Friday, September 25, 2009

The Delicacy of Hint and the Mellowness of Sneer

Okay, so there I am attempting to learn humility. There I am attempting to die to self...
The Bible talks about humility and it also says that true religion is the ability to have control of one's tongue." From all the other Bible verses on the tongue, I take that to mean -- only affirming God's truth regardless of the pathological "real" truth, not gossiping however tempting the tidbit (Ah, gossip is so tasty! Our mouth waters! -- Proverbs),  not giving tit for tat, and being silent when one is rebuked -- if it's one's fault.

Humility is frickin hard. And -- because I tend to think of myself as such a sufferer-- it is especially hard for me.

I have to keep my mouth shut when some nasty bill collector calls.

I have to keep my mouth shut when the white doctor tells me that "black women tend to be overweight and did I know I was morbidly obese?"

I have to keep my mouth shut when my Buddhist friends make snide jibes at Christianity. (I don't know what the heck is wrong with the folks at the temple up the road, but dang!  I mean...apropos of nothing we're standing in front of the art house and before I knew it some snide crack about Christians and our belief in hell. I wanted to say "What exactly is it with you people? It's as if your speaker/priest/guru/whatever you call him has filled you all so full with sneering venom and mockery against Christianity that you're are ready to overflow and to sneer at every second. Yes, we Christians believe in right and wrong and in hell. Tons of Chinese Buddhist believe in hell, Emma-soo, hell money and what not! And in the Tibetan Book of the Dead there are instructions to the dead about what and where not to go if one doesn't want to suffer. Heck, every religion has some horrible place where the dead don't want to go...even if it's the desire not to return to life as a fly! For Frick's sake!)

I have to keep my mouth shut when the school nurse calls me up with a lecture (Argh! The cruel snide sneering stuff that we mothers of special ed kids get from the educational system!)

I keep my mouth shut -- am learning to, anyway-- against black christian women who travel all around the world and the country preaching and saying such stupid truly unChristian platitudes without realizing how stupid their preaching is.

I keep my mouth shut at white Christian prophets who seem to equate Pres Obama, the death of a white-ruled America, with the coming antichrist.  I keep my mouth shut when my hispanic church friends buy into this stuff -- and I don't say that this is all part of a white conservative fear that their world is ending and blacks -- AND HISPANICS-- are taking over the world.

I keep my mouth shut because I am trying to learn humility and because I tend to get very very very nasty when I speak my mind.

But of course this leads to me seething -- as I do against the inlaws, as I do against the school system, as I do against racist white doctors, as I do against annoying christians, as I do against hateful non-Christians.

There has to be a middle line where I can truly learn to be humble

--yes, Mr Bill Collector, you are quite right and although I sense that you consider me a dead-beat, I shall buck up and kow tow to your wishes and send you a check for money I don't have.

-- yes, Mr Racist White Doctor, you are quite right. Two hundred and fifty pounds is much too much, and although I sense that you consider all black women moral slovens, I shall attempt to lose these unwanted pounds and move more in line with your idea of Caucasian beauty standards. Yes, I shall even buy skin lightening cream.

You see, even when I try to be humble, I get snide. As Richard Brinsley Sheridan wrote in The School For Scandal, I "lack the delicacy of hint and the mellowness of sneer." I paint my comebacks with too wide and angry a brush. But I really do need to learn how to be humble. For the sake of getting my prayers answered, for the sake of quieting my ego and dying to self. God, help me please! And you alone, I might add. Amen.
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