I am a writer. This is something I’ve always known, but it took my Mom’s death for me to accept this truth. Sitting with the pastor and talking about my Mom’s funeral we were trying to decide how to deliver the eulogy. No one felt up to speaking so the Pastor suggested we write something and looked at me and said, “that’s the writer”. And it’s true. I studied writing in college and even graduated with a degree in it. I tried my hand at freelancing, but, quite frankly, I couldn’t take the rejection. My other passion is helping people so I pursued a degree in Counseling and somehow found my way into HR where I superstitiously try to help people while still doing enough of my job so the company will pay me. But I miss writing, so, here I am attempting a blog.
This blog has two purposes. First, I need to write. I sure do hope that someone reads this blog and that it gives them a smile or, do I dare to believe, that it changes the way they see the world, but this is mostly for me. Not only did my Mom pass away recently, but my husband has ALS. He was diagnosed over a year ago and is quickly losing his ability to move and communicate. We have a three-and-a-half-year-old son which, in my mind, makes this even more devastating. This blog isn’t necessarily about ALS, but I need a place to share my thoughts and capture my journey through this terrible disease.
Second, I have the minor ambition of changing the world. Ghandi said, “be the change you want to see in the world”, and the change I want to see is more love. Not touchy-feel, squishy love, but the kind of love that is accepting and not only kind, but merciful. The difference between kindness and mercy is that mercy is about doing good to people who aren’t deserving, which is infinitely more difficult.
Don’t get me wrong, it makes me wince to think of being kind to those who don’t deserve it. Yet I am reminded of Portia’s speech from the Merchant of Venice on the quality of mercy when she says, and I’m paraphrasing, “If everyone got what we deserved than we would all be in trouble. We need mercy as much as the next person and when we give mercy to another we receive it back ourselves.” I’m not suggesting that we not fight for justice, especially for those who can’t fight for themselves, but we can we also show kindness to those on the other side.
So this is my commitment to mercy. First, I am going to extend mercy to myself by silencing my inner critic and accepting myself right now. No need to prove anything, impress anybody or live up to any standard. I am okay as I am. Second, I am going to share this mercy with others by reserving judgement and assuming the best instead of the worst. Instead of beeping my horn at the person who cut me off, I will assume they made a mistake and let it go. I will believe the customer service person is simply having a bad day and treat them with courtesy and respect, even if they don’t do the same for me. This is the beginning of my experiment to change me, and I’m hoping the world will follow.