Saturday, February 23, 2013

Spirituality of DFTBA 3: So is Everybody Else, continued

For Lent this year, I'm trying to make DFTBA (Don't Forget To Be Awesome) my spiritual discipline. Inspired by the Vlogbrothers and Pigtail Pals & Ballcap Buddies, I'm considering what DFTBA looks like for me and for my two-year-old daughter, Esther.

So far my Lenten discipline has included:
1. Remember you're awesome.
2. So is everybody else.

Spirituality of DFTBA 3: So is Everybody Else, continued

Knowing that everybody else is awesome has lots of implications, some of which I discussed the other day. I mostly talked about people with whom we interact, like family, friends, and even casual acquaintances.

But what about everybody else? I mean, the people who live far far away and with whom you could never interact. I mean, the people nearby with whom you can't interact because they can't afford to go to the same coffee shop/ bookstore/ grocery store/ movie theater/ bar/ concert venue... that you do.

Knowing that EVERYBODY is awesome means thinking about the rest of the world. It especially means thinking about the people who aren't generally thought of as awesome. If we truly believe that God created all of these people supremely good, then even the people the rest of the world shuns, are awesome. Poor people, gay people, people of different races and religions, they are all awesome.

There are lots of ways to learn about everyone's awesome. I personally love a novel or memoir to learn about other cultures and experiences. (Reading Three Cups of Tea and Reading Lolita in Tehran gave me a new perspective on Middle East politics.) Documentaries are another option.  And of course there's the web. You have a question about Islam/ LDS/ Presbyterianism/ Buddhism/ Hindu/ Catholicism? Look it up.

If all people are awesome, then all people should have the same basic rights and opportunities. Jesus said this when he said, "Love your neighbor as you love yourself." If we would fight for our own rights and opportunities when they've been denied, we should fight for those rights and opportunities for our awesome neighbors.

The Vlogbrothers call this decreasing world suck. In other words, if the world sucks, it's because someone isn't being treated as awesomely as they deserve. There are lots of ways to decrease world suck, and they're all pretty awesome.  Nerdfighters, the online community created by the Vlogbrothers, have created all kinds of opportunities to decrease world suck, even creating a foundation for that very purpose.

Recently Esther and I went into Philly to participate in One Billion Rising, a demonstration protesting violence against women. It was a small step in acknowledging the awesomeness of everyone, in this case, the one billion women in the world who are victims of violence.

DFTBA 3: Concrete tasks

  • Read a memoir written by someone from another culture.
  • Watch a documentary on poverty.
  • Consider a right or opportunity you have or had, that others don't. Give thanks.
  • Consider a right or opportunity you have or had about which you feel passionate. Google organizations that help provide that right or opportunity for others.

Creator who made us all awesome, clear our minds of misgivings about others and help us to see your face in all people, that we may decrease world suck. Amen.

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