way, the way that believes the best, that is based on love and the belief that we are loved. And you know what, if it is cheesy or too half-glass-full then so be it. I could use a little optimism.
Happy Rainy Day and Wednesday, I am off to re-take an Algebra test that three classes bombed, so he’s giving us another chance. Believe me, I am meditating on thoughts of kindness toward this man…