Monday, October 06, 2008

small acts of decency

Next month my friend Shelly is turning 40.

She's going through a difficult time right now, separated from her wife, marginalized by her own parents, and feeling at times quite alone in the world. She's my best friend; I've known her for 20 years, more than half my lifetime. So I sent her a note and asked her if she wanted to get together next month to celebrate her birthday.

You would have thought from her reaction that I had just paid off her mortgage.

My friend Walks in the Rain, who I am sure will keep me from ever getting conceited or feeling special about myself, recently told me, "Congratulations, you're a decent human being. which makes you above average." It calls to mind the many times I have failed even these basic acts of decency, and how far below the standard I really am.

How can we stand to live like this, where a simple kindness is above average? How can we bear to look at ourselves in the mirror?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you'd like to pay off my mortgage...
... well...
... I'm okay with that.

(and I bet Jesus would be impressed by it too.)