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Coaster, sans arachnid

Once, as I was watching TV, I reached for my hazelnut coffee. It was placed on a coaster that resembles a throw rug with tiny strings on it. As I drink my coffee, I have to make sure it’s centered so it doesn’t spill. Usually I just grab those little strings to adjust it. This time, I wasn’t paying attention. I grabbed the strings and tugged, only to look down and realize that it wasn’t the strings of the coaster I was pulling on. It was the legs of a spider!

Mildly freaked out, I said “Aaah!” He said the spider version of “Aaah!,” making a jerking motion with his legs. All those crazy legs. Mercy. He ran off and I started to go after him to squish him (there wasn’t time to capture him with my trusty Bugzooka and take him outside).

I realized that he’d gotten my message without my even trying.

He wasn’t coming around me again, not after that tiny torture session. Tickling my toes? What manner of fresh heck is this? What are you, giant creature with flame-orange hair?

As a general rule, impinging on my space will never get you a warm welcome.

This goes for spiders on my coffee coaster, of course, but also for:

  • People who decide to park their car in front of my driveway.
  • Salespeople peddling stuff I don’t need that I’ll end up putting directly into the attic.
  • Zombies sent to my house inadvertently by a faulty GPS (Gory People Search.)

The best way to make a point, no matter how important you feel it may be, is to give people their space. So if you’ve found faith and want to share it, be sure to ask permission. Respecting others’ decisions speaks well of your religion.

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What if Mother Nature sent you texts, the same way your own mother does? It pops up on your phone: “Ding!”

“Hello dear, haven’t seen you for a while. What, is your leg broken? You can’t take a walk in the park for your health like when you were a kid? Do you think the geese by the lake feed themselves?!? The deer, they should look this cute, and for what? No one there to appreciate them? Where have you been??? Love, Mother Nature.”

There’s a point at which “do this; it’s good for you,” becomes a lecture.

One of the news shows I watch is CBS This Morning, and in one segment on healthy habits, reporter Norah O’Donnell seemed curt and clipped with the guest. Normally she’s calm and respectful. I wondered, What’s going on there? Does this lady owe Norah money? Why does she seem so mad at her?

It wasn’t until the end of the segment that I realized that nutritious eating was a passion of O’Donnell’s.

If you’re a person who does this thing (eats organic, works out, votes, goes to church, volunteers, calls your mother, doesn’t jaywalk, posts no bills, checks the weather to see if you need a coat, reads self-help books, listens to podcasts, takes a vitamin, etc.) and you make it your job to be a noodge? Thanks anyway!

Hassling isn’t the same thing as helping. If something has made a difference in your life, show, don’t tell. You’ll speak volumes without saying a word.

Have a Mary Little Christmas

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