Aren’t people funny?
Teresa and I invented that phrase forever ago to prevent us from breaking St. Benedict’s big rule: Do not evil murmur.
In the moment when one of us is on the brink of saying something mean-spirited about someone, we catch ourselves, look at each other and say… Aren’t people funny?
The tone of voice and inflection of words varies according to the situation. And oftentimes, I still feel guilty of evil murmuring, but it helps to keep my shadow side somewhat in check.
These past few weeks, there has been an abnormally high number of funny people who have crossed my path. Many are just trying to prove something… either to the world or themselves… probably both. Some are quite simply… big bullies. [Yes… even adults can be bullies.]
I find myself being annoyed by all of them. Not only because of their bad attitudes and small minds… but also because they just make me weary. In most instances, I have to listen to them. It’s not an option to just walk away. So the negative energy they put into the universe fills the space between us and beyond.
And then I wonder… how many people say it about me… “Isn’t she funny?” Probably more than I care to know.
One of those quotes that has rolled around the internet for years jumps at me front and center:
Use every kindness for someone is always fighting some great battle.
A seventh-grade boy came to me in tears the other day. Absolutely huge tears for a seventh-grade boy… they don’t tend to give up tears easily. A teacher’s harsh words and angry voice had crushed him. Not long after that, another student’s harsh words added salt to the wound.
This kid was broken. So broken that he needed a place to hide out from the world. I felt honored that he knew I would be a safe haven. The happy ending of this story is that the seventh-grade boy found some healing.
Now we are all on spring break for some rest and rejuvenation. My hope is that everyone returns after Easter with some renewed life and enthusiasm to finish out the school year on a positive note. I’m tired of hearing my inner voice repeat and repeat silently: Aren’t people funny?
It’s as much my own fault as anyone else’s. I need to be more compassionate because everyone is always fighting some great battle that I have no clue about. I too, have my own inner wars raging.
It’s a good reminder as we enter this solemn holy week. New life is coming.