I finally surrendered to the technology gods and bought a new television. I hustled down to the local electronics store on a whim after school and bought the first set that caught my eye and was in my price range. Yes, that’s right it was a mostly impulse purchase. Since I was there and in a what-the-hell mood I picked up the Roku thingy that Revel has and it required a router. I should have bought shoes. Do you want to experience the real difference between men and women? Do something together involving electronics, manuals, and little black boxes with yellow cords.
I know my strengths and weaknesses and I mostly focus on my strengths. I’m not going to get my panties in a twist about something I know I don’t do well. I’m going to get help if I need it or I’m going to let it go. Listen, everyone is really good at some things and not so good at others. It’s the way we’re wired. Me, I’m pretty good at communicating and doing things that involve a creative bend in your being. I’m a solid 8-10 in those areas. When it comes to thingys, and by thingys I mean stuff that needs to be put together in just the right way, I’m about a 3 and that’s on a good day. You don’t even want to know about my sense of direction.
I was so excited to watch something that I went straight home, dragged the television out of the box, plugged it in and got nothing. I got nothing because I do not have cable and refuse to pay for it. That was one reason I shelled out money I could have spent on shoes and music on the Roku thingy. Media streaming is an idea whose time has come. But, I was obviously not working from one of my strengths so I called Revel. Like I said, I know myself.
Revel is a really good friend who is very generous with his time and his talents that I don’t share. In the past when I needed help with technology there was a man, often younger, in my life who would help me, in fact, they were thrilled to be able to help. The best part is that they were always really good with thingys that come with a black box and yellow cords. There isn’t a man a round at the moment, younger or otherwise, so I did the next best thing. I called my buddy and he came right over… sooner or later. I think he stopped for dinner. Not me. I had just enough time to do everything that was guaranteed to make him crazy.
While Revel was having dinner like a rational person, I attacked the bag of thingys like a toy starved kid at Christmas. By the time Revel got here there were boxes and thingys everywhere, mostly thingys because anything that was not a thing that looked like it needed to be plugged in somewhere was not a thingy and I stuffed it in the box. That would be the box my new flat screen television that I couldn’t hook up came in.
Revel walked in the door, took a look around and shook his head. He got the router up and running, managed to snag one channel on the tv then took a look at the Roku thingy. “Where’s the power cord, Deb?”
“What power cord?”
“The one that goes in this little hole that plugs into the wall to give it power.”
“It has a power cord? Really? You sure? I don’t remember one.” Things went down hill from there. Revel insisted that a cord was included and I had misplaced it. Only I didn’t think I misplaced it. I thought they didn’t give me one and when I told Revel that he laughed. Then he told me in very precise detail why I was wrong. We argued and then started looking for the cord. I was digging though boxes looking for a cord I was sure didn’t exist when Revel asked me for the manual. “What manual?” That is evidently not a good question to have to ask.
ONE THAT TELLS YOU HOW TO HOOK IT UP!” He might have been getting a little impatient at that point but I could be wrong. We went back to rummaging through the chaos looking for the cord, the manual and anything else Revel thought I needed to have kept and didn’t and guess what? He was right! I had plugged the power cord for the Roku thingy into something else while I was waiting for him to come over. I was so happy! I jumped right up and did a little happy dance. That’s when Revel went home. I guess he just doesn’t get the whole flawed and happy thing. That’s me, flawed and happy.
We’ve been trained in recent years to look at our flaws and failures and those of our bothers as a sin against God. No one is allowed to be the most basic of humans, flawed and that means we also don’t get to be great. It’s hard to be great when you can’t be honest. We’ve given being great a bad name except for a select few and treat it like a stain on our soul. It’s not. Some of us have tried substituting feeling good for doing good. It doesn’t seem to be working, but hey, I could be wrong. I don’t think I’m wrong about this though, the world needs all of us to be great, the very best human beings each of us can be. I think that involves accepting the fact that we are not all going be 10’s at the same thing or at everything. Imagine a world where we are all the best we each could be, a mad crush of happy loving children of God. Wouldn’t it be better for all of us if we focused on and celebrated our strengths and the strengths of our fellow human beings and offered each other help when it’s needed? Isn’t that the natural inclination of beings who act out of love instead of fear? I don’t know, may be we can act loving until we actually are. Haven’t we done enough damage?
We need each other. We need all of us, all races, all nations, all religions, and all genders to be great for our sake and the sake of the times to come. At the very least that means all human being should have the same basic rights, the right to live in safety, have food, shelter, clean water and plenty of food, an education, and most of all, freedom. In 1941 President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave his Four Freedoms speech before the United States Congress. In his address,
Roosevelt proclaimed four basic freedoms that could never be legitimately abridged; they were freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear. These are basic universal rights. Nothing has happened to change that.
I can’t get past the idea that we all suffer when the least of us suffers and none of us truly flourishes until the least of us is empowered to flourish. It is critical at this juncture in our history as humans that all of us have the freedom to thrive and form ourselves into the great beings God sees. How can we do that if we cower with fear in the face of humanity that is His? Isn’t it time we embrace our commonalities as human beings and children of God with as much zeal as we attack our failings?
These may be the mad ramblings of a middle aged woman who is a little crazy from trying to hook up a new television and Roku thingy. Then again, I might just have a point. It’s hard to know what passes for sanity these days. These are unquestionably interesting times we’re living in. Just remember, it’s either fear or love, baby. What’s it gonna be?
I Will Not Be Broken by Bonnie Raitt