A few days ago, I sat and listened to a graduation commencement speech. OH what ENERGY! The graduates beautifully dressed in cap and gown, stole around their necks, tassels on their hats, full of life for the future. For some of them life has been wonderful: affirmation from all sides, good grades, the future something to be conquered because they have been reassured that everything, all their desires are at the tips of their fingers. Others, well, life hasn’t been as grand. These are the ones who struggle because they might go home to a mom who battles depression or a dad who has one beer too many and becomes an angry child ready to pounce on anyone in his way. In whatever place these students find themselves the truth is: they have been reassured that life is theirs! All for the taking… But truth? Life isn’t always ours for the taking for sometimes life is chaotic, messy, and scary. Sometimes life doesn’t believe that we are at the center of the universe and we are not the most amazing things that were ever born. Sometimes life tells us the truth; we, are just mortals, human incarnations, yes, but mortals. And in being mortals, we should not expect life to always meet our needs for there will be times that devastation kicks us in the behind and we understand that we, while wonderful and beautiful, are not they only people in this world. This is another one of those tensions I see within our culture. The culture in which we think we should be given everything we want and when we do not get it, we are angry blaming everyone we can think of but our own choices and possibly ourselves. But maybe in our ethnocentric views, we forget that there are others who love and hurt within this world and maybe just maybe, the true path of human incarnation is not to think or believe that we are the only ones, but that there are others, many others, who do not have the gifts we have been given. And then maybe, just maybe, it is in our scarcity that we learn what it means to be fully human.

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