Particular Human Beings

I know that I have an easier time loving humankind than I do loving particular human beings.

Particular human beings hug my bumper in rush hour traffic and shoot birds at me when I tap my brakes. Particular human beings drop my carefully selected portabella mushrooms into the bottom of my grocery bag and toss cans of beans on top of them. They talk on their cell phones while I am having a nice quiet lunch at Blimpie’s; they talk on their cell phones while I am waiting to pay them for my gas; they talk on their cell phones while I am trying to step past them on the sidewalk. Particular human beings rarely do things the way I think they should do them, and when they prevent me from doing what I think I should be doing, then I can run short on reverence for them.

One remedy for my condition is to pay attention to them when I can, even when they are in my way. Just for a moment, I look for the human being instead of the obstacle.

_________________________

— Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World, p. 27

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