|Waiting for service at Sears package pick-up,
I observe a young Hispanic skillfully moving large packages out to cars, some on dollies,
some he carries. One of this legs is several inches shorter than the other. He wears a
massively built-up shoe and limps severely. Im sitting feeling the usual rush of
sympathy, concern and (unacknowledge) self-satisfied condescension. A mental somersault
occurs, and I wonder what mental deformities do I carry, mostly invisible to me and to
people around me but immediately apparent to other possible observers?
Sitting at Whattaburger, I watch a 300-pound woman being an
excellent mother. One look at the eyes of her two small children and you know she is an
excellent mother. The children are happy, no doubt about it. A seed of pride germinates in
me as I compare my slender body to her obese one. The weed is killed instantly as I think:
what about the obesity of my mind which is invisible here but is perhaps as obvious, and
problematic, elsewhere as the good mothers obesity of body?
In an Internet discussion group, I come across a fellow
Ive encountered before. Intelligent, articulate, something bent him badly along the
way. He is racist, anti-semitic. Once, I sent a reply to the discussion group, pointing
out the dangerously wrong thinking in his messages. My note contain some rationality, but
was tainted by anger bordering on rage. Today, I notice that another person has responded
to the insanity, in a much more reasoned, calm way. I admire this persons approach.
Understanding comes: only the gentlest of interventions
truly work. Which is why we think we suffer from divine abandonment.
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