To Be …Squeaky
Recently I heard someone give a speech about “Squeaky”. This was the nickname of one of the delightfully special people on earth. The speaker related a story in which a group of young college students were ridiculing Squeaky and mocking him. Squeaky was a full grown man in body nut his mind still saw things with a child’s innocence so he failed to understand that this young men were not being friendly but actually very tacky and rude.
The speaker spoke of how he could have stepped up and stopped the situation but he did not. I cannot tell where the speaker was going with his story because he simply said “We all have those times in our past where we could have done the right thing but did not.”
I really do not care what your particular faith is or if you consider yourself spiritual rather than religious. I care not for the color of your hair or your intelligence quotient. What I care about is your being and I think such an attitude is necessary is making anything something better than it is.
This series is about making the ordinary times of our lives count for something, make them extraordinary. We are sixteen days into this series and I can tell you it is both the most ignored series I’ve written in over eight hundred posts and the most controversial, judging by the feedback. Who knew doing good was controversial?
It is true that we all have had those instances in our lives, missed opportunities in which we could have put another’s feeling and being ahead of our own. Being selfless for another is not an easy decision nor does it happen without forethought. There are even those who feel it lessens their own being to consider the feelings of someone instead of just thinking about their own. I feel very sorry for those people.
Often the ones who are putting others first are invisible. After all, it is the squeaky cog that gets the oil. Is there anything wrong with being invisible? Check out Pentecost 9 of this series for an answer to that; the post published on May 23rd. Emily Dickinson wrote a poem about being invisible, being an outsider in a world of egomaniacs.
“I’m nobody! Who are you? Are you nobody, too? Then there’s a pair of us -don’t tell! They’d banish us, you know. How dreary to be somebody! How public, like a frog To tell your name the livelong day To an admiring bog!”
Dickinson lived a life of obscurity although today she is considered one of the foremost American poets. Only ten of her poems were ever published during her lifetime. Emily Dickinson lived her life the way she wrote – one her own terms. She has served as the inspiration for many great poets and is one of a handful of American female poets.
Of interest to us in this discussion is that she was present in her own life. In the opening story, the speaker was present but not really living HIS life. He was going along with the crowd instead of standing up for his friend Squeaky.
I once was told to put others first and they would in turn put me first. Sadly, that piece of advice did not come true. However, it did make me a much happier person in looking back on decisions I have made. What we do today does not only affect our living in the moment but in the future. The whole point of altruism is to act in such a way that it benefits the present AND the future. Otherwise, what is the purpose of expending our energy?
Dickinson’s two stanza poem speaks volumes about the silliness of someone devoting all their energy to simply croaking about themselves. Living in such a way that your good deeds speak for your is much more satisfying and leaves a legacy that will be remembered. None of us is born by ourselves. It takes two to create new life and that new life requires assistance from others. If that is not proof that we need to help each other, I don’t know what is.
Maybe it is a bit whimsical to describe this series as making the ordinary extraordinary but there is nothing wrong with having a wee bit of whimsy in one’s daily life. Life to make the most of yourself but remember, some of the best paths to doing such involve doing something for another. Stand up for what is right and let your own voice be heard, squeaking among those that are simply croaking. Take the opportunities life presents you and do the right thing. Carpe diem – seize the day to be!