Sunday, September 9, 2018

It all comes back to the human person

The din of murmured voices combined with the clatter of the kitchen. My toddler excitedly picked up his pancake as his brother, all of two weeks old, silently slept. "Our waitress has a cool accent," my husband remarked. I munched on my "country fried steak" skillet and nodded in agreement, relishing the blend of voices, colors, and activity that swirled around us. Two weeks of "taking it easy" and trying to not "overdo it" made me grateful for the change of routine when my husband spontaneously drove us down to Denny's after Saturday morning Mass. 

Our waitress sailed by again to check on us. As she moved past our table, I spoke up. "By the way, you have a really cool accent. What country are you from?" 
"Persia," she responded, a smile stretching across her face. 
"Wow, that's so cool! I've never met anyone who moved here from Persia before," I said. 
Smiling all the while, she began telling us how long she has lived here in the United States, and how several of her family members were already here when she came. Then, she added that the only person left behind in Persia is her husband. "He can't come over because of President Trump's travel ban," she noted. "It's very hard." 

I have no desire to argue politics or public policies today. Instead, this short conversation at breakfast reminded me of a factor that we need to bring into every decision, political or not: The reality that it all goes back to the human person. That the laws we vote on, the decisions we make, the beliefs that we stand for-they all affect human beings with names, faces, lives, stories. 

When I was younger, I thought that most decisions were fairly black and white, and rather simple; for example, "vote for whatever seems to closely align with one's political party." With just a glance at issues, I'd check boxes off quickly without further thought. When I reached college, though, I began to see things differently. Some of my good friends-devout Catholics-held stances that were on a very different end of the political spectrum from myself. Sometimes I agreed with their views, other times I disagreed; but regardless, they showed me that the world of politics (and decision-making in general) is a lot more complex than I had always thought-because everything we do affects other people. This reality is not to be taken lightly. 

Whether we're preparing for local elections or simply deciding where to take our business for Saturday morning shopping, I think we all would do well to recall this more often. 


  1. A good reminder, AnneMarie! It's easy to think about all these big issues in a more abstract way. So glad you enjoyed a nice time out too!

  2. Everything was much simpler when we were teenagers and knew everything. Doesn't seem that way anymore!

  3. Politics affects humans...and humans are endlessly complicated. One of the reasons I'm glad that I don't work in that sector, it would be hard.