Often when my mother was about to say something profound, she would preface it with, “You know, life is strange!” Then she would unload some wise bomshell from a lifetime of careful observation. Usually her “truths” disclosed life not always being what it seems or “conventional wisdom” being turned on its head.
Mom’s wisdom came to mind again yesterday when a sister-in-law shared a 90 second video. It was the season premier of Louie, a program unknown to me. The [clip] features an exchange between a bluntly honest single dad and his daughter. After Louie rewards his eldest child for doing her homework with a mango pop, his youngest demands one as well.
With tempered exasperation that can only come from the love of a parent (or a teacher), Louie bluntly confronts his youngest with the fact that life is not fair and she will need “to get used to it.” While everyone is of equal dignity, there is no fundamental human right to equal treatment. That’s life!
Then with wisdom befitting my own mother, Louie delivers a line we hope would somehow register somewhere in the consciousness of our young children: we are never to look to see if others have more but only to see whether others have enough! Wisdom befitting the Gospels!
It is often stated, and experience seems to prove, that the first and best teachers in the faith are parents. In this, Louie deserves an A+. But you know, life is strange… I think Louie would be the last person to claim that stelar achievement. Life is coming too fast and furious for this single dad to allow time to evaluate how well he is parenting.
In my book, parents like Louie (and many teachers) are literal saints. Jesus always had a predilection for the invisible little guys, those who thought they were nobodies or society ignored. The Louies of the world don’t have the luxury of introspection. They just lay down their lives from some deep inner core of love that elicits selflessness.
I’m only on the cusp of my elder years and have yet to achieve my mother’s wisdom. However, I am ruminating about something that has not yet risen to the status of “truth”. It is this: People who think they are holy typically are not; those who doubt whether they are holy often are! What do you think?
Yes, life is strange!