My name is Denise. I am nineteen years old. And I have a curfew. A curfew (ker-fiew) is a mandate often issued by a parent or guardian of a specific time an adolescent must return to their house. Translation: curfews are for immature or problematic children. Not responsible college students.
My parents have explained to me many times that the reason I have a curfew is because they worry that something could happen to me. … “something could happen to me”… uh huh. Something…Well let’s see now. In the venues I keep myself within, the most that could possibly happen to me would be some form of car accident, speaking on a realistic scale. Speaking on a far more broad spectrum, I could have a nuke land on my head. But let’s keep within the bounds of realism and give it another few months before I’m keeping an eye open for falling houses and nuclear bombs.
In further discussion with some wise friends of mine, we have outlined that the cause of this worrying is fear. Fear that “something might happen.” Now call me naive or call me fearless, but I really don’t think that setting a time for me to be home by will change whatever may or may not happen to me. If the good Lord allows me to be raped, I will be. It’s not something I’m pursuing by any means, but it is possible. five minutes to five hours will not change what will happen to me because what will happen to me, in a way, already has, even though it hasn’t. (Free will advocates who understood that, unite!) There is no benefit to being scared of everything that may or may not happen to you during the course of your life. For God’s sakes, I may still end up doing missions in Africa, our society may collapse, I can not live in a hole hold-up because of what MIGHT happen to me. And I refuse to. In fact, it is directly against my direction and life pursuit as a follower of Christ. I am to be in the world. Not of it. But in it. I have been so commanded, and thus I shall follow.
So why am I rambling on about curfews and sitting here whining about my parents? Well that’s the thing. I love my parents, with all of my heart, and they are (most unfortunately) two people who are a superb example of a point I would like to make: that selfishness and fearfulness come in sheep’s clothing behind eyes we do not expect. Upon arriving home this evening I was plagued as to why I was five minutes late. This is an absurd question to be greeted with, and I was quite insulted. Why was I late? Yes, why were you late? What time did you leave? Perhaps you should leave fifteen minutes earlier. You really don’t care, do you? She doesn’t care. Yes, that’s right. I don’t care. What an absurd thing to say. If I didn’t care, I could show it in far more forceful ways than to show up five minutes after curfew.
…for the sake of keeping things sane in my house, should either of my parents ever learn to use a browser and find my blog, I will refrain from the fullness of my reprimand and leave my words at this: everybody, all of us, is guilty of being selfish. I was earlier today in my thoughts, wondering if I will spend more time with my love once we’ve wed. He’s been quite busy lately and I miss him so. But it was important to squelch that selfish thought, as it was directed negatively to guilt him into more time spent with me, rather than to let it go and feed my selfish desires, in whatever manner. So the important lesson here (besides the whole not letting your life be run by fear thing) is to remember the lives of those around you. That woman behind the Starbucks counter that you gave the really hard time to because he didn’t put whipped cream on your coffee? He’s so very low on money that he’s using food stamps and only has two left this week. The retailer you threw clothes or lotion at because she didn’t have what you want? She’s 7 months pregnant and barely makes ends meet now. And the guy you wouldn’t let over merging? Just coming home from spending a week at the hospital with his dying father.
These are all stories of people I know. These are very real things going on in people’s lives. And all they can do is to go on with their lives day by day. It’s all any of us can do. But perhaps if we would all step back and be a bit more rational about the way we treat each other…I would not so weakly suggest “perhaps” the world would be a better place. For if we rationally consider those around us, instead of selfishly driven by our own lives, the world, both your world and mine, would be a better place, my dear reader. A better place, indeed.