There is so much that I want to write about, that I hardly know where to begin. It’s like life has handed me a smorgasbord full of opportunity, and I don’t know what yummy morsels I want to pile my plate up with first. So I’ve decided to settle the matter by letting through the words/ideas that seem to want out the most.
I’ve been mulling a few things in my head recently. That means that the poor husband has been forced to listen to my excitement over MULTIPLE “ah ha!” moments. It also means that I will further mulling these things over the only way I know how—pen and paper (or keyboard and MacBook, if you will). And I will write them out during nap time, hence the name (and unfortunate grammatical errors).
A few years ago, I wrote a blog entry on purpose and love. I loved writing that blog post because it let me wrestle with the dichotomy of love and purpose, which I had been wrestling with in my head for quite some time. Now, I want to again touch on the subject of love:
First, I want to look at myself in the mirror.
Love is patient. I am not patient. Love is kind. I am not always kind. Love does not envy. I sometimes envy more than I care to admit. Love does not boast. It is not proud. Just two days ago I recall bragging to my husband about my “darn good chili” (more on that later). Love does not insist on its own way. But what if I really want it that way? Love is not irritable or resentful. Um, oooops.
But, I am called to love. So, why am I so bad at it?
I will admit that it is a seemingly far-reaching conjecture, but I believe one of the reasons is this social norm we call politeness.
Think for a moment what it means to be “polite.” And then take a look at the definition of “polite” from Merriam-Webster:
Here are some of the ways I have recently seen “politeness” pan out:
- We give people unsolicited advice on a number of issues in their life, but when someone is truly hurting we leave them alone because we want to “give them space” or “not be rude.” I am certain that anyone reading has lived long enough to have experienced the loneliness that comes with going through a painful time.
- When we do help others, we do so superficially, and gossip about it later.
- We smile at our frenemies with hatred. We HAVE the word frenemies.
- We tolerate others putting people down. Sometimes we help.
- We are well-mannered individuals who care about being socially-respectable, and frankly, don’t want to be associated with “them.” This to me is one of the worst. And, unfortunately, it’s the one that I catch myself doing the most. For instance:
Where do we get off thinking that we are better than others because of their race, religion, socio-economic class, life choices, etc, etc?
I cannot think of this as acceptable any longer. So, from here on out, I will do my best to redefine politeness in my life. I will be respectful. I will look into the eyes of everyone. I’ll strive to be nice, but not fake. I will get down in the trenches of others’ lives. And I won’t talk about it later. I will love. Will you join me?