Sunday, October 10, 2010

Not Better Than Average

Have you read/heard of the research that says most people think they are better than average drivers? I'm not one of them. I think that I am a worse than average driver by nature, and try to compensate by being a very vigilant driver, taking caffeine for the morning commute, driving a very small car to minimize the damage I might do in a moment of inattention, trying not to pay attention to anything around me that might be more interesting than what is ahead of me, never talking (never mind texting, which is inconceivable) on the cell while driving, or drinking before driving.

I also don't find myself to be a woman of better than average character. My motives for much of what I do are base self-preservatory motives. When I pray not to do harm in my work, I'm praying not just for my patients' safety, but also for my ability to go on doing my job and being able to live with myself. Doing one's duty is the duty of all, and many if not most do theirs; I try to do mine. That makes me, at best, a person of average character. But my obstacles are not as high as those of most people in this world, so maybe average is an overestimate.

Of the things I love to do--read, write poems, sing, care for (and entertain) those I love, and those entrusted to my care--most people who love to do those things do them better than I do. And among those who love God, God knows I am not his most passionate and dedicated soul, loving with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. But, because of his grace, I haven't given up. I still hope for those occasions when I forget myself and where I fall in the continuum of the rest of sin-touched humanity, and do the right thing for the right reason, and love for the sake of the beloved, and rise above not all the others, but myself, by pure grace. It stands to reason that if that ever happens, I won't notice.

And just so you don't find this morbidly depressing or think I'm obnoxiously self-effacing--like that could ever happen--there are a few things I do well: Whereas I'm not normally a good judge of character, tending to trust those who are up to no good, I was, when it mattered 37 years ago, a profoundly good judge of husband material. And I'm a great speller and punctuater. Or is it punctuator?)

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