I'm not who I was.
“She thinks you’re the greatest thing since sliced bread.”
I have to admit, when I first heard this line on Annie when I was a kid, I just didn’t get it. Was that a compliment? Context clues told me that it was a compliment. But I personally didn’t find anything extraordinary about sliced bread. It bothered me for the longest time, and eventually I just chalked it up in the “They’re old, they don’t make sense” column, and gave up my quest for understanding.
Then one day, (as an adult) I decided to make my own bread. And I tried slicing my own bread. It was not lovely. It was a messy task which resulted in less-than-uniform slices, a waste of portions, and crumbs all over my kitchen. That was my Aha! moment. It was like a trek back into Sherlock’s mind palace. I found the bread room, put my information together, and I finally understood why being the best thing since sliced bread was a compliment! Pre-sliced bread is neat, convenient and economical. What a grand invention. (I have since discovered that using an electric knife to slice home made bread solves a multitude of problems.)
I guess I have now officially become old, because I truly appreciate sliced bread with my innermost being. I am so not exaggerating.
We all want to be the proverbial greatest thing since sliced bread.
Enter “the Mommy Wars”.
At first they seemed to be about “How can I prove my superiority over you by doing or having.” Many morphs along the way, I believe the most recently popularized version is “How can I prove my superiority over you by NOT doing or NOT having.” And if you can marry a snarky 1-liner with a well respected quote, you my friend are in the running to be the next queen of the hill… but make sure you’re only humble-bragging or your facade of simplicity may be exposed.
The list goes on. Why can’t we just look at all of this and say, “Good for you!”?
If I had a dollar for every time someone belittled (usually not straight-forwardly) the things that I like (creating, learning, music…) or the things that I just am (thin, Christian, passionate…) I’d be rich. But if I kept believing that their negative feelings were truth, I’d be unfulfilled, depressed, and quite frankly, not doing much of anything.
Somehow what I’m sure was originally well-intentioned to be an encouragement and self-esteem boost has been once again twisted into sides, superiority, and demoralization.
Please, don’t be bullied into thinking that you shouldn’t do good or be good at what you enjoy doing. We need you and your intelligence, invention, craftiness, caring, extravagance & simplicity. If it offends someone, then their pride problem is exposed and they get to choose whether or not to do something to fix it, but it’s not your responsibility.
Furthermore, don’t be the bully that convinces the masses not to do good in order to be accepted… and don’t believe the self-defeating lie that you’re less-than if you don’t do whatever it is they are doing. I feel fairly confident in saying that, most of the time, if someone is posting their latest Pinterest project or child’s accomplishment, they really aren’t trying to say, “You and yours didn’t do this? LOSER!” So stop acting like they are.
Enjoy the little things. Keep doing good. Be gracious. Be content. Be encouraged. But I beg of you, don’t be mediocre if it’s in an area where you have been given the talent or the calling to be otherwise, or the rest of us may miss out on the delight of God’s glory through you.
When your awesomeness does shine through, be happy about it, and feel free to share. It just might help someone else be more awesome!
But refrain from saying “nah-nah-nah-boo-boo!” (That’s obnoxious.) Or in the case of my 3 year old, “Boo-boo, banana!” (Which is adorable. But only if you’re 3.)
Last I checked, there are all different varieties of sliced bread. I’m sure someone is grateful for each one of them.