Sunday, February 18, 2007

Post of the Day

Chana. Some of my favorite lines: [and some of my own comments]

As I'm about to post this, I realize I basically ended up writing a few posts of my own. See, people? I sometimes write posts, not just link to them!

I didn't see her.
We often hear about how we need to look around more, to see where we can help. But sometimes (often?) helping is just being aware of whomever is right in front of us. We need to start looking at people; not past them, not through them.
But that's idiotic! What good are the aesthetics if it's ruined on the inside?
The perfect question.
So he is an idealist cloaked in cynicism.
To some extent, I think we all are, the older we get, the more life experience we get. This can be viewed as both a positive and a negative - while we need to be idealistic, we must also be realists; on the other hand, full cynicism (as opposed to tempered cynicism) and pessimism destroy the chances of success. We're all striving to find the correct balance of idealism, optimism, realism, and cynicism... while trying to maintain a sense of positivity.
It is not what she is; it is not who she is. She believes that everyone is given challenges and trials, and that God does not give us challenges that we cannot handle. These challenges are meant as stepping-stones; we are meant to grow. She is who she is- happy, having accepted her limitations, optimistic, clever and kind- because of the way she has reacted to her diagnosis and sometimes limited abilities, also because she was given wonderful parents to help her. But she is not her limited abilities. She is not "the deaf girl."
RaggedyMom had a good post about labels last week. This is a bit different - while there is a practical usefulness in our own using of labels, that does not mean that people must live by the labels assigned to them. None of us can afford to let our labels define us. We all must try to be the best us we can be, not try and live up or down to the labels others have given us. I am not merely a 'math smarty pants' nor am I merely 'lazy'. I am who I need to be... or I am trying to be. If I am trying to live up to other people's expectations [first millionare] or other people's definitions of what it takes to succeed [cutthroat; not helping others at my own expense] I am living for them or their expectations - not for me. I will not be happy.
She can tell good people from "bad" (and I use the word lightly, in order to connote inconsiderate, unkind, or thoughtless as well) simply by seeing how they react to her. If they are overly nice, overly sweet, if they treat her as a chesed project, as a girl to protect from the world- she knows they are not true friends. If they pity her- and have I ever met anyone who needs pity less!- it is to assert their own superiority and look down on her from their high vantage point, not out of kindness. Pity is one of the cruelest traits.
We all wish to be treated as would anyone else - this does not mean ignoring our limitations, but being treated decently. Treat people as you would anybody else. A close friend of mine is dyslexic - so when I see an article the friend might like, I'll call and tell them about it rather than forward it to them as I might for another friend. It takes me an extra couple of minutes, perhaps - but I also get to hear their thoughts and discuss it with them much faster than I would via e-mail. Are all situations equal? Of course not - each has its own differences, but in both what you give and what you receive.
I want the person to help themselves and I have a hard time understanding, unless someone is truly standing in the way, why they do not. I do not want what is best for the person; I want what I think is best for the person. This is the judgmental personality. Now, when it comes down to it, of course I do not want to make people do things they do not want to do. When it comes down to it, who says my definition of "fixed" is right? As my friend pointed out, people are not toys. You cannot play with them; you cannot make them do things. Nevertheless, this is the way I like things to be- I like them to be fixed.
Many have noted that one reason people enjoy blogging and commenting is this very trait - we are, by nature, fixers. We like to fix things, to fix people. And while this may be noble, we must also be careful to fix things as they need to be fixed, as they want to be fixed, and not as we want them to be fixed... and if they do not want fixing, we have to gauge if our attempts will only break them even more. Sometimes, the best way to fix something is to let it grow and learn how to fix itself - we just need to help support it while it grows.
I am not a very patient person. ... I become frustrated with people who do not do what I think is the correct or "fixed" path.
And anyone who can- any doctors or medical professionals or researchers- I think the world of you. You are my hope, because you are going to change this world.
Right now, especially, I could not agree more.
I believe it because I need to believe it. I need to believe in a world where the good people live on, where people are given back their lives....
Even in sorrow, we all strive to find that silver lining - whether the good that comes out of it, the reactions of others that show people care, the lesson to be learned. If we did not, we would all go insane. I still remember walking in Neve Yaakov, not a sound in the air, on a perfectly clear night, just over four years ago. [Wow, has it really been so long?!] I started thinking through all that had transpired in my life in the previous 6 months - the good, the bad, the worse, the ugly - and how it all fit together. There were so many little things - negative things, sad occurences - and yet so much of it was working to prepare me for the future. Now, four years later, I look back on those 3 hours of pacing up and down the concrete hill, watching the flares being dropped silently on a village in search of a terrorist while I straightened out my own thoughts, and I am happy to see how all those bad stories turned out to have such amazing outcomes, outcomes I would never have dreamed of. Life is amazing.

Finally...
if this doesn't give you hope, if this doesn't inspire you, I don't know what can.
Amen.

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