In a recent conversation with my husband, I jokingly declared, “I’ve lived so long and made so darn many mistakes, that in the process, I have become very smart. In fact, I might be the smartest person I know — even though no one cares what I think or wants to hear what I have to say.” With that, I self-righteously flounced off to bed.
The following morning, I began reading Eric Butterworth’s book, “The Flow Within”. Haltingly, I realized that I seemed to be missing the profound meaning from the text. I had to admit that I did not “get” the message. “Perchance I’m not as smart as I thought,” I reflected.
Almost immediately, I recalled the face of a young Black woman describing her childhood. She painfully shared attending a predominantly white school in which classmates made fun of her full lips, her wide nose, her kinky hair, and her dark skin. No, as hard as I tried, I did not relate to her experiences of life. Once again, I had to admit to what I did not know. “Not so smart, after all,” I mused.
I did recall thinking my own lips were too small, my neck too long, my ears too large, and my knees too knobby. Oh, yes, I was also the slowest, most klutzy runner in my entire school. However, my childhood experiences did not match hers. I must now admit that I am not the wise old woman I jokingly claimed to be. I remain a confused learner, lacking understanding, and floundering in a sea of questions without answers.
With humility, I venture forth once again as an uninformed learner. Maybe tomorrow, I’ll understand more. I will return to Butterworth’s book. In addition, I will take my place in meetings with those whose lives I do not recognize. Once again, I will seek to understand by being a listener and a learner. Once again, I will ask, “What might my place be in God’s world?” I’m not even close to being as smart as I hoped I would be by this age.