Saturday, September 28, 2013

How are you?

The other day, a friend asked me how I was doing. I actually was doing fine, and said so. But it got me thinking. How often -- usually in passing -- does someone ask 'How are you?' or "Are you doing ok?" Is the person just being polite, or do they really want to know?

When someone asks, do you give an honest answer? Or do you lie, and just say you're good, even if you are anything but?  Do you really want to share that you're really feeling sad, lonely, angry or completely frustrated with your job/parents/roommate/boyfriend/grades/class schedule/singleness/life choices?

How often do you ask others those questions yourself?  Do you expect a complete answer when you ask? Do you truly want to be an ear for someones grievances?

Ok, that's a lot of sentences that end in question marks, lol. I think sometimes, it depends on the level of friendship, whether the person is a co-worker (some of my co-workers I know very well, others are more like acquaintances) or a closer friend. Certain people I know I can unburden myself to if I'm having a hard day. Others, not so much. And there have been occasions where I've asked someone how they're doing, and they have launched into something that's bothering them, when really all I meant was a polite hello. You have to think, though, what if they live alone and don't have anyone else to talk to? I know venting to my best friends about rough days or my frustrations really helps me, and sometimes, we all need a sympathetic ear.

I'm not sure where I was planning on going with this, really, but it's something to think about.

Monday, September 16, 2013

"...a little pencil..."

While I was away on bereavement leave after my dad's passing last month, I spent time helping my mom sort through some of my dad's things between what to donate and what to keep. One of the things we sorted (not that we're finished yet) were his books. My dad had a lot of books and enjoyed reading history -- World War II, the Old West and Civil War history especially -- along with espionage and adventure thrillers and some science fiction.

He also had fair amount of spiritual reading and a lot, specifically, by Blessed Mother Teresa. I took a few of them home my mom didn't want, and have been flipping through them at random. One of the (multitude of) beautiful things about Mother Teresa -- who's feast day was Sept. 5th -- was the simple, relatable way she could express very deep spiritual thoughts, as well as encourage people to work for God, trust in Him and pray always. So today I just wanted to share some of them.

"You can pray while you work. Work doesn't stop prayer and prayer doesn't stop work. It requires only that small raising of the mind to Him: I love you God. I trust you. I believe in you. I need you now. Small things like that. They are wonderful prayers."

"You and I have been created for greater things. We have not been created just to pass through this life without aim. And that greater aim is to live and be loved and we cannot love unless we know. Knowledge always leads to love and love to service."

"Be the living expression of God's kindness; kindness in your eyes, kindness in your face, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greetings. We are all but His instruments who do our little bit and pass by. I believe that the way in which an act of kindness is done is as important as the action itself."

"I always say I am a little pencil in God's hands. He does the thinking. He does the writing. He does everything and sometimes it is really hard because it is a broken pencil and He has to sharpen it a little more. Be a little instrument in His hands so that He can use you any time, anywhere. We have only to say 'yes' to God."