30 November 2010

Are you extraordinary? Maybe you should be.

It's been quite a while since I've linked to one of Sr. Mary Martha's posts. There isn't any real reason for that and today seems like a good day to link her as she digresses and writes about a false American mantra that I've often bemoaned, though not on these pages.

Here's a snippet, with my emphases:
How about a little palette cleanser after yesterday's donnybrook? Our readers have weighed in heavily on their grade school experiences. Let's just say, "That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."

Or not. I think that only works if you are a relatively strong person in the first place. I remember hearing an African American professor bemoan the bemoaning of the welfare state and the state of America's poor. What he said has always stayed with me. I can't quote him, but his point was that our "anyone can grow up to be president in the US if they just work hard enough" mantra is a fallacy that asks every single person to be extraordinary. Oh, sure, we hear about people who were able to rise from horrible backgrounds and extreme poverty. But no one seems to take into account that these people were exceptional, extraordinary people.

Of course, as Catholics, we constantly ask ourselves to be extraordinary, to strive for sainthood. Heroic virtue is our goal. And, of course, the last people to claim any heroism or extraordinary virtue are the saints themselves because to do so would lack the necessary humility.
If you read more of her post, you can learn the history of "Silent Night."

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