Waiting Room
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Waiting Room • Posted: Jan 27, 2013 10:13:31Comments WelcomeVote CoolPhotoblogsPurchase a PrintShare

I overheard someone saying recently: "What am I doing in a relationship again? I shouldn't be. I can't handle it."

I suppose what struck me most about that set of statements is its implied apprehension, its assumed expectation of impending doom. Does one ever really know what will happen next? In fact, no we don't. Do we even have control over what will happen next? In some sense, yes. In other senses, no. We dream up what we think we'd like to see happen next and, if we have the courage of initiative, we do our best to guide things along, paying attention to and exploiting natural forces in play, to in some coarse imperfect momentary manner coax and coalesce things into semblance of what we think we'd like to see. At best it pleases us for a bit, and perhaps those around us. At worst it disturbs, corrupts, and frustrates not only the wishes, desires, and potential of others, but nature's processes, the processes upon which life itself depends. In religion's terms, we have committed the sin of vanity.

Two stories in the news this evening strike me as relevant, both by the Associated Press. One involves a serial killer, the other a friar accused of sexually abusing minors. Both committed suicide before the entire truth of what they had done could be uncovered. Their suicides rob us of knowing the full details of their antisocial depravity, but it preserves for each of them the perfection of their own vain deeds. What is truly vain does not stand up under close scrutiny. On the other hand, what is not vain does. Case in point, the life and record of recently passed baseball great Stan Musial. By all accounts, he was as genuine as they come.

So, are the women in the picture above vain? They are all models, to be sure, a profession that is all about vanity. But are they vain? As pictured, are they putting on false aires for the benefit of gaining our attention? From my reading, no they are not. All three seem quite naturally poised and non-effacing. In other words, open, honest, and direct. That we might consider them beautiful is incidental, not necessarily by their intent, though it is certainly by intent of the photographer and also by intent of the designer who placed their pictures where we might find them. If viewers are female, they might even be enticed to think "I'd like to look like that". And if so, the purveyor of the room pictured just might have something you need, for a price. Isn't vanity interesting. It seems to make a great deal of our economy move. It would also seem to be the root cause of insecurities like the one quoted in the opening paragraph.

May you always find fulfillment, not in trying to be something you aren't, but in trying to do something worthy of who you actually are.

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012