Deana works for a large insurance company that makes billions each year. They are “huge” and all that. I have worked for a huge company before, and when I was employed there, we referred to customers as numbers and even referred to our coworkers as “FTEs”. Day after day, financial report after report, I looked at these numbers and FTE references and lost a sense that they were PEOPLE. I would expect Deana’s firm to act the same way, as they are even larger than the firm I worked for. However, when they refer to the customers they serve, they say something like this (I totally made up the number for reference only):
“This month we added 12,254 souls to the account.”
“Soul” is defined as “the spiritual or immaterial part of a human being or animal, regarded as immortal.” In religion, the soul is often the immaterial piece that we consider to live beyond our physical death. This idea varies widely and has a vast history as described here, but for the purposes of this blog I will stick to the soul being the essence within us that exists after our physical body dies. It is the piece of us that defines who we are, it fellowships with others on this earth as well as our Creator. It is deep within us.
I have always been touched by Deana and her firm for referring to people such as myself as a “soul”. To them, we are not just a number. Not just a paycheck. And that got me thinking – how different would MY day be if I decided to think about every person I interacted with as a soul? What if I forced myself to say “hello Soul Bob” in my head before anything else? What if I forced myself to acknowledge, yep……that dude that just flipped me off as he cut me off has a soul and, as such, should not be chased down for his egregious behavior.
It was a simple question that changed over two dozen interactions this week that would have otherwise not have ended as well. And, perhaps that is sort of what Jesus meant when He told us to love our neighbors (and enemies) as ourselves. Just as Jesus didn’t clarify this command by including “Christians only” or “those who are in our denomination”, or “those who live in our country”, perhaps we need to expand our nets beyond our own little spheres. Then, maybe we will allow room for our souls to interact in purity with other souls we normally would not want to interact with……
That’s NOT to say that I don’t think consequences should occur or that we should be friends with everyone, but those are different topics for different days.
So, here are some outputs of this walk of mine with the concept of “soul”…..
Trump, no matter if anyone feels you make bad decisions, you purposely refuse to pay small businesses under the guise of non-conformity to contracts, you do not respect women, or do not deserve to be president, your soul is worthy of kindness and respect
Hillary, no matter if you are a liar, deserve to be convicted in numerous ways, actually caused the murder of 4 in Benghazi, or just want to kill babies, your soul is worthy of kindness and respect
Evangelical Christians, no matter that some feel you have directly or indirectly caused LGBT to kill themselves, that you have allowed your religion to turn your backs on your own children in “righteous love”, that you insist that Jesus is political, use the Bible as a sword of condemnation and exclusion, or rejoice that your opponents will “burn in hell”, you all have souls worthy of kindness and respect
Muslims, no matter that some believe your religion’s only focus is to terrorize and kill Americans, that you hate the One True God, your rape children, and you want to subjugate every woman in the world, you all have souls worthy of kindness and respect
Atheists, no matter that many believe you have an agenda to turn our children against us, that you are getting your slimy hands on every educational platform in this country, and you want to throw Christians in jail, you all have souls worthy of kindness and respect
LGBT people, no matter that most would say your propaganda is focused on stealing traditional marriage from us, that you’re promiscuous and abominations, that you are steep in the filth of HIV and AIDS, seek out our children in bathrooms, try to convert our children in schools, and insist on buying wedding cakes, you all have souls worthy of kindness and respect
Black Lives, no matter that America says you need to calm down and show respect for authority, need to stop being in gangs in the inner cities, need to stop destroying your own cities in riots, probably should take less drugs, and probably should stop insisting that your lives are more important than ours, you all have souls worthy of kindness and respect
Blue Lives, no matter that many say many of you use your authority in ways that would be called a crime otherwise, that corruption is the norm in your agencies, and racism is a core value, you all have souls worthy of kindness and respect
Women, no matter that EVERYONE says you keep insisting that you need to be able to murder babies, that you are promiscuous and sluts and that’s the only reason why you insist on having access to birth control, and you expect to be treated like a man in pay and authority, you all have souls worthy of kindness and respect
Trump Supporters, no matter that you’re racists, ignorant, hateful, misinformed, rich worshipers and poor neglecters, you all have souls worthy of kindness and respect
Hillary Supporters, no matter that you all want to kill babies, you’re all satanists, you want to make Christianity illegal, you just want something for nothing, and you want to take away everyone’s guns, you all have souls worthy of kindness and respect
Gina, no matter that you used every negative stereotype you could think of to expose our own personal justifications for treating other people poorly, you have a soul worthy of kindness and respect