At the wedding, both 1 Corinthians 13
and Kahlil Gibran's On Friendship
were read. Although I was raised under the Catholic tradition, I never understood where religion fit into my life. Today, Zu's and Alvin's embodiment of the words of love in the Bible made me, for the first time, begin to grasp how life can be made more clear when seen through the lens of Christianity.
I've been reading the first chapter of John Hamm's book called, "Unusually Excellent," - a PDF file that came in one of Joe LeBeouf's weekly "leadership enrichment" emails. While the bulk of the chapter sets out defining the meaning of authenticity, and how to demonstrate authenticity, what caught my eye was this line: "Most of us compromise our authenticity in small and not-so-small ways...and each time we do so is a paper-cut to our self-respect...We opt for taking care of others' feelings now and sacrifice the truth we know we much deal with later."
One of the other interns here, Joshua, never holds back from speaking his mind. While this has not always had positive results, I've come to see benefits in how he pushes for results rather than for feel-good emotions. I asked him to give me feedback on my two months in Hunchun - what could I work at, and what had I done well? While he said he wished he could shift toward my "middle of the road" negotiating style, he also thought that I had to communicate of my vision and needs better and earlier.
There's a thought piece in the New York Times today, dramatically named "Married, with Infidelities
." There are a number of controversial statements in this article, but Oppenheimer also writes of the philosophy that two people ought to place a higher value on the relationship than on one component of it. In this particular context, Savage is referring solely to sexual exclusivity, but I think there is another reading, which is that the best relationships allow us to be fully ourselves. We open ourselves to each other, and trust that the other person will not only understand, but accept us that way.
Hamm says something similar, that we are most authentic when we trust ourselves completely, when we know that those around us like us the way we are, and they wouldn't want us any other way. He warned me that when something is at stake - the desire to meet expectations, or my fear of some result - it is easy to stifle who I am, in an attempt to be what I expect.
What has always awed me about The Loft is how completely each person embodies their own unique self. In the midst of our teasing, scolding, encouraging, reminiscing and laughing, we are all trying to live the glory of love that Misuzu and Alvin shared today. Would that I might bring that self love, and love of selves, to everything I do.
It's dark here in Hunchun. My neighbor has a shoot-em-up movie turned up loud, and though I took breaks to dance to Kevin's favorite wedding song (P-Squared, "No One Like You")
, my vision is blurry from too many hours working on my laptop. Air and moths, like happiness, drift in and out of the open window. Oh, How privileged I am!