…”so describe your friend to me.”
I thought some more.
“Friendly, and loving, and generous.”
“Why didn’t you describe them as tall, or had nice hair, or beautiful green eyes? Or, why didn’t you describe them as a person that sits in a wheelchair, or wears a hearing aid, or describe the color of their skin?”
“Because that is not who they are! All of those points are circumstantial, and out of a person’s control.”
“Exactly. Your description to me of your friend is who that person is, and who that person is to you. After you leave me today, ask others to provide the same description for a friend of their choosing, and I guarantee that they will come up with the same answers. Loving. Generous. Giving. A rock. A light. They will describe that friend in terms that celebrates what that person freely chooses to be. They are more than circumstance, but substance. They are more than their mistakes, or physical impairments, or eye color. To you, and by your description they are amazing. If I asked you to describe yourself you would probably start with what you don’t like. You would probably start with what you want to change about yourself, or what is broken and requires medicine to fix, or assisted devices to help. Why are you not as generous when you describe yourself?”
I didn’t have an answer for her. She was right as always.
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