Friday, September 20, 2019

A Little Kindness Goes a Long Way;

The day my father died, I was at the grocery store buying bananas.
I remember thinking to myself, “This is insane. Your dad just died. Why the hell are you buying bananas?”
But we needed bananas. We’d be waking up for breakfast tomorrow morning, and there wouldn’t be any bananas—so there I was.
And lots of other stuff still needed doing too, so over the coming days I would navigate parking lots, wait in restaurant lines, and sit on park benches; pushing back tears, fighting to stay upright, and in general always being seconds from a total, blubbering, room-clearing freak out.
I wanted to wear a sign that said: I JUST LOST MY DAD. PLEASE GO EASY.
Unless anyone passing by looked deeply into my bloodshot eyes or noticed the occasional break in my voice and thought enough to ask, it’s not like they’d have known what’s happening inside me or around me. They wouldn’t have had any idea of the gaping sinkhole that had just opened up and swallowed the normal life of the guy next to them in the produce section.
And while I didn’t want to physically wear my actual circumstances on my chest, it probably would have caused people around me to give me space or speak softer or move more carefully—and it might have made the impossible, almost bearable.
Everyone around you; the people you share the grocery store line with, pass in traffic, sit next to at work, encounter on social media, and see across the kitchen table—they’re all experiencing the collateral damage of living. They are all grieving someone, missing someone, worried about someone. Their marriages are crumbling or their mortgage payment is late or they’re waiting on their child’s test results, or they’re getting bananas five years after a death and still pushing back tears because the loss feels as real as it did that first day.
Every single human being you pass by today is fighting to find peace and to push back fear; to get through their daily tasks without breaking down in front of the bananas or in the carpool line or at the post office.
Maybe they aren’t mourning the sudden, tragic passing of a parent, but wounded, exhausted, pain-ravaged people are everywhere, everyday stumbling all around us—and yet most of the time we’re fairly oblivious to them:
Parents whose children are terminally ill.
Couples in the middle of divorce.
People grieving loss of loved ones and relationships.
Kids being bullied at school.
Teenagers who want to end their lives.
People marking the anniversary of a death.
Parents worried about their depressed teenager.
Spouses whose partners are deployed in combat.
Families with no idea how to keep the lights on.
Single parents with little help and little sleep.
Everyone is grieving and worried and fearful, and yet none of them wear the signs, none of them have labels, and none of them come with written warnings reading, I’M STRUGGLING. BE NICE TO ME.
And since they don’t, it’s up to you and me to look more closely and more deeply at everyone around us: at work or at the gas station or in the produce section, and to never assume they aren’t all just hanging by a thread. Because most people are hanging by a thread—and our simple kindness can be that thread.
We need to remind ourselves just how hard the hidden stories around us might be, and to approach each person as a delicate, breakable, invaluable treasure—and to handle them with care.
As you make your way through the world today, people won’t be wearing signs to announce their mourning or to alert you to the attrition or to broadcast how terrified they are—but if you look with the right eyes, you’ll see the signs.
There are grieving people all around you.
Go easy.
- John Pavlovitz

Thursday, September 19, 2019

-Lawyers should never ask a Texas grandma a question if they aren't prepared for the answer.



In a trial, a Texas small-town prosecuting attorney called his first witness, a grandmotherly, elderly woman to the stand. He approached her and asked, 'Mrs. Jones, do you know me?' She responded, 'Why, yes, I do know you, Mr. Williams. I've known you since you were a boy, and frankly, you've been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife, and you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you're a big shot when you haven't the brains to realize you'll never amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you.'

The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, 'Mrs. Jones, do you know the defense attorney?'

She again replied, 'Why yes, I do. I've known Mr. Bradley since he was a
youngster, too. He's lazy, bigoted, and he has a drinking problem. He can't build a normal relationship with anyone, and his law practice is one of the worst in the entire state. Not to mention he cheated on his wife with three different women. One of them was your wife. Yes, I know him.'

The defense attorney nearly died.

The judge asked both counselors to approach the bench and, in a very quiet voice, said,

'If either of you idiots asks her if she knows me, I'll send you both to the electric chair.....🤠

THE SERENITY PRAYER

GOD GRANT ME THE SERENITY
TO ACCEPT THE THINGS I CANNOT CHANGE;
COURAGE TO CHANGE THE THINGS I CAN;
AND WISDOM TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE.

LIVING ONE DAY AT A TIME;
ENJOYING ONE MOMENT AT A TIME;
ACCEPTING HARDSHIPS AS THE PATHWAY TO PEACE;
TAKING, AS HE DID, THIS SINFUL WORLD
AS IT IS, NOT AS I WOULD HAVE IT;
TRUSTING THAT HE WILL MAKE ALL THINGS RIGHT
IF I SURRENDER TO HIS WILL;
THAT I MAY BE REASONABLY HAPPY IN THIS LIFE
AND SUPREMELY HAPPY WITH HIM
FOREVER IN THE NEXT.
AMEN.

--REINHOLD NIEBUHR