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“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may someday be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations.” — C.S. Lewis, “The Weight of Glory”
C.S. Lewis put defensive lineman-sized muscles on the bones of “love thy neighbor” in his 1941 address to the congregation at Oxford University Church of St. Mary the Virgin. I find myself coming back to this in times of personal or work conflict and in encounters with frustrating, infuriating, or inconvenient people. Lewis did not counsel against mirth, rather he advocated for laughter that is not hurtful.
And then there are the wretched whose paths cross with ours. If we can see each other as “a society of possible gods and goddesses,” the frustrating work of first responders and ER personnel (like @vicrylcontessa) with repeat drug-addicted patients truly matters. Heavy stuff, but seriously glorious.