You Did Your Best

Expectations are high in our world. You can not have too much education we are told. If you want to get ahead just working one full-time job is a prescription of ‘Idel hands are the devil’s workshop.’ With promotion you can obtain the elusive prestige that you have been instructed is essential to being evaluated as a success. Often we are a square peg being jammed into a round hole.

The modern standard of excellence that we are striving to obtain is elusive. No one feels this more than women. Having both the stress of a job and a family and the societal expectations that they can do both with flare is a bit preposterous. Women are admonished that they must excel in their chosen careers while at the same time raising exemplary children…as well as being witty and adroit and always prepared for the next challenge. I wonder how we macho males would feel if women were leering at us while expecting excellence in our work product and home life and to be the fulfillment of adolescent fantasies?

Idols we seek to pattern ourselves after. Having grown up on John Wayne westerns we look for Jesus who must have watched them too and fashioned himself after the Duke’s example. We seek approval and validation from people who are like us. Shoot them up movies and cops and robbers and hard drinking at the bar to fulfill our idol of manliness and male achievement. Men want to cry but have been taught not to. Men need someone to listen to their deepest fears and challenges but that does not fit the template.

Everyone is not like you. We did not all hale from your neck of the woods. Perhaps you enjoy wearing red trousers with a smart bowler hat placed jauntily upon your head. Indeed you may march to the tune of your own drummer and speak your convictions to an audience of blank stares…be proud of who you are!

Judge, too closely we do. We assume that people are doing one thing or another with malice in their hearts when in reality they are feeling their way along the dark and windy road of life. We seek to diagnose the maladies that are in our neighbors…while we seek autonomy in our actions and purposes. We stumble often and at times fall. It is not about the stumbles and falls…it is about getting back up again and putting one foot in front of the other as we walk our life road.

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