Little White Lies – A Social Balm

Just imagine the horror of a world where everyone just says whatever is on their mind. Where would we be without the polite smile?! Who would want to sit around a restaurant table with everyone describing the intricacies of why their entree isn’t perfect or that they are upset about something someone said last week.

The truth is that any time we congregate there is something way more important going on and we know it. Being together is like an embrace we all need. So we instinctively adjust our focus. We step out of our private internal dialogues and into an all-weapons-down atmosphere. We don’t want to irritate or hurt. We go for the gold.

So we hear people agreeing to share an entree that isn’t their favorite with “Sure. Let’s do it.” We listen to everyone – and smile – and truly find things to appreciate. That’s the currency of community. When someone is being complimented – even if we have a different opinion – we join. We know that some of what is being said is true. And we feel a little bigger when we join in.

But, what about authenticity? Just like fictional stories show us bigger truths, our behavior in groups communicates about who we really are. All faiths understand the significance of communion with one another. From Peter, Paul & Mary’s Wedding Song, “For whenever two or more of you are gathered in his name, there is love. There is love.”

Losing our community time during the pandemic? Heavy sigh.

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