“…being worthy of respect does not depend on possessing attractive qualities or skills. Until we can respect another person without justification except that he or she is a child of God, it is not really respect.”
— Paul Lacey, Quaker Educator
To “respect another person without justification except that he or she is a child of God. . .”
Do you model this attitude in daily life? Please give an example from your experience.
Today, I stopped in for a quick breakfast taco at Chacho’s on Westheimer. The tacos are served piping hot, and they make mine with beans and potatoes on corn tortillas. They have a killer habañero salsa
that will perk up your attitude but fast.
After I had placed my order with one employee, another one, a man, greeted me. “Hello, Young Lady! How are you doing today?”
OK – I am keenly aware that I will be 60 years old soon. I am also keenly aware that “age is just a number” and I am indeed fortunate to be healthy, mobile, and young at heart. I smiled at the man and said, “Fine, thanks. How are you doing?” But for a moment, I thought: Oh. My. God. To this we’ve come. Nice young men are now calling me “Young Lady.”
I continued to smile, however, as I realized that being called “Young Lady” is highly preferable to having been called “You Old Bat.” I giggled to myself.
My advice is: when making your gratitude list, lower your standards! I guess I have a really low “appreciation threshold,” because it takes very little to send me into deep thankfulness. I’m grateful that I have a sense of humor, and that I can accept intended kindness from other people without being overly dramatic. Maybe just a little dramatic. Gentle humor, with oneself and others, is useful as one practices simplicity. So many personal conflicts and internal upsets can be avoided by simply taking a breath and a moment to appreciate the humor in a situation.
Television and online outlets are full of pundits who make their careers out of being professionally outraged and offended. Whether someone calls you “Young Lady” or wishes you “Happy Holidays” instead of a more specific greeting, it’s so lovely and simple to just be happy that someone, somewhere, meant to be nice.
What are you simply grateful for today?
Something has been percolating in me for awhile now. Perhaps an old-fashioned spiritual word to describe it would be “quickening:” a feeling of vitality, of energy, of purpose that comes from within. It seems that I have many words. They are words for me, and they are words to share with you. This page is the place to hold those words.
Quickening is interesting because it has nothing to do with going faster, doing more, or squeezing/cramming/forcing more activity into an already overburdened schedule or psyche. I understand that this quickening has only been made possible because I have two places that provide a respite from the modern relentless spinning hamster wheel of demands and distractions. One is my practice of the Feldenkrais Method®. The other is the practice of the Quaker Meeting. Each steps away from “the world” in order to step back in, at a higher level of functioning. Both use time and space in interesting ways to make more of each.
The Feldenkrais Method and Quaker Meeting help me to engage in a process where simplicity is a result. Inside that simplicity is deep love for what Moshe Feldenkrais called “human dignity,” and what George Fox called “The Light” or “that of God in everyone.” When I discover those attributes in myself, I can see them in other people. Sometimes, I seem to elicit them, or provoke them in others. That person begins to realize their own potential, their own capacity, their own “vowed and unavowed dreams.” I understand that this — perceiving, provoking, and nourishing growth — is my life’s work.
If you’re looking for simplicity, I am, too! Let’s search together, shall we? I have a feeling that it’s a “journey, not a destination” kind of thing. I’m game, if you are.