Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Listen, Respond, Repeat

Where does the need to impress people come from? Why aren’t people comfortable in their own skin, in their own financial situation, and with their own life? When are these indisputable desires placed in our heads about marriage and finances and tangible things? We are all in different places, and if things happened to everyone at the same point in each life they would not be something to celebrate. For me, it is wonderful to witness someone in a completely different place than I am. Their wisdom extends beyond my realm, and mine beyond theirs. Rather than them being jealous of my life or me being jealous of their life, we should see the beauty in each other’s situations and soak in what we may never experience.

The holiday season highlights this nicely, but it exists the other 11 months of the year as well. When do we stop apologizing for not having enough money, not giving enough gifts, and accept that it is our time that is our most valuable commodity? We should be able to see people at Christmas time empty handed and have not even a twinge of guilt. Laughter and genuine conversation and interest in my life are so much more valuable to me than any gift anyone could give me, in fact they are such a treat in and of themselves. Being present of mind is more important than being present in body and checking off a list that you did what you said you would; not to mention, that it would make the season feel more personal and intentional.

Why not live our entire lives like this? If we see something that reminds us of someone, why not purchase it right then? Why do we wait until December to give little gifts to let people know we care? I think Christmas is an amazing look into the life of the ultimate gift in the life of Jesus Christ and it pains me to know that most who celebrate even a portion of this holiday have no realization of the deeper meaning that lies within the season. Sure, they see nativities scattered about the world, but do they comprehend what that babies life did for them? I strive to live everyday as though it is Christmas. Christ lived selflessly every day of His life, and that is what we should be working towards. Not the best job, not the biggest house, and certainly not the best gifts. I watch people worry about the Christmas season and lose their joy in the societal commerciality of it all. It should be a warm time of family and friends coming together in love, not a reason to feel inadequate.

All of our lives are up and down with no apology for the downs and no reason for the ups. Sure we can work hard to achieve what we have achieved, but it can all be taken away in a second. Hold onto the time you have and don’t throw it away on meaningless nothings. Friendship is not something that should be taken for granted. Family is valuable and some people will never know theirs, don’t waste time hating yours. I find myself one on one with someone distracted by my phone and my to-do list and my life, but just being there is often times not enough.

Listen. Respond. Repeat.

Give gifts for no reason. Remind people how much you care. Send cards throughout the year. If you love to receive notes and gifts randomly, why would others not feel the same?

Do unto other as you would have them do unto you seems to be ringing in my ears today.

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