Not magnanimous. Not even sacrificial. Just bigger.
I had an experience this weekend that left me startled by just how small people can sometimes be. It was nothing earth shattering or insurmountable, nothing that put anyone or anything in harm’s way, but it was the kind of smallness that, if experienced too often would easily create a big tear in my perception and experience of the world as a typically generous, we’re all in this together kind of place.
It was also the kind of smallness – selfish, like a child who just can’t bring himself to share a toy and controlling; the expressed insecurity of someone who feels that the world will spin out of control unless they remain the master of this small part of it – that felt painfully over-practiced, so routinized as to be unconscious. How can you not assume that this is just who they are?
From my privileged perspective as the slighted one – and what a sanctified stoop on which to sit! – I reassured myself that I would never have done such a thing. And, perhaps I wouldn’t have, not in that particular situation. I, of course, have my own particular brand of smallness, as do we all. Not to paint with too broad a brush but this is a significant part of our human condition, is it not? I mean, it’s a tough and lonely world sometimes, and it’s easy to get lost in our own need to feel special, in control, at the protected and certain center of it all. When that gets threatened, or even if it is perceived to be, out come the small daggers thrown with precision at the target of our undoing.
Feeling small and lost in the world sometimes is just part of the deal. There is no map. There are, however, lots of other people feeling exactly the same way, counting on us to ease the path, even just a very little bit.
Let’s take a half-step towards bigger. Really. Let’s do that.