Raoul’s Two Cents: September 17, 2021
In the heat of an argument I was called names and I was deemed worthless. When insults are hurled at you it can hurt especially when it comes from people whose opinion you respect. I didn’t even think of returning the insult because it was clearly uttered in a moment of anger. As I calmed down, I remembered my Mom who had the super human ability to absorb insults and pain in order to preserve a relationship. So instead of being defensive, I used that incident to reflect on the merits of the insult.
Am I really that bad? Have I been in denial all these years? True or not, it still hurt. And then I remembered “Imago Dei” (the image of God). I am (all of us humans) created in the image of God. Even if the whole world believes we are the dumbest, most incompetent, ugliest, worthless creatures in the entire universe, God always sees our true worth. I believe I’ve shared this before. No, it isn’t a silly mantra that you utter multiple times to brainwash yourself. This is the honest truth — see how God provides for the birds in the air, the beautifully decorated butterflies, etc. yet we are worth more to Him than any of the other creatures.
I was still feeling down when I went to do caricatures for a Grandparent’s Day in a retirement community. There were about 20 seniors sitting in a room waiting patiently. I thought it was going to be a big affair with festive decorations and music but I was the main event … the ONLY event. I was flattered. One by one, the residents took turns at the “hot seat” in front of me and they described how they wanted to be depicted in their caricature. They opened their lives to me and that helped me draw their pictures. I drew Chuck as a fireman driving a submarine. Ina was a trouble-maker with a set of gambling dice. Sharon was a champion bowler with a score of 126. Dorothy knitted her own name. A centenarian named Tony was married to Virginia the socialite — each was on their second marriage so in their cartoon they were complaining: “Of all the single people in the world, you gave me this?” Laughter and applause followed every finished work as the “victims” took their bow. It’s true. You are only as old as you think you are. These people were very young. Even a woman with scabs on her face and partially senile beamed with pride when she saw her portrait. (It hit me that the sketch would probably be the last she will ever have. What an honor to bestow on a life fully lived.)
I remember, when the pandemic hit, I thought I would never do this again but here I was bringing joy to all these people. I got a thank you note from my friend who contracted me: “It’s always super fun to work with you! All residents were very satisfied with their caricatures. Your work is amazing … even the way you always engage with them. Anyhow, I appreciate you were able to do it.”
Do you have a self-worth problem? Take it from me, the joy you bring to someone else will reflect back to you.
Do I have a self worth problem? Not anymore.
Joke of the Week
Thanks to Tom of Pasadena, CA for this joke.
Thanks to Art of Sierra Madre, CA for this joke.
Thanks to Tom of Pasadena, CA
Thanks to Mel of Washington, D.C.
Thanks to Peter Paul of South Pasadena, CA