My sister gave me a call last night. It’s always good to hear from her. She’s been going through some sort of corporate personnel-sensitivity training deal at her place of employment. They had some crazy class. There were four cardboard cut-outs representing different people with various undesirable traits. You were to identify which you would choose to become if limited to these four choices, and then which you would least like to be. The characters were:
1. white recovering addict homeless man with two children,
2. black women with a GED working as a check out clerk,
3. middle-eastern man working on his immigration papers, and
4. an unemployed homosexual CEO guy.
Who do you want to be? The group was split between the black woman and gay man. When questioned people spoke to the potential for economic opportunity and material growth. I can follow that. Then they had to stand next to the cut-out they didn’t want to be. My sister was the only person that didn’t stand next to the homeless man. She stood next to the gay CEO that just happened to be in-between jobs. I was laughing out loud. At this point the anti-recovering-addict-homeless-guy camp spoke as a group regarding their decision, and then there was some rebuttal. It seemed to boil down to the man’s lack of stuff. And as my sister pointed out, they all missed the recovering part. She was quick to point out that his present state of socio-economic distress was more than likely temporary, and given some nurturing through the numerous resources available in our rich country, this situation could be place behind the family…and they would continue on. Excellent.
Then my sister got to tell everyone why she wouldn’t want to be a gay and out of work CEO. Simply put, it was because he could never enjoy the simple freedoms in life that a heterosexual man could. At the end of the day he was still gay. And that can be quite hard, even in the Bay Area. You cannot have your own family, unless it is contrived somehow. You cannot marry. You are not (in my sister’s eyes) ever truly free, and quite often viewed as an outsider. The rebuttal to my sister’s views suggested that material wealth would somehow take care of all these missing parts in your life. Like maybe you could really actually buy happiness.
So my sister had to call me, tell me this, and then ask me if I thought she was in the right place. I couldn’t be sure. But I had been a homeless addict, and the Lord has seemed to have led me through that so far. And I’m not so sure I would really want to be a CEO, unemployed, gay, or even with a real cool hat. So I guess I could see a bit of her perspective…and I imagine my own life was a good part of hers in this respect.
So she decided to come to China with me in July to get some better perspective. My sister, my buddy Jason, brother Chris and then myself…plus the rest of the group. The Lord can sure whip a little momentum on you when he wants can’t he?