“How Nice It Must Be…”

black-white-portrait-young-man-13825062How nice it must be to stroll down the street with your girlfriend’s hand in yours.  The world seems to be yours as a glance from someone evokes a quick wink.  Your sunglasses are in place but quickly can be tossed to the top of your curly black hair.  It’s the ease that you take for granted, a friendly smile from a stranger when you already know how you look, your nonchalant stride that you’ve copied from your father and now fits you well.

The oyster is open for you.  You truly believe that your life is difficult and talk about it often in dinner conversations at overpriced restaurants with friends who look like you.  Your knowledge of the world is the mirror that begins your day and ends with a final look for that pending zit.  You ponder with yourself and friends why the life of others is not like yours as though you’re able to shape the world when in fact you can.

You find yourself easily placing people into convenient places that conveniently places you outside of them.  It only takes you 1.5 seconds before you’ve weighed, measured and judged someone.  You may take a few extra seconds for the sake of grace but you bend back to the 1.5 judgment.  It isn’t that difficult but appears to be necessary to maintain your own self worth and esteem.

You knew where to place Bruce Jenner.  It was a cinch.  Now Bruce’s place needs a new place for you to place him, a place that didn’t exist for you before.  (How many places can we create for people anyway?)

There’s that overweight guy in the coffee shop who surely doesn’t care about himself, there’s a sleazy woman at the counter (her outfit), there’s the old guy with shaky hands having a hard time lifting his coffee cup, there’s a mom in the corner with two kids (“I’m sure there’s no dad involved”), there’s the guy who reads and reads, and that young guy with no visible skin left because his arms tell some kind of story through tattoos, now two guys walk in and they must be gay because of their haircuts and a black guy reads the newspaper and it’s 9:30 a.m. so he must be unemployed and you’re paying for him, a young white couple walk in carrying their newborn and you eagerly smile at them.

“You gotta fight to stay ahead,” you tell yourself every morning.  “If only people knew what I go through each day,” you keep saying to yourself.  Your day come to an end and before bed you check the progress of that pending zit.

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About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). www.Salvatorians.com. He is associate pastor of partnering parishes, Christ King and St. Bernard parishes in Wauwatosa, WI.
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