by Kenneth Justice,
~ On Christmas Eve yesterday in the midst of running a few last minute errands I stopped off at one of the little café’s I hang out at to get a cup of coffee…..as I was standing in line the young woman in front of me said to her boyfriend that she wanted to stop by one more store before they headed home,
“No way, are you out of your mind?” he said to her, “I have to work all week long and I’m not wasting anymore time going into stores….you’re stupid for not having finished your Christmas shopping weeks ago” he said
The entire exchange was rather brief, but those few words the boyfriend spoke came out sounding very cruel. It was obvious she was upset because when he tried to grab at her in an awkward attempt to hug her and apologize for the way he talked to her; she back away from him.
We are all prone to misspeaking and at times not being sensitive in the way we talk to others….hell, I have been guilty of that kind of behavior all my life. And with the frenzied pace of the holiday season I’m sure the boyfriend was mentally exhausted from all the shopping and wishes he could go back in time and take back what he said to his girlfriend.
There is so much that I wish I could go back in time and reverse;
—) Nasty words I’ve said to people in the past
—) My holier-than-thou attitude which I carried with me for a long time
—) Poor decisions I made in the past that led to even worst decisions
Ultimately though, it was all the bad decisions and all that I have learned which has helped me to become who I am today. And who I am today is an imperfect young man that is still trying to figure out his way through this world.
There are a lot of things in life that I simply don’t understand;
—) Why do so many children around the world suffer at the hands of child abusers and molesters?
—) Why do so many people live in extreme poverty?
—) Why does so much of society ignore the needs of single mothers?
The list of questions I mull through my mind is endless. I’m still searching for answers and I will likely be searching for many more years to come.
As I listened to the nasty way in which the young man talked to his girlfriend it reminded me a lot of the way I used to be; insensitive and brash. I used to believe that in order for me to be ‘righteous’ I had to walk around and constantly tell people what I thought was ‘wrong’ about them or about their behaviors…….I had this whacked out notion that I was the moral police…….but I don’t think like that anymore.
The boyfriend probably did think in his mind that his girlfriend was ‘stupid‘ or at the very least ‘not smart’ for having put off her holiday shopping till the last minute….but so what; just because we think something doesn’t mean we should say it out loud.
I don’t like the way I used to think and I definitely don’t like the way I used to interact with others…..and in many ways I still don’t like certain aspects of my behavior. I still have a tendency to be self-centered and forget the needs of those around me……but I’m working on things.
I went to Christmas Eve mass last night and enjoyed the service. I like sitting in the massive ancient cathedral surrounded by all the decorations….it gave me time to think. I enjoy the stillness of sitting in silence and pondering the deeper meanings of life…the things that matter most.
So much of Western Culture is simply too fast paced and it seems like there is only one speed at which life in our culture moves; full throttle. So I am thankful for the quiet times in my life where I can sit and mediate on all that is happening around me; like when I’m sitting in a worship service or when I’m sitting at a little café enjoying a cup of coffee.
To my Jewish friends I want to wish you a Happy Hanukkah,
To my Muslim friends celebrating Eid ul-Fitr I wish you peace,
To my Christian friends Merry Christmas,
And to everyone else, whatever you are celebrating or even if you are celebrating nothing, I wish you the best!
I have a special announcement coming up on New Years and I hope you stay tuned…..for now though, its time for my morning coffee,
Categories: Culture & Society