We share the same birthday, and I wanted to share some of her wisdom. Some favorites:
1. People are hurting, err on the side of kindness. If they aren’t now, they will be soon. So many of us, so often in misery taken out by life’s ugly curve balls. Your kindness can make all the difference in the world. Be kind. Be kind. Be kind.
When you tweet, when you blog, when you visit family, when you come home to a cranky spouse, when you change a diaper, when you are in traffic, when you are on your period, when your cat pisses on your shirt, when you have no words for the exasperation you are feeling. No matter what, be kind. Play nice.
4. Just because you are a good writer, a clean house-keeper, an “A” student, a loving wife, a long-suffering husband, a conventionally pretty or handsome person, a hard worker, a middle-class person, a wonderful speaker/teacher/trainer/blogger, or _____ or ______ or _____ it does not make you better than anyone else. As soon as you possibly can, get over yourself and value others no matter what they have or don’t.
10. Decide to embrace tension. Life is too complex to force into simplicity. A life worth living is rife with tension.
13. God absolutely loves poor people, ugly people, sick people, displaced people, emotionally abused people, mentally-ill people, train-wrecks, immigrants & even homophobes. You should too. And it should be tangible. If you are wealthy enough to read this post from your own private computer or smartphone, one tangible way to love the downtrodden must be financial in addition to whatever non-financial acts of service you feel called to. Even if you are on food stamps, you should be financially giving to the poor. There is hardly an excuse I could tolerate if you live in a 1st world country and are not in some way financially serving the poor. The poor will always be with us, so please don’t give me any “I don’t have any resources or opportunity” tomfoolery.
26. How you treat those who can do nothing for you says a lot about your character.
30. Don’t rush mourning. Mourning is necessary. There are many stages to mourning, each deserves time and space. Don’t cover over mourning, don’t drink, eat or shop mourning. Don’t sex, porn or otherwise fritter away precious time to mourn. In this life, there will be hardship, whether it’s for Sandy Hook kids, Michael Jackson, or your own personal hell, mourn it on out, babe. Mourn that ish out!
35. Let your “yes” be “yes” and your “no” mean “no.” What if you were forced to follow through on everything you’ve said “yes” to? Everything from lunch with a friend to staying married even while unhappy? Would you think more clearly about what you agreed to if your life depended on your follow through?
Let your “yes,” be “yes.” If you agreed to it, promised it, than do it. Also, you may need to say “yes” less often.
thanks for another year, Jesus. may i love you and the world you've created more fully in this next one.