Monthly Archives: September 2015

Illustrating Absurdity

The other day, Mike Rowe (of Dirty Jobs fame) wrote on his Facebook page about all the to-do with the Miss America contestant who gave a monologue on being a nurse, the subsequent apparent offense taken by a few on “The View” and the subsequent offense taken by fellow nurses and others that lead to multiple apologies and pulled sponsors.

You can read all about it here (If you want to see good writing, this is it):

https://www.facebook.com/TheRealMikeRowe/posts/1058465054163637:0

He concluded the entire episode is a mere reflection on how easily people are offended and feel the need to tell the world how righteous their offenses are. All in fewer than 140 characters and hashtags galore.

I (tried) to help illustrate his point by adding my own absurd comment (as Rush Limbaugh likes to say, “Illustrating absurdity by being absurd”):

I am offended by your phrase “140 Characters or less.” The correct word is “fewer.” I expected more from you, Mike. So disappointed. #stopbadgrammar :p

Most people got it — including Mike who graciously and with his usual and incomparable wit responded:

It shall be corrected forthwith. And in the future, I vow to make lesser mistakes!

(For which I responded “Ha! Well played.”)

Others, not so much:

Get a life people. Now we’re offended by grammar and typing mistakes. Crazy.

I’m sick of grammar police, please embarrass someone in private and not on a public forum.

You all made Mike’s point for him – pooping in your panties over minor stuff. Nobody’s perfect.

(I thought, but didn’t add: “Um. No. You did.”)

And the Coup de GrĂ¢ce (at least in the responder’s mind, I’ll wager):

Well, I will offend the grammer police, by sa ying” Are fu*&Ing kidding me??” Look at the bigger picture, Ms. Grammer!!

I learned a bit about myself during this episode.

First, I felt an explosive dose of pride when the Mike Rowe responded to my comment, and by the amount of likes I got (yes, I watched them increase like a lotto ticket holder squealing every time one of her numbers is called out). I wanted to scream all over Facebook, “Look, look, a celebrity talked to me! Look how many likes I got! I’m so special!” The bane of my existence, pride.

I also learned that there are times my skin is so thin, a sideways glance is enough to send me into a tailspin of self-loathing. Other times my skin is so thick, I laugh at those who respond to my words not so kindly.

The latter was my response in this instance.

Granted, when strangers pounce on my words, I don’t care all that much. They are strangers, after all. Sometimes I will try to clarify if they misconstrued my comment. Other times I leave it alone, because the detractors are actually proving my point.

How can I not laugh?

My skin thins when someone I know attacks me or my words, and I think that’s quite normal. The opinions of friends and family should matter more. At the same time, I shouldn’t allow anyone’s opinion determine my self-worth, stranger or friend. Should I listen to criticism as well as compliment? Absolutely, because each can make me a better person. In the end, however, that shouldn’t determine how I feel about myself as a whole. One critique doesn’t make me a horrible, evil person worthy of the death penalty anymore than one compliment makes me perfect.

Each should be weighed honestly, rationally, and on their own merit. Neither should make me love myself more, or hate myself more. I can (and should) love myself regardless of my imperfections. And because I love myself, I should be honest about the good as well as the evil in me, and continue to work on doing more good and less evil. Sure, I will fail at times, but that doesn’t make me less lovable.

Don’t ask me how I got from bragging about Facebook comments to self-love, because I have no idea. Regardless, I hope you found it at least entertaining. If not, you will find me in my closet, rolled into a tight ball, and questioning God’s wisdom in creating me.

Not really.

Because Mike Rowe replied to me!

An Opportunity, Not An Insult

Many are complaining that the guest list for Pope Francis’ upcoming visit is insulting and offensive. Even the Vatican has expressed concern.

Whether or not I think the White House acted appropriately or intended to offend, I don’t know or care, honestly. That’s not the point of this entry.

Jesus was not offended by anyone. He expressed anger (when he tore apart the marketplace in the Temple), and many times was frustratied with those who refused to hear his message.

Jesus sought out those who were hurting; who needed to hear God’s message of grace, love and forgiveness. He partied with the sinners; he didn’t sequester himself with the righteous. He came for all the sinners of the world, and that’s everyone.

If I were the Pope, I would be excited about the list, not concerned or offended. What a perfect opportunity to minister! Not as a religious figure, per se, because too many hearts are closed to religion, but as the representative of Christ, and what Christ came to earth to die for. I would treat every guest — regardless of whom or what they’re there to represent — with the same love and respect I expect to receive. Period, no judgements and no preconceived notions.

That’s our mandate after all: To go out into the world and spread the Good News. To everyone. No one can do that if they hide behind walls, or expect to be separated from those who need the Message most.