Why, oh why, do we talk about the weather? Is it because it is one thing in the human existence that all people experience? Or is it that it is a sure-fire constant in a revolving world? Or is it the wonderous fact that the same general elements remain, but reveal themselves spectacularly new, every day? It used to be a joke that if you were on a date and all that came up was the weather, you needed to try again with someone else.
But, I love the illustration of sunrises, clouds, rain, lightning, sunsets, and of course snowflakes, as a depiction of humanity. I complain that I hate labels, but that’s not entirely true. It’s pigeon-holing that irritates me.
To not see a variation in a sunrise may seem simple in comparison, but I liken it to looking at a fellow brilliant creation of humanity and only seeing one or two defining elements. It’s a travesty towards creation. I’m not just speaking of the usual suspects either, such as gender or race. But, also, chosen professions, or speaking ability, or artistic talent, or mood, or various character qualities, everyone has miles of uniqueness inside. I don’t believe it is just because I am a wordy girl that I can think of a hundred ways to describe my three sons. And not in a static way either, but ever-changing, expanding, evolving, mellowing, falling and rising. Aren’t we all this way, full of unique and opposing and interesting qualities?
When my youngest son was about 12 he told me, “I am not the same all the time.” (I love it when my children want to share with me!). He explained, “When I am playing with the younger kids, I am like a protector. I make sure everyone gets a turn at whatever game we are playing.” He expounded on each role he saw himself playing. He was the threat assessor for the littles when older kids joined in. He was the counselor and listener for his middle-school friends. Then he asked me if that made him a “fake.” I told him he sounded a little like Paul, when he said, “I have become all things to all people…” Now that’s a famous Bible missionary, making a point about loving others. No way does anyone need to literally, “become all things to all people.” Not my point. My son wasn’t being fake or inauthentic, or “playing roles.” He was showing his character. The way he has sensitivity to age-appropriate play. The way he values the weaker among us. The way he loves his friends. To me he is an amazingly self-aware child! He already knows such that has taken me many years to hit upon. Our individual humanity is internally diverse.
Our conversation made me wonder if we do a disservice to kids when we ask, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Seems almost like we start labeling the poor younglings before they get a chance to discover the myriad amount of awesome things they already are.
“Not everything has a name. Some things lead us into a realm beyond words.”