The other day, the first of the Republican National Convention, I started having a little snarkfest on Facebook. Sometimes I love snark. It’s smart, makes me laugh. It’s particularly gratifying when my creations bring out the laughter.
But as the day wore on, something shifted in me. Posts I wholeheartedly agreed with by people I think are terrific started seeming petty. They were coming at me at such a rapid rate I had to step away from my computer. I even deleted my own sarcastic post about Antonio Sabato Jr. in a flurry of remorse.
What? Hadn’t I just been participating in this? Am I a hypocrite?
Actually, what I am is awakened about 90 percent of the time. The other 10 I fall into that abyss where I join in a (mostly) subconscious superiority one-off like it’s sport. I’m a dichotomy. There’s the side a dear friend calls my “girl gang” side and then there’s the one who thrives in the meaningful. Nancy in all her glory, I suppose.
Today I was sitting by the water contemplating writing about this, forming some of the very words you’re reading now. I was thinking about New Thought teachings I’d learned and about vibrating at a higher level and how I strive to do that.
Then this happened.
A guy on a bicycle stopped in front of the bench where I was sitting. He smiled. I smiled back. The conversation went like this:
Guy: What time is it?
Guy: That’s all?
Me: (laughing) Yes.
Guy: (reading words on my shirt) ‘Wake up and smell the coffee.’ I need some.
Me: (pointing behind us) Go that way to Kings. They have good coffee.
Guy: Jesus is my king. I died and he brought me back to life.
Me: I love that.
Guy: He loves you. Jesus loves you.
Me: I know.
Guy: Just remember this message isn’t coming from Mary or Paul or Abraham. It’s coming from Jesus. He wants me to tell you that.
Me: Thank you for relaying the message.
Guy: Thank you for having a beautiful smile.
And then he rode off.
I sat a little longer and then made my way home, the church bells ringing to signal it was 12 o’clock. Hmmmm. Seems I was just in time to make 12:10 mass (something I do on occasion), so I crossed the street and entered the church.
When the priest read the gospel, it was The Parable of the Sower. Ultimately, it asks us if we want to be the person who takes in teachings, who listens, who provides “rich soil” for growth as opposed to one that doesn’t let a message take root at all. I felt as if I’d been steered into the church to hear this.
It’s worth noting that I am no longer Catholic or even Christian, but I value some of the messages in Scripture and other religious texts. I also believe the world would be better if we emulated Jesus. My “religion” derives from a mix of places, experiences, philosophies and stories, all of which have helped me be grounded in mostly rich soil.
I will bask in the message from the guy on the bicycle because I believe he was divinely sent to reinforce what I was already thinking – dial it back on the nastiness. Get back to awake and aware. You needn’t be the Dalai Lama, but you can still be kind and judicious in your communication.
The next five months until our presidential election will test all of this. I don’t want to be the person who revels in pounding away at petty politics while so much love is needed in the world. No promises I won’t slide back, just vowing to spend more time on the high road.
My bike messenger got to me. Yes, he did.