The email came in with a bit of news I had missed. It reported on a survey that indicated that one demographic group had a higher happiness index than anyone else. In the moment when it hit my mailbox, I knew there were two response options. I could ask “why”. I could also make a cynical observation about the conclusion. I really wanted to do the latter! A cynical observation would flag the limitation of any survey. A snipe would attack the demographic group without leaving a trace. Even as I began to type an old author’s warning came to mind; “We must be careful not to stir up discontent; discontent destroyed them.” (1 Corinthians 10.10)
I wish I could tell you that I took the high ground. I responded with something between curiosity and cynicism. I am still second guessing myself. What was my point? Am I wiser for my action?
It is an interest question to wrestle with. Knowing that it is easy to be passive aggressive is helpful if one wants to be intentional. It is easy to act without thinking. Others often have a hard time tracing the source of the sarcasm. One can make the dig and get off without anyone noticing! I know that I have not changed the demographic group. I understand that there are few that would be offended, even if they were aware. The problem is what it does within me.
Life often plays out in a meandering way. We are surprised by the actions of others. In good humor and sometimes something quite different, we respond without thinking. Today I was caught off-guard. I would like to think that this was a one-off response however I know it easily could have been any other day. Life comes without a script. It unfolds in ways that we do not always anticipate. We respond and move on.
Life whispers that this is an opportunity to learn. I can reflect on what unfolded, understand the condition of my heart. Without judgment or comment, Life offers a growth opportunity.