I had a remarkable conversation with a relatively new friend the other day. Her enthusiasm, desire to be of service to her fellows in every sphere of her living and boundless gratitude for the privilege of ongoing growth and development personally, professionally and spiritually were absolutely infectious.
What stood out to me more than her attitude, though, was the fact that she brought this approach and perspective straight through a latticework of what most would consider disadvantages. She was born behind the proverbial 8 ball. Though she was born into the land wherein all are recognized to have the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, the odds were stacked squarely against her.
While I won’t reveal the details of our conversation or the nature of her unique characteristics that most would call disadvantages, I must say that what she brought to the table of our discussion about the problems of life was possibly some of the finest, wisest and most nourishing food for thought I’ve ever been privileged to savor.
I’d be happy to introduce you to her if you’d like, but you’ve probably already bumped into her along the way.
She is the heavy-set girl sitting alone in the cafe. She’s the smart girl in braces sitting quietly in the corner at the school dance. She’s the woman you avoided in the airport because of her hijab headscarf. She’s the nun who was shunned by religious leaders because of her visions. She, my dear readers, is everywhere.
Why not look beyond your prejudice and take a few moments to discuss with her the problems of life? I’ve learned over the years to never judge a book by its cover. In fact, the most valuable lesson I’ve ever learned is how foolhardy and intoxicating judgment can be.
If you dare to rise above judgment – of others and of yourself – I will show you a different world.