I have a confession to make. I’m growing a little frustrated with the 37 days project.
Don’t get me wrong—I think there’s much to be gleaned from Life Is a Verb.
However, I’m having a little trouble getting completely on board with some of the actions. There’s a slight whiff of sainthood about them that strikes me as both unrealistic and not fully human. I don’t agree that we all have to do thus and so in order to be a good person. Life, you remember, is a beautiful struggle, and if you’re showing up and making an effort, that ought to count. I’m not saying there shouldn’t be an effort to improve, but sainthood? Not for me.
Today, the story Digh told and the related actions had to do with empathy, with putting myself in the shoes of someone I may not find appealing. This is a fine and noble expression of humanity in theory, but in practice, it’s difficult to view everyone through an empathetic lense. I’m not Mother Teresa. I don’t see everyone as a beautiful soul. Does that make me a failure? I don’t think so. What it makes me is human.
Here’s the thing: there are people who try my soul every time I see them. I have a low tolerance for crabs, fusspots, and worry-warts. Oh, and whiners, crybabies, and the persistently negative. Conversation hogs and buttinskies bug me, too. I try to be nice to them when I can’t avoid them, but I’m not going out of my way to cultivate any kind of relationship with them. I don’t have a lot of empathy for them. I have compassion, yes, at times, but empathy? That would be a “hell no.”
So what does this have to do with sass? A lot, actually. Sass is all about being real.
I don’t want to be is mean. I don’t want to be without empathy. But I believe that you feel what you feel for a reason and to be real, human, and full of sass, you need to follow what makes you feel something deep down in your soul. If some wrong or evil in the world makes your blood boil or makes you cry, that’s a prompt. Do something about it. You can’t fix everything, but dammit, you can fix something for someone somewhere, so do it. That’s real empathy and compassion in my book. That’s your real self coming out, and that, my friends, is sass.
I hate it when I get preachy, but I like that we can pass around the offering plate now.