-Pastor Melissa Fain-
I am not a person who likes to wait or be patient.
I take that back. I am a person who exercises a mountain of patience on a daily basis, but that doesn't mean I like it.
It reminds me of when I was late elementary school age. It was understood, if I put food on my plate, I had to eat it. With that understanding, I never put cooked veggies on my plate. I didn't want them, so it was an easy choice to not add it to my dinner. That was until my step mom saw I wasn't eating any veggies, and amended the house rule:
You have to eat everything on your plate, and that must include cooked veggies.
That's when my eating habits changed. Instead of eating little bits of everything, I ate what I hated first, and then the next hated, and so on and so forth, until I only had what I liked left.
Like I said about patience- I didn't like it, but I did it.
In my high school years I was always willing to share candy or treats . Just, don't ask for some if I had been eating it for a bit. Then you were asking for the best of the best, because I had already eaten the candy I didn't like first.
When it came to treats, I had to change my eating habits again in high school. I would put aside a couple of pieces I didn't like so I could offer them if someone asked.
If this is all beginning to sound a bit extra, you're right. I was extra. I didn't want to look like I wasn't generous. I didn't want to be stuck giving away all the good candy, when I had eaten all the bad pieces first. Let's be honest, it was my candy I was sharing. I was willing to change the rules as long as it didn't change my outcome. I got the good things I started with.
The Wait is on!
I noticed something very interesting during COVID restrictions.
People don't like space. Specifically, people don't like space when standing in lines. There's this anxiety that flairs up that makes the average human desire to draw closer to the person in front of them. It's like standing 6ft will make someone cut, and they'll lose their space.
I was in heaven during social distancing. I don't want to feel someone's breath on the back of my neck. It was good that people were far enough away that I couldn't smell them. Why are we wanting that back? I digress.
I think similar ideas exist with my candy and with standing in line. People in line earned their place in line, and there's this fear of having that work stolen. While I liked all the candy I had eaten, I earned the really good candy by saving it until last.
I mention these examples, because that's what makes peace so difficult. There are those who haven't had, and those who are about to earn. There are no good choices in that formula. Often times, those who are about to earn choose to withhold assistance because of that four letter word: FAIR.
Perhaps, if we are serious about peace, we should start talking about fairness in a new light.
Certain "lines" don't exist anymore. The rules are changing, and that doesn't negate those who put up with crap and feel it's there turn to take the lead. What we may call "cutting" by old standards, might have been a different "line" for that person.
Ultimately, the rules are made by those who have been "in line" the longest. It's nearly impossible to change a system willingly, when the people making the rules, just want equity for what they already paid.
Peace is always an option, but that doesn't make it an easy one.