Thanks to my 80 minute round trip to and from work each day, I find myself with ample time to reflect upon the state of the world. Like any good freeway highbrow, I have come to believe that I have indeed discovered the root of all of the worriment that plagues humanity.
Alright, that's probably an overstatement. I do believe that I have firgured out why there seem to be so many unhappy s.o.b.s in the world however.
I have come to believe that the genesis of many of our societal issues stems from our relentless struggle to project a socially "acceptable" or esteemed appearance rather than our true dispositions. Now, I'm not suggesting that by focusing on revealing our true selves all of our complications will dissipate. What I am suggesting is that we would all be aware of what we were getting ourselves in to with each other, and that's a start.
I have had the incredible good fortune of being close with a few outstanding people who have lived their lives each day dispensing the gift of their natural selves. While some who have crossed their paths have not appreciated their honest constitutions, most have loved them beyond measure.
My mom is one of these people. She has lived her life free of pretense and I have realized how amazing it has been to behold. My mom speaks impulsively, offering up an honest assessment of any given situation, most times regardless of whether or not she had been asked. With most people, offering up an unabashed opinion or comment would be graceless and lumbering. With my mom, it is usually pleasing and strengthening. This is her natural flow.
It has been amazing to watch this principle in action as this process has unfolded. With each new nurse or doctor that enters the fold, my mom is ready with a extraordinary greeting. It has been amusing to see the looks on the nurses' faces when they meet my mom for the first time and she says things like, "Hey Beautiful, aren't you cute?" or "You are gorgeous. You look like you should be on that Gray show. You know, the one about the hospitals? You are much cuter than those girls." They usually smile awkwardly at first, but after mere moments, you would swear that they were old friends of hers, laughing and giggling.
Even more amusing has been watching my mom talk to the male doctors. She is prone to using cursory words to describe the imposing procedures she is facing. For instance, when referring to the utilization of radiation to remove her brain tumor, my mom distills this complex scientific wonder down to either "Zap" or "The Zappy Thingy." I have seen some doctors seem exasperated with this type of description at first. The internal dialouge must sound something like, "I have gone hundreds of thousands of dollars in to debt, spent years of my life in school, and you are referring to my expertise as, 'Zap?'" By the end of most of their visits, the sheer force of my mom's personality has disarmed these doctor's to the point where they have dropped any semblance of intellectual superiority and have usually adopted her description of the process. I can't help but wonder if any of them have visited their next patient and lost some of their patient's confidence by utilizing my mom's terms. "Good afternoon Mr. Jones. After reviewing the film of your latest CAT Scan, I am fully confident that by employing The Zappy Thingy procedure, we will be able to remove this mass." My mom has ended an increasing number of her counsultations with requests for a kiss from her doctors. Requests which have evolved into directives as the days have passed. While none have obliged to date, I think that she is wearing them down.
It is her confidence in herself, her ability to offer her true self in the face of so much charade that makes me esteem her. I wish I had her courage. I am thankful that I have been treated to the experience of knowing and loving her. Even more, I am thankful that I have been treated to the experience of being loved by her. Because it is love that is without constraint and with the utmost fidelity.