Monday, June 22, 2015

4 ways to avoid being a "human doing"

"Hey how are you? My name is Jim. What's your name?"


"So Teresa, What do you do?"

Maybe its just the analytical side of my brain taking over... but it totally bugs me every time I have a conversation with someone and the first thing that someone asks me is..."What do you do?"

*Disclaimer* Now, I get that its just small talk.  Don't take this blog as some type of passive aggressive way of saying I'm annoyed with you if you're guilty of asking others what they do. I hate passive aggressive and I also ask people this it all the time. Hello, I am a hypocrite. Nice to meet you.  End disclaimer.

I just think that it tells a lot about how we as a culture see the people around us. When we ask them what they do, not who they are. There's something wrong with that!

What if we started asking people who they are instead of asking them what they do? Imagine the conversation that could come out of that simple question. I think it could change the world. But I also think that we are afraid of changing the world, and thats why we just stick with what's familiar. We are afraid of the messiness of humanity, so we just revert back to "what do you do?" If we really asked someone who they were and what they're all about, we'd be committing to quite a long and possibly heart-wrenching conversation. And you know, in our busy lives, do we really have time to open up that conversation? After all we have a lot of stuff to do...

We live in a success driven world. But maybe success isn't about what we do, but who we encounter when we are doing those things. Not only that, but maybe its about how we treat those people when we do encounter them. How many times do we stop to just "be" with the people in our lives? If we live in a culture that is too busy to "be" with the ones we love, than we are becoming less of human beings and more of "human doings". 

We're all sons and daughters. Brothers and sisters. Friends and companions. On a journey.

I'm leaving for Spain in two weeks and I'm excited for these encounters. I'm going to make it a point to ask those that I meet, "Who are you?"  ¿Quien eres tĂș?  

4 ways to avoid being a "human doing"

1. Hang out with a baby.
I learned a lot about humanity by hanging out with my 3 month old nephew. Babies don't really do anything except for eat, sleep puke and poop with an occasional smile or burp. You wouldn't ask a baby what they do, and they really aren't defined by what they do. If you've ever made baby giggle, then you know they are worth a lot more than what they do. Appreciate the gift of life in and of itself by hanging out with a baby. 

This kid.

2. Make eye contact with people
They say that the eyes are the window to the soul. When you're walking down the street, make an effort to look into people's eyes. They might not even notice. And if they do, they might think you're crazy. But look in their eyes and do a little "wondering". Wonder about who they are, where they come from, and why they were put on earth. If you really want to be a human being and not a human doing, you have to start caring about other people. 

3. Ask the tough question(s).
Take a social risk and ask "who" are you? the next time you meet someone new. They'll immediately be thrown off, but maybe that's not such a bad thing. Maybe they've been waiting for someone to ask who they are for once. Deep down nobody really wants to be defined by what they do. Everyone wants to be fully known and loved for who they are.

4. Answer the tough question(s)... even if no one asks
The next time someone asks, "what do you do?" Answer with the defining qualities that make you, you! Por ejemplo. 

Normal conversationalist: Hi Teresa, what do you do?

You: "Hi (insert name of normal conversationalist)! Well I suppose do my best to encourage everyone, try to smile a lot and make people feel included. Normally its a struggle, but I really believe that everyone on earth deserves to be loved and cared for so, I do my best."

You: What are you all about?

Normal conversationalist: ... *long, uncomfortable silence*
Normal conversationalist: Wow. I didn't think anyone really cared. Which is probably because when I was 7 years old... *Continues to spill out entire heart and soul to you whether you like it or not*

You: *Just became a human being*

Friday, June 12, 2015

Be real it doesn't suck later.

I like real

I like real even when its messy

I like authenticity.

(Did that rhyme? Dang that sounded good. My mixtape's gonna drop next week.)

The bible says: "For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light." (Luke 8:17) ...And if it's all true, these could be the scariest words you've ever heard in your life.

Imagine one day out of nowhere, every single action, thought and desire that you've ever done, thought or really wanted went flashing up on all the jumbotrons in Times Square in NYC. Yep that means the good, the bad and the ugly too. Not only that but your name and face are plastered right up there next to your true self. What if who you really were was on display for all to see? No filters. No backspace or undo. Just you. (Ooh add that to the mixtape, I'm a rhyming fool today). Here goes nothin, on a good day I think it would look something like this...

Teresa M. Liguori
24 years old
Loves sugar more than many things in life.
Wishes she was in better shape than she is and looks in the mirror and doesn't like what she sees.
Can't not hit the snooze button. Ever. 
Addicted to technology.
Sometimes feels depressed and lonely.
Only posts positive things online because she doesn't want others to know she's not always happy.
Worries about her future on a daily basis.
Eats too many donuts and drinks to much coffee. (Probably. No - definitely - addicted to coffee).
Objectifies men often. 
Sometimes drinks too much.
Texts and drives.
Is often afraid to talk to people in new situations.
Thinks she knows it all.
Feels like she knows nothing.
Still has trouble forgiving others.
Fears that people she loves will leave or die too soon.
Gets annoyed when old ladies ask to sit with her in public situations - like right now.  (So random!)

Why did I just do that? Because if we are not real now, it's going to suck later. And I don't want it to suck later.  St. Augustine once wrote a whole book (The Confessions of St. Augustine) about how big of a sinner he was and all the dumb things he did too. Now, I'm not trying to make myself out to be some sort of Saint or anything like that, because believe me I could fill an entire book too. But here's the deal... so often we only portray the parts of us that are presentable and nice to look at, rather than who we really are, even when that's kind of ugly. But isn't being real kind of refreshing? I think so. 

If that bible passage above is all true, then one day every single thing about is going to be revealed for all to see. My theory is get it out now and deal with it before its too late. If pain and suffering really leads to joy, then why not go through a little pain now, be authentic, so that later on we won't get screwed? Besides, no one wants to know that we have it all together, people want to know that they're not the only one that's not perfect. Newsflash, nobody's perfect. Thanks Miley. (EW I just quoted Miley Cyrus. Sorry everyone. Just being real)

Here's the deal. There's no "3 steps to this" or "4 ways you know that" today. But one day Jesus is gonna come back and all of our sins are going to be revealed. Why? Because he's mean and looking to get us screwed? No because He deals in reality. First things first, Jesus is the realest  person who's ever walked the earth, and He's coming back to "judge the living and the dead." 

Judge. People are more offended by that word than by an F-bomb these days. Now, I don't believe anyone has any business judging anybody else, but when we call everything that makes us uncomfortable,  "judging", than we have an overly-sensitive culture that needs to toughen up a bit. (My opinion. Did you just judge me?) Human beings need to lay off the real judging, but God can judge all He wants because He only speaks truth. When and if we get to the pearly gates, and God says "you did this, this, this, this and this..." we are only going to be able to respond with "yes, Lord." We cannot lie to The Truth Himself. One day we're going to die and be face to face with this truth, like it or not. 

My challenge today to be practically human is to share this post and post your own "jumbotron" real self for all of Times Square to see. #berealchallenge

Be real now, so it doesn't suck later.