Saturday, April 01, 2006

The ability to be humble....

The title linked Washington Post article struck a chord with me as I read it, not just from the religious aspect of it even though I know a large portion of the article is about faith and the biblical actions of Jesus.

Polly Chamberlin in the article is quoted:

"How can we really care about them when we don't even know them?" she asked. So she and others started washing the feet of the city's poorest every Friday before lunch, as a way to break the ice. The goal was to bond with their patrons in a profound way, show them someone cared and, by doing so, recapture the spirit of Jesus.

Even for those who don't believe in the existence of God or Jesus, this act is done to restore a feeling of balance by those who feel society looks down on them. Granted there is a historical background to this that is religion based shown here but there is also the historical welcoming aspect.

I couldn't help wonder if the photo op situation didn't exist what would happen if those who can't manage to be civil to each other were to do this. What if all of the Republicans in Congress washed the feet of the Democrats and the Democrats washed the feet of the Republicans. Granted they would probably spend so much time arguing over who would go first and the exact procedure that must be used that it would negate any real result.

Yet what if this ability to be more humble at times was one we all had. Personally I think the world could use a bit more of it at times...

10 comments:

Stephanie said...

The ability to be humble is certainly something we all could use more of, and the act of washing another's feet might provide us with that opportunity. And yet, I wonder if too much of the cultural significance has been lost for it to be truly effective. Perhaps another form of service would benefit us more.

Lisa Renee said...

That's something I thought of when I wrote this too, if there was some mental method of foot washing that could be encouraged.

:-)

Stephanie said...

Well, a physical act would be appropriate, too. Just one more identifiable with our culture. Like Congresspeople having to wash each other's cars or something.

Cyberseaer said...

If they start foot washing in Congress than they would pass a law that would regulate it and then have it taxed so that the politicians could beef up their slush funds to screw the people who got them in office even more.

Sorry, was in jaded mode again. Not very humbling.

Anyway, instead of foot washing, let's try and go back to common cortesy (babd spelling). When I open a door or hold a door open for someone, about 75% of those people say thank you while the others ignore me. I give them a sarcastic (who me?) You're welcome and move on. The 25% of the people just ruin it for me that I almost say screw the other 75%. I'm not there yet, but it's getting close.

Lisa Renee said...

Hmmm rather than cars how about bathrooms?

:-)

Lisa Renee said...

C, letting the 25% ruin it would make you not be you. I don't see you ever getting to that point.

:-)

Stephanie said...

Cyber,

As one amongst the 75% who says "Thank you," don't lose it. It's such a rarity I'm almost genuinely surprised when someone does it. I also hold the door open for others irregardless of gender.

Stephanie said...

Bathrooms would work. But both those would take a while. How 'bout the Congresspeople had to wash each other's coffee mugs?

jakejacobsen said...

I definitely agree that we could all stand to be a lot more humble.

The image of our representatives washing each others feet is a potent and beautiful one.

Though we may not "get" this culturally I guarantee you it's still a powerful thing. A church I attended in Va. did this once and it was an intense experience.

There is something so intimate in touching another person's foot or having them touch yours. So I wonder if cultural relevance is all that important. I think the thing is powerful all on it's own.

Great post Lisa thanks for sharing!

Stephanie said...

Good point, Jake.