Thursday, March 13, 2008

what's right?

Borrowing from a friend's paradigm-shifting idea...

Americans are negative by nature. (And blanket statements are never helpful! Wait a second...) Really, though - we spend most of our conversation talking about what we don't like, the things that turn us off, excuses for not doing this or that. Even when we're excited about something, it's often in comparison with something else that we're not excited about. (A new restaurant just opened that's way better than that one!)

So it tends to go in relationships as well. Among friends and family, this tends to happen often:

"Hey, Andy! How's it going?"

"Oh, you know. Just another day."

"What's wrong? You seem down."

"Nothing. Just tired/stressed/anxious [insert negative adjective of your choice here]."

What's wrong? The question assumes a lot. It assumes, first of all, there is a standard "right." It also assumes that the questionee is not meeting the criteria for what is "right." Tone of voice, body language, even the 'look in your eye' all inform us as to an individual's status on the right-wrong spectrum.

There's nothing, ahem, wrong with being concerned for people who genuinely seem down. But when you meet a friend who genuinely seems to be doing alright, how often do you ask him, "What's right?" How often do we give each other a chance to talk about the good things? How often do we invite one another to share something positive instead of inviting a complaint? I wonder how much of a difference it could make.

I hope you'll read the entry I linked you to above, comment, and accept the What's Right? challenge.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

my ugandan boy

I sponsored a kid through Children's Heritage Foundation! His name is Joseph Ochola, he is 5 years old, and he likes to sing. I love this foundation for many reasons - the biggest being my friends Steve & Ali became connected with them a year ago, have now visited Uganda with them, and are hoping to be able to actually adopt their sponsored child this year! It's an incredible story that I'll write more about later... But here's Joseph, and his bio. What a cute little dude. :)

Joseph looks forward to Sunday all week long. He loves to go to church and sing with his friends. He prays for his parents to be well and misses his father very much, who recently abandoned the family. His mom supports the family selling food in a small town called Nasuti, earning about $1 per day.

Joseph loves drawing pictures in school and playing with his friends. He hopes to be able to stay in school but his mother's meager income selling pancakes is hardly enough to support Joseph and his two sisters. Joseph prays for a better future.