A wink and a smile

I was in the car the other day listening to music when my eyes caught a bricklayer on the side of the road.

My eyes caught his. He winked. I smiled. Then he smiled.

It was perhaps five seconds. But it’s one of those moments that aren’t limited by length.

Our circumstances were vastly different, and we may never see each other again.

But in that split second we shared something vastly important - a common humanity. And we shared it with the fullest of dignity, in spite of stations in life.

The memory still makes me smile.

How not to be a hypocrite

It’s so simple, really.

Just tell the truth.

Just tell the truth about your weaknesses, your failures, your errors, your vulnerabilities. Just tell the truth about the principles you let yourself down on, the promises you broke, the corners you cut, the lies you told, the truths you withheld.

Just tell the truth about your humanity, every time.

That’s all.

That’s how not to be a hypocrite.

Care less

There is nothing like a person who doesn’t care.

‘I don’t care’ is the refrain of the afraid and heartbroken.

People see disappointment, see betrayal, see hurt and backstabbing, see people who trusted others and regretted it, recall those they trusted who turned their backs on them, and they decide it’s better not to care.

Unfortunately, it’s impossible not to care.

We were made for connection. Therefore, we were made to care.

It’s understandable, the instinct to protect yourself before you are hurt. But you can’t. We can’t.

Have compassion on those who say they don’t care. And if you can, help them walk through the fears that hold them back, and embrace the vulnerability that’s necessary to live a life of joy.

Private shame

One day the world will speak the truth about the things it calls ‘private’.

That the things we often call ‘private’ are pets of our humanity that we are ashamed of. That we believe are too messy or nasty to be spoken about in ‘polite’ company.

Like farting.
Or defecating.
Or sex.

The philosophy professor, Martha Nussbaum in delving into the history and nature of bodily fluids explores this truth elegantly.

We are ashamed to admit that what we call ‘filth’ (doesn’t look or smell nice) comes from a place we often don’t even call by its name - the anus.

We are afraid to admit that we thrust (a bit like dogs, a bit like chickens) in and out of each other (and even as I write that, some of you will cringe, wince, or be disgusted at the way I frankly describe what most actually do) while having sex.

We are reluctant to own all of us ourselves because those aren’t part of ‘polite society’.

The other day, the veteran actor, Whoopi Goldberg was even told live on TV that she couldn’t say the word ‘hymen’ on air!

Ask yourself, when last did you actually use these words when describing those parts or activities:

Anus.
Penis.
Vagina.
Ejaculation.
Menstruation.

Ask yourself why you think it is dirty to accurately describe something that we all have, that we all do; that happens to all of us.

Mehn. Shame is a cage.

Imperfecto

When people ask me, what makes you so joyful? Why do you laugh so easy (and loudly)? Why does it always look like you’re having so much fun?

The answer is simple: I have absolutely no desire to be seen as perfect. 

None, nada, zilch. 

I have always been lucky to fully embrace the inevitability of my own imperfection. 

It’s a lesson I have only gone deeper into as the years go by, discovering waves of joy every step of the way. 

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