Saturday, October 1, 2022

You're Not Fired, but... by Liz Flaherty

I "do" the church bulletin. Being slapdash in nature, I usually make mistakes in it. Not typos, just out-and-out errors. Wrong page numbers for hymns. Wrong numbers for scriptural verses. (Yeah, I have a problem with numbers--goes back to third grade when I met the multiplication tables.) Most Sunday morning services are accompanied with assurances that "you're still not fired."

In the real, not voluntary world, I should be, because I'm not very good at doing the bulletin. My mind wanders and I hurry too much, forget too much, and I transpose the aforementioned numbers. However, when you have a job to do in church, it's usually yours for life. The truth is, too, that I like doing it. I like praying for the names on the list when I put the praises and concerns on the back page. I like trying to make the liturgist laugh when he reads the announcements. I like including birthdays and anniversaries and Good News from everywhere. But I should be fired, or my resignation should be accepted simply because the quality of my work...isn't. Isn't quality, I mean.

I'm like many other people I know--I think there should be time and age limits on congressional years-in-service, on members of the SCOTUS, even on the President. Because we reach the age of being not as sharp. Because we get tired. Because we're bewildered by changes that have taken place despite our efforts. Because, like it or not, our minds narrow. 

When I listen, though, to some younger people, whose minds and opinions haven't had time to grow and grasp and experience, and hear evidence of more narrow minds--Okay, boomer ring a bell?--I wonder where the happy medium is. Because we certainly need one, don't we?

Maybe none of us should be fired. Maybe we should just continue to learn and do the best we can--all the while realizing not everyone learns in the same way and sometimes our best isn't that quality I mentioned up there. Maybe we should listen more than we talk. 

Yeah. Me, too. 

Have a great week. Be nice to somebody.