During an afternoon chat at the office, I laughed with several co-workers about the perceived value of money we held as children. Triggered by discussion of old action figures, one of them mentioned “I remember $7 seemed like so much to me as a child. I’d think ‘how am I ever going to get that much money?'”
Relativity also seemed to hit home for me, as I plunked down $12.75 for a freshly-squeezed juice at Native, Co., a popular spot in the neighborhood where I work. It seemed like a lot to spend on a cup of juice, but the reality is that ethically-sourced food products that won’t kill my body are a lot more important than the $ I could have saved by visiting a fast food restaurant, or drinking juice with fruits picked by children.
Looking around at this thing called “life” I’m seeing that it’s much simpler than I used to make it. Everything has a price and impact on the outcome of my days. I remember times where I didn’t enjoy the job I held (10+ years have passed) and how much that impacted life outside of the proverbial office.
Seek joy. Accept the present with gratitude. Give limitlessly.
These answers opened up my world from a selfish concave prison to one that is content, rich, and authentic.
Reading God’s Debris by Scott Adams, he made an excellent point on engaging in conversation with others. The character in the story was more of an ‘idea person’ than a ‘people person’; enjoying the picking apart of complex ideas far more than engaging with common social conversations. Myself being more of an ‘idea guy’, the book hit a close target in my understanding.
Adams writes that when you engage others in their most passionate interests, even an idea person can be fulfilled, as sincere engagement with others provides even the most stubborn idea-person with valuable information they can extrapolate back into their mind-world, while being engaging for the other person.
I thought a lot about this idea as it pertains to faith. For years, the christian religion has tried to make itself relevant to those outside of its walls. The fruits of the Spirit are: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Faithfulness, and Self-Control. These fruits are gifts anybody can share, receive, and give with authenticity.
Relevance isn’t necessary when authenticity is present. It feels like putting cheap used car-lot signs that say “BEAUTIFUL” “FLAWLESS” or “WOW” around the worlds most beautiful diamond, or flower.
Authenticity takes a lot of guts, because you peel back a lot of protective layers when you are your authentic self. I’ve had the pleasure of living with Azar and have first-hand seen the heart and care she pours into everybody that comes into her home. I’m humbled to live with her. I am. Living here has shown me a model of love that seems to have slipped away from practice by the average human being. Anybody can take. But it is a special kind of individual that gives in a way that inspires you to redefine your definition of love.