Friday, March 20, 2009

Whatsoever Things

Philippians 4:8 (King James Version)
8Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

I'm sarcastic and pretty blunt by nature. All of us have certain defense mechanisms (said the psych nurse) that make us more comfortable with other people and my main one has been witty pessimism. People who know me forgive me for it and people who don't sometimes think I'm pretty edgy. As I've gotten older and experienced more I have not so much outgrown the snarky edge as become more comfortable in my own skin and needed it less. Oh, it is still a part of my personality and I doubt it will ever go away completely. I have come to realize that sometimes I am the stronger one and my sarcastic asides might be amusing and get me a quick laugh but an opportunity to put balance into the world is lost if I'm not careful.

I am still motivated by a deep need for reality and the more someone seems to be skirting issues the more I need to dig in and put a spotlight on it. This is often interpreted as being unkind and that isn't my motivation. I just don't have the knack for foolishness. For instance, the kid who drops out of school and moves around from friend to friend's house saying he can't get tied down to a job because he is going to be drafted into the NFL and he needs to be available and work out constantly. Come on, you are just asking for me to put some balance into your world.

When you become the mom or the supervisor or the mentor or just the oldest one in your crowd (all of which I apparently am!); you have to choose your attitude more purposefully. When I was a floor nurse I could be funny in my negative "all is lost" way but not anymore. Now I am a supervisor and I have to take responsibility for the impact of my demeanor. And let me add, from this perspective I see the impact of everyone else's demeanor and realize it might not always be so funny. My assumption was that I knew when a zinger was appropriate. Everyone else has the same assumptions and the truth is, we are all wrong.

Is it ever ok to embrace my inner snarky self? I think it is. I think it is part of who I am and used with some care I can break tension and soften the glare when the spotlight is too harsh. But I watched a news story about a group of kids and their desperation regarding the economy and thought to myself, somebody has to speak life into the world. My auto worker husband is on a pattern of work one week and laid off one week. He has a worried edge that's unusual for him. Marriages are toppling at an alarming rate. People carry burdens of parents with Alzheimer's, domestic abuse, loved ones with cancer and these are people I see everyday. A zinger here and there might offer a moment of comic relief but well-placed words of peace and truth could be soul repair.

The common denominator of the world's situation is that life is out of control. Somehow people have paid their mortgages and gone to work every day and can't afford groceries. Somehow families that loved their children and did all they knew to do are watching those children throw everything away to promiscuity, alcohol, drugs or just plain stupidity that will change the course of their lives. Somehow I can do everything as right as I know how and still get derailed.

That is why I have to take notice that a cheap laugh or avoidance of a topic might be a missed opportunity for soul repair. I will not speak continually of death whether it is literal death or the death of hope. I won't use this blog as a platform for my somebody done somebody wrong song. I won't feed the monster of negativity.

It's time for all of us take responsibility for the impact of our words and attitudes and realize that hell runs on the fuel of our actions. I'm asking you to hold me accountable. If you see this blog becoming the journal of my disappointment; remind me.

1 comment:

Margie said...

so true! I was just reading about the impacts of sarcasm Sometimes it's funny, and sometimes (most times) it's hurtful. Fine line to cross.

Thanks for another great post!

And i have to admit... I like your snarkiness