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Gender: Female
Hometown: South East Michigan
Home country: United States
Member since: Tue Jul 27, 2004, 01:19 PM
Number of posts: 10,559

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There is the Ignore feature, but it is hard to use sometimes.

I prefer the standards of Not Being Assholes be enforced everywhere. Thousands of posts on controversial topics - drugs, abortion, politics - and the worst insults I have ever received and my only hides were here in Meta.

4 Men (African American, Pakistani, Russian & Indian) & a White Woman....

were all sitting down for lunch together.

Sorry, there is no punch line. It was lunch with work colleagues.

- One African American man who is an expert in his field.

- One man born in Pakistan, another expert in his field.

- One whose family is from India, another expert in his field.

- One born in Russia, but here forever, who is also a certified expert in his field.

- And one white woman who is *also* an expert in her field. (Moi!)

And we were all having lunch together while we chatted about work.

It was no big deal. It was lunch. Five professionals, all good at what we do, with amazingly diverse backgrounds, all working together, having lunch, and talking about work.

Fifty years ago, it would have been unthinkable. At least one of us would have been candidate for a lynching at such a concept, and the rest - well, odds are good none of us would have been at the table, let alone together.

But it was just a normal lunch. And for one second, when I looked at it through eyes where this wasn't "normal", I was reminded one more time why this is such a great country.

And it made me proud and happy to be an American, because where I work, this wasn't the start of a joke with a funny punchline.

It was lunch.

On Being Mother Theresa.

It is the middle of the night, and I am giving myself a pep talk about an impossible task I have taken on. It is A LOT of work, and the rewards are the opposite of financial. I am regularly asked why I bother, and my religious convictions sound odd sometimes, and frankly, during the discouraging times I question myself, too.

And tonight, I am thinking of inspirational people. Mother Theresa keeps coming to my mind, and the impossible task she took on. And I found myself thinking, "well, it must have been different for her - that woman was a freaking SAINT!"

And the thought just struck me as so ridiculous that I had to share it: she wasn't a SAINT; she was stubborn!

How insulting to her to minimize the good works she did in the world by not acknowledging that she did THE WORK. No one waved a magical wand and made it easy for her; she WORKED. And when people expressed admiration for her, she was impatient with them, and told them they could do it, too, if they wanted to.

I think we - or at least I! - do that a lot. I look at the feats athletes perform, and stand in awe of their prowess. "Wow!" I say to myself. "That is amazing! I wish I could do THAT!" And the athletes, bless them, refrain from pointing out that I probably could do it, if I spent hours daily for years practicing the skills, and sacrificed eating badly for healthier habits, spent less time watching television or playing on the Internet - if only I put in THE WORK....

(Hours later.)

The people I admire and respect for the good they have done and the deeds they have performed weren't handed the admiration and accolades on a silver platter. They struggled, they cried, and they looked at the people around them as if they were daft because it seemed so obvious how to get things done: JUST DO IT. From the prophets to the writers to women who were scorned for trying to change the world (Clara Barton!), the only way people have ever accomplished IMPOSSIBLE things was by DOING THEM.

Today I will work on trying to accomplish three IMPOSSIBLE things. I will take baby steps because otherwise the tasks are just too overwhelming. I can do baby steps for three impossible things without being overwhelmed and discouraged (which sometimes happens when I look at how far I need to travel to complete my goals). One task will be only for my benefit (some healthy changes to my diet on a temporary basis), one for my community (an activist activity), and one for the children who share the planet with me.

I am not Mother Theresa, but I can WORK, too. Maybe someday my impossible tasks will seem easy to those around me.

I just hope accomplishing impossible things becomes a habit.
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