Notre Dame Alumna, Class of 2011
PRELUDIO: All right, people, so this is one of those “YAY WORLD!!” videos that makes you happy that (among other things) you’re not the only one out there who’s a goofy dancer. You just have to live it up ;):
So anyhoo, HAPPY HAPPY FRIDAY, PEOPLE!!!
So this week, folks, we’re going to talk about unnecessary warning labels. Seriously, with a lot of these you just have to wonder what the backstory is where all of these friendly suggestions ended up on labels (like not stopping a chainsaw blade with your hand. That’s just got ‘ER’ written all over it, and then you have to explain it to the lady at the ER front desk and then, in addition to trying to stop your artery from bleeding everywhere, you also feel a little silly about the whole thing):
Oh, humanity. Never a dull moment 😉 but seriously, people, I guess companies go the ‘better safe than sorry’ route, but the end result of that is that they print instructions on how to open up a package of airplane peanuts (AND what to do with them once you’ve opened the package which would be…eat them, probably). And well, people, even though I didn’t see the Disney ‘D’ as a ‘D’ until I was thirteen, darn it if American warning labels should give all of us a little more credit (and not blame us for all of the ways that people have tested products to see if they’re flammable, edible, able to be launched off of a roof, able to be used as surgical instruments, or actually do what they’re supposed to be doing (like the label on the sleep meds that say it’ll make you sleepy. I think that makes sense, don’t you? ;)) ANYHOO, we can probably keep moving along 😉
THE HEART OF THE EMAIL: Or, “If You Judge People, You Have No Time to Love Them” (Mother Teresa)
Youtube clip of the week (thanks for the friend who sent me this gem J):
In “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”, Tibby (a teenaged girl) says to her friend Bailey, “I make judgments about people.” And Bailey replies, “But you change your mind.”
Most of us have a pretty definite idea of who we are, what we care about, and what we believe. And we go through life with friends who are typically pretty similar to us (with enough differences to keep life interesting). But what do we do when we meet people who (at least on the surface) are different from us, and we not only have to meet them but find ways to understand them and let ourselves be understood?
Well, now that you mention it, the first thing to realize is that a lot of us(myself included) are toting around ‘checklists’ in our mind, evaluating other people on the likelihood they have of forming an understanding with us. But isn’t it more important to give them space to be bigger than that? Can we make an effort to dismiss no one and treat each person as the son or daughter of God that they are?
There’s no denying that we have differences in interests, personalities, and life philosophies. But think about how much of this applies to every single person we’ll ever meet:
“I want to be better than I am now, but it’s such a struggle to fight my flaws and I hate when I fall short. I want to take care of others, but asking for help is so hard for me. I don’t like to admit that I’m afraid of others’ judgment, of losing what I love, and of my life ahead that is such a mystery. I want to be known and loved, I want to be recognized as someone who matters, I want to trust that God is there and that He loves me endlessly, I want to teach other people what I’ve learned about life, and I want to do something in my life that actually has meaning. In other words, I’m a human being.”
If we look at what separates us, how will we ever remember that we are more alike than we realize? How will we learn that people are more than their interests, their passions, and their personalities? How can we be taught by someone who we think has nothing to offer us? How can we love if we judge and never move beyond our initial categorizing? It’s so easy for a few differences to be sufficient for us to pass someone by when really we have just passed over a person that, even in a lifetime of knowing them, would still have places in their heart known only to God and (maybe) to themselves.
It would be like this: pretend you’re sailing past an island, and even though you feel like it’s such a small-looking island that you’ll know your way around within the week, you decide to land anyway. And then once you move into the forests, you realize that there are waterfalls, there are flowers, there are rocks that sometimes hurt your feet, and there’s LIFE. And before you know it, you’ve realized that there is no end to this land, for we can spend a lifetime traveling its roads and never come to the end of discovering the country we’ve found. It’s so much bigger and complex and wondrous than we ever thought possible.
Welcome to the human race. Checklists will get you nowhere fast: they’ll only put up fences. It’s not the duty of others to fit neatly into your worldview for their goal is the same as yours: to find who God is calling them to be and strive to be that perfectly. We are all human, and all of the books and stories and history of the world has not begun to capture how richly God has designed His sons and daughters to be and to become. Thomas Merton describes it much better than I can, so here he is J:
“Yesterday, in Louisville, at the corner of 4th and Walnut, (I) suddenly realized that I loved all the people and that none of them were, or, could be totally alien to me. As if waking from a dream — the dream of separateness, of the “special” vocation to be different. My vocation does not really make me different from the rest of men or put me in a special category except artificially, juridically. I am still a member of the human race — and what more glorious destiny is there for man, since the Word was made flesh and became, too, a member of the Human Race!
Thank God! Thank God! I am only another member of the human race, like all the rest of them. I have the immense joy of being a man! As if the sorrows of our condition could really matter, once we begin to realize who and what we are — as if we could ever begin to realize it on earth. I have the immense joy of being man, a member of a race in which God Himself became incarnate. As if the sorrows and stupidities of the human condition could overwhelm me, now that I realize what we all are. And if only everybody could realize this! But it cannot be explained. There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.”
Friends, we are members of the human race, and God has made us long to be understood, cherished, and loved by Himself. And He has given us the task of loving and understanding one another, and in doing so becoming lovable by His grace. And as the saying goes, there’s no time like the present 😉
I send along to you, as ever, my
Love, prayers, JOOOYYY!!! And a HAPPY HAPPY FRIDAY!!! HOODALALLYY!!!