Sunday, February 22, 2009

And the Award Goes To...

I love movies, I enjoy good acting, realistic dialogue, an unpredictable plot, a true message, interesting faces and voices and faraway places and all with a warm box of popcorn on my lap. Love it. i appreciate all the hard work, the research, the carefully selected wardrobe, the immaculate make-up, the hair-dos appropriate to the historical setting, the computer generated effects, the moving sound-track and the precision camera work. So nice of them to give me a couple hours of fantasy for a handful of dollars when I have nothing better to do.

But I always feel a bit like throwing up when I watch them cry and hold their hands over their hearts and "thank the Academy" for their golden statues, and act as if they were heroes to a thunderous standing ovation - like they had just rescued an entire country from a nuclear holocaust. They love congratulating themselves and honoring themselves and spending massive amounts of money on the most expensive wardrobes to celebrate how well they pretend to be other people. And we let them get away with it because it's such a part of our culture, what else can we do? We put the money in their pockets after all, and they do give us a heck of a show...

Meanwhile how about the ones who really do rescue people? Who is giving them golden statues and throwing giant parties, who is screaming out their names, just dying to get a glimpse of their face? Who has their teenage kids plastering the faces of these real heroes on their bedroom walls and wishing they could be just like them?

There are silent heroes all over the world, who pull people out of the pit of death, who rescue the suicidal, who heal, teach, give hope, inspire, and light the way to God Himself. You can tell who the real heroes are, because they couldn't care less about the recognition, the parties and the awards. They know that what is waiting for them, surpasses everything that Hollywood could ever offer - by far. So I guess we can let the pretty people have their statues. I'd rather hang around with the real heroes any day.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Overtalkers Annonymous

Ever had to deal with overtalkers?  They're the people who think that you want to hear everything they have to say, and can't take a hint that you stopped listening a few minutes ago?  I do a lot of counseling, and I'm aware that sometimes when people come to talk about their problems, they can't quite explain just what they're going through and they end up going around in circles a bit, trying to work things out in their minds.  That's fine, and sometimes that's the only way to sift through the confusion of feelings and thoughts to finally pinpoint what's wrong. But what I'm talking about are those people that are supposed to know what they're talking about; those who are supposed to have their answers already figured out before you came to them.  

"So how much time will it take before these ant colonies in my roof will disappear?" I ask the pest-control guy.

"Well, ya have to know the way these little guys think.  Studies have shown that ants are highly intelligent and can evade termination for long periods of time.  In fact there was a study in the University of Michigan...or was it Wisconsin?  No, no I think it was published in Ant World Monthly, I could get you a copy of it if you'd like, that described the mating habits of the New Guinea spotted wood ant, and you know ma'am, when you're an expert like me......

Meanwhile I'm standing at my front door with a plastic grin on my face, nodding every two seconds pretending to care and thinking,  "Will you just do your job and leave?!"  

It's really interesting being on the opposite side of the conversation when you're the one used to dishing out the advice and answering the questions.  The worst thing is to imagine that everyone else wants to hear ourselves talk, and that we already know what they want to hear even if they didn't ask. For those of you out there who spend a lot of time counseling in your churches or schools, beware of the plastic grin, the constantly nodding head, the glazed look in the eyes - you're boring the pants off of them, I guarantee.  Listen first, and think hard about what comes out of your mouth, and make sure it's what they're ready and need to hear. 

And guess what?  The ants magically disappeared, and I still haven't read a single journal on them.  Amazing.