The place God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Adopting Is The New Black

On the way home from a Fantastically Fun Filled Family day today, we passed by the Salvation Army and it's new low income housing unit in Nanaimo. Above the entrance, the billboard read:

Image Is Who People Perceive You To Be.
Integrity Is Who You Really Are.

I often try to commit poignant phrases to memory and they never stick.

This one did.

Profoundly truthful, I couldn't disregard the words.

Isn't it so accurate though? We look at people; friends, family, acquaintances, blogger buddies we've never met even...and we think we know them. We feel we share common ground or at least some sort of basic belief, moral understanding, experience, or compassion for a cause.

I would bet though that eight times out of ten we perceive a person to be a certain way, based on their image.

How do they dress.

What and where do they eat. Heck, even how they eat might play a role in our jugement.

Do they socialize or are they homebodies.

Do they swear gently, use harsh language, or speak as though they have never said a cruel word.

In what clothing brands do they dress their children. More specifically do they cloth diaper them or add to global warming with each change.

I wonder what would happen if we took a step back. What if we were given the opportunity - or better yet - what if we took it upon ourselves to leap at the opportunity to simply observe.

What would we gleam?

How long would it take to see the true colours emanate from that person?

There are a few people...I can count them on less than one hand...who I believe are truly, honestly, humblingly integral to the core. After reading this billboard though, I wonder if it's because I've only perceived others and not given them the deserved opportunity to share their true being.

Urban Outfitters has recently come out with a new t-shirt line. The slogan mimicks an adage from a couple of years ago that "Pink Is The New Black". Unfortunately Urban Outfitters, known for some carass and often abominable trade-sayings has revealed it's newest line. The clothing company is now making it's money off this statement:

Adopting Is The New Black

Doesn't quite sit right, does it.

So how am I being perceived?

Are our actions being looked upon as the popular move?

Is this what the Cool Kids do? (Because Angelina Jolie and Meg Ryan have travelled across the world in search of their children, I wonder if we are categorized with them. I hope not.)

Are we doing what we are doing to be perceived as selfless individuals spending countless dollars, time, and energy on this incredible paper-chasing, notary-seeking, cheque-writing, endless-waiting, court-conquering, citizenship-maddening, heart-wrenching, seemingly never-ending marathon...for the sole purpose of being perceived as "the pick of the litter". Are we perceived as "good people" because we know that our child is somewhere - perhaps not yet born - half way around the world?

Apparently, there are many skeptics (claimed or not) who merely see this as a fad. Like slim-fit jeans in 2008 and flare extreme low-rise in 2005, will this too fade? Disgraceful, isn't it?

I'm not claiming to be anywhere near the realm of those whom I personally esteem on an integral pedestal. We are simply following the path along which we are being led.

But isn't it too bad that someone has gone and disgraced something so pure.

I wish we would each take the time to stop.

Stop perceiving and start pausing.

I am certain that nothing but integrity would emanate from this momentary pause in perception.

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