Stewardship: A Way of Life

Stewardship: A Way of Life

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“YOU LIKE ME!     YOU REALLY LIKE ME!!   responding with great joy  Sally Field in her acceptance of her Oscar

Ms. Field took a great deal of static over this spontaneous response in the Oscar celebration. But in fact, it was a very telling statement. Liking or loving—is there much difference? Public figures are constantly made aware of their fans “loving” them in adoration. The fans’ actions show this constantly.  But these fans usually do not know this person in any real personal way despite their loving response. They only know the public persona of the person which many times can be in great conflict to the ‘liking’ reality.  Ms. Field’s sense of insecurity showed as she had never been sure that ‘you really like me’ despite all of the accolades that have come her way.

We Catholics have been taught from our beginnings that we are all God’s children. And as His children we are taught that we must love one another even as we perceive some people to have an element of ‘evil’ within. And those people whom we don’t approve of or maybe even find them enemies of all we hold good, we are taught that we must pray for our enemies just as we must pray for those whom we truly know and love. We pray that God’s goodness will overcome the evil in this world and that the peace He wishes for us will truly come to pass. But liking someone is different. Loving despite its deep emotional being has many depths; those we know; those we know intimately; those we don’t know well but give love and respect as we have been taught. Loving people shows in our respectful actions towards another. “Love one another as I have loved you.”

When the bully strikes on the playground or the opposite being that no one pays any attention to you might bring on the same tearful reaction—“No one likes me.” And the sadness and heart break a child can feel may stay with them for the rest of their lives in their self definition. There is a terrible aloneness in ‘nobody likes me.’  You cannot like or be liked if you don’t get to know someone personally. How you relate to your world at home, in the neighborhood, on the job, at church, at the supermarket, etc. is the basis to form the relationship that can result in ‘likability’ or not. You can love someone while at the same time not find them particularly likable. There is no age, gender, or other issues that will   interfere with being likable. Smiling, trustworthiness, honesty, optimism, an interest in others, helpfulness, awareness of others needs, and so many more traits are necessary for you to be likable. It can be work for some and easy for others. To be liked is a joy and a very important aspect of life. To feel otherwise, is painful. Being an introvert versus an extrovert is not the automatic answer. Noting what makes you like someone is a clue to what maybe you should spend more timing learning how to….

Bullies and bores come in all sizes and ages. If there is one thing that we are all quite good at is judging. “Judge not that you maybe judged” says the Lord. Being helpful, being likable is a good way to live, not only for you, but for all those around you.  Try it sometime. And remember, likability  requires connection.  Liking is not generic.  You can and do pick and choose with whom you wish to be with.  The question is do others wish to be with  you?

by Kathy Reilly