This morning my son wanted to give me a sticker. They were Spiderman stickers, one of his favorites. “Which one do you want, mommy?” “Which one do you want me to have, buddy?” he looked and thought for a moment.
This is an important moment, I realized. He looked and thought. Which ones DID he want me to have? If he chose his favorite to give to me, would I appreciate it the way he does? If he chose his least favorite would I somehow know and be offended?
I have no way of knowing if he chose his favorite or his least favorite or one in between. *I* really didn’t care, it’s a Spiderman sticker, but he did. I can go out and buy myself a whole pack of stickers anytime I want, and they don’t have to be Spiderman, they could be something I like better. But… it was a big deal to him.
My son is almost 5 and, you know, we are talking about stickers here, so I am obviously putting too much emphasis on his sticker choosing, but that moment of pause reminded me of all the moments we pause, that I pause.
The supreme court decisions have been coming out over the last few days. For progressives, like me, it is very good news. I also need to reflect on how sad it is that these cases need supreme court decisions. Why are we having to spend all this time, money, and energy undoing injust laws to begin with? I usually don’t like “other” language but in these court cases, I am, without a doubt, on the side of privilege. So…What would I want if I were in their situation? Wouldn’t it be better to have someone offer me a sticker rather than ask simply because it’s humiliating to ask? What would I want? How would I ask? What if I were the one denied healthcare and marriage and a place to live?
Our ability to do this is one of the beautiful things that makes us human. What if we put ourselves in their shoes, what if this “other” was me?
“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Luke 6:31
“The Golden Rule” we call it in Christianity. It is one of the early teaches of Jesus’ ministry. In fact, this teaching reaches every major world religion.
Do unto others. It seems so simple, yet, it is SO very, very hard.
Will they appreciate all I have done for them? Will they know the sacrifices? What will I get in return? What if they waste and squander the opportunity?
I don’t know, and I’m not sure it matters.
What I saw in my son’s eyes today was love, he wanted to give his mommy a sicker. I didn’t need to do anything in return, if I had a sticker, he would want me to give him one, and I would. Sure, it’s an oversimplification when talking about a 5 year old and stickers, but he didn’t ask for anything in return, and I love him for it.
Can we take a moment and cherish the gift that is this golden rule? Can we spend one day celebrating that millions have healthcare and everyone can marry the person they love, no matter what gender, and can we be thankful for fair housing?
Then can we get back to work on equal pay and mandatory minimums and overcrowding of prisons and institutional racism? Can we keep fighting? Can we freely and willfully give our rights to others as we want and often expect for ourselves?
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Or, in the case of injustice undo unto others as you would have them undo unto you.
It is not only my duty as a Christian but an honor as a person of privilege to ask, “which sticker do you want?”
This post is a part of the UNCO synchroblog. June’s them is “(un)Do”. You can read the other posts in the series here.