A Simple Challenge

During her sermon yesterday, our minister gave us a challenge.

Each day for five days, when we’re feeling in a good mood, we’re supposed to try to find the inherent worth and dignity in three people.

If we get to the end of five days and feel comfortable with this much, we’re supposed to move on to trying the same thing when we’re not in a great mood, or with someone whose inherent worth and dignity maybe isn’t quite so apparent to us.

After five days of that, she challenged us to choose one day a week to keep that spirit of openness for the entire day, and see how we feel.

I like this challenge. It speaks to my desire for simplicity and connection.

I tried it out yesterday, and it went fairly well, partially because after church was over, I didn’t see anyone but my husband and two kids. I’m pleased to announce that I was able to see their inherent worth and dignity (there are some days this is more difficult than others).

I tried it today, too, encountering a rather larger number of people than yesterday. What I found was that just trying to find those three people put me in a more serene and open mood all day long. This means that I almost cried at book club tonight (multiple times), but for me, that’s a good sign. I’m not a crier and I know that when I feel like I’m going to cry, it’s a sign that I’m letting stuff in.

It also means that I had a great time at book club and at my daughter’s flute lesson, and even at the grocery store.

It does not mean that I didn’t swear (loudly and fluently) at the two drivers who honked at me and passed me illegally and dangerously because I wasn’t risking my children’s lives to get through an intersection as fast as they wanted me to. But then, I don’t have to try seeing their inherent worth and dignity for at least three more days.

If you know me in real life and you hear my children swearing, yes, it’s completely my fault.

One comment

  1. Lisa Sylvester · November 14, 2011

    sounds like you’ve found a Unitarian church! Ya-hoo! Although, I hear they are quite plentiful in MA.


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