Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Human Being 101

To move on from venting and not allowing people to make missteps here...

I don't often go into mormon/LDS stuff or related stuff here.

One of the things I never really learned growing up was how to take care of my self. (to put myself and my needs first). Not in an arrogant, egotistical way, but setting basic boundaries and enforcing them. I don't think this is solely an LDS thing, but mormonism certainly didn't help some of the time.

A great example of this (taking care of myself or NOT taking care of myself) was when I was in high school and going to early morning seminary.

For those who haven't heard me complain about this (in person) or who weren't aware of this torture for teenage LDS high school folk, early morning seminary is a daily church class BEFORE high school starts. So typically, an LDS high school person (outside of Utah, where it's a part of the school day) has to wake up around 5:30 and rush around to drive to this church class before 6 a.m.

I don't know about anyone else here, but unless you are an extreme morning person, this is not an easy task. Oh, and if you have a paper route (like my cousin had), you would have to wake up even earlier.

The stated purpose of this is for young mormons to start their day out the right way - to study the bible and LDS scriptures.

So, now that you have the background, I was thinking of the cold wintry morning I shut my finger in my front door as I was rushing to get to seminary. My carpool was waiting (my parents traded with another local family to drive us). What's interesting to me is after I shut my finger in the door, while my fingernail was turning blue and purple (and it hurt), I didn't go back inside my home.

Looking back on it, I try to figure out why.

My first instinct was that I was late and that I was making these friends of my family wait. Partially, I didn't want to be teased for breaking a nail ("you're just weak!"). Trust me, if you've never had a nail fall off, it can be painful. Overall, at the time, I was also getting all sorts of messages (from friends, family, teachers, etc.) about seminary attendance, how important it was, yadda, yadda.

I can't remember if I went to the nurses' office when I got to school? Or got a band-aid from a well-meaning fellow seminary member or my teacher? Whatever happened, my fingernail healed, I made it through my school day.

I bring this up because this is something I'm re-learning - that I'm watching about my own reactions. I hit my fingernail today (the same finger), thankfully not breaking the nail and remembered this experience.

Now I acknowledge that my first instinct (to not inconvenience others) may be wrong. That I may need to go back in and skip the church class one morning. That I may need to tell someone to wait (just as I would give them time if they slammed their finger in the door).

Other people might wonder - how is this possible? This is human being 101, right?

You would think so, but no, it's not. Not necessarily.


Freckle Face Girl said...

I think part of the reason it is an LDS trait is because being too selfless helps a big family run quite smoothly. Unfortunately, it doesn't help us survive in this dog eat dog world. :)

--I am SO glad I only had to do the early morning seminary one year. One of my friends always brags about her "perfect attendance" for the entire 4 years. I have to bite my tongue because I can't understand why anyone would logically want to do that.

jana said...

I was a 100%er in seminary and as an adult taught early morning seminary. What was I thinking????