Embarrassed

The salty old folks used to say, “God doesn’t suffer fools.” But of course he does, all the time. God suffers me. And I’m thankful for that. God takes joy in the misfits and the bumblers.

Still, there is truth in these words. It’s one thing to do your darndest but still muff it often, as we are all prone to do. It is another thing altogether to give ourselves over to absurdity because we’re too full of ego or too afraid of complexity or don’t want the certain troubles that arrive with a fiery imagination. It’s a travesty how we trivialize deep mysteries, flatten textured beauties and silence the slow and careful voices — all because we want to control our vision of the world, want it to fit into our delicately packed boxes.

I’m no fan of stupidity, but I have a lot of patience with a bad idea. Heck, I have a couple of them every day. But I’ve little patience with one who steamrolls another person or manipulates the truth or puffs their proverbial chest to build their following at another’s expense. This life is grand. Human beings are amazing. There is wonder everywhere. What are we doing to one another, to our own beautiful soul, with our thoughtless, fatuous obsessions?

Abraham Heschel said, “The cure of the soul begins with a sense of embarrassment, embarrassment at our pettiness, prejudices envy and conceit, embarrassment at the profanation of life. A world that is full of grandeur has been converted into a carnival.”

Heschel’s right. We could use to be a little more embarrassed in our world. Embarrassed at what we’re doing to ourselves.

3 responses to Embarrassed

  1. I agree. I found myself nodding much in agreement. I bristle at rampant arrogance and wonder at the total lack of shame.

  2. Interesting! I just this past week talked to my community college Spanish students how we are not longer embarrassed. The word had come up in the Spanish vocabulary. I asked them when was the last time they were embarrassed. They had no answer.

  3. Oh such beautiful truth. Thank you for writing it!

words have a way of making friends. drop a few here.