And what did you give up for Lent? Perhaps it would be better if instead of giving up something, we added something to our lives. How about deciding to turn negatives into positives? That's a little difficult to do sometimes and we may have to constantly remind ourselves to look for the positive instead of always giving in to a negative. Some of the old sayings might help us to remember to think positive.
The old saying "When life gives you a lemon, make lemonade'' or “I cried because I had no shoes until I saw a man who had no feet" might be of help. We can always find a positive side if we look hard enough.
We need to be careful though with how we try to tum some things into a positive. Sometimes it is all too easy to find someone a little worse off than we are just so we can feel above them. People do this all the time; countries also are not immune...and that includes our own country. Maybe that is why some countries consider Americans as rude or arrogant.
Finding someone worse off than we are just so we can feel better about ourselves is not just a human trait, it is also found in animals. A friend told me once that she had to keep one of her chickens separated from the others because the entire flock would always beat upon that one hen by pecking on her. A sociology professor at the University of Texas called it “the pecking order.”
We all want to better ourselves. We want our children to be better educated, to earn more money, to have a nicer house. But let us look inward for a minute. If we have bettered ourselves because we have put somebody else down, is that really what we want to do? Would our energy not be better spent if we tried to pull somebody up instead of putting them down? Do we really want to be like that flock of chickens and join their "pecking order"? Could we adopt and practice "the upward order" instead of "the pecking order"?
We have many people in the Rio Grande Valley who already have adopted “the upward order". They think positive and daily turn negatives into positives. You read a lot about Sister Pimentel and the good work that she does in the Upper Valley.
Not so much in the news is a quiet, efficient nun in the San Benito/Harlingen area who works at Posada Providencia. Many homeless people - often those immigrants who are awaiting clearance to join their families - are taken to Posada Providencia as they have nowhere to go. Sometimes they speak no English or do not have good, marketable skills. Sister Zita strives diligently to see that they learn English and a marketable skill so that they can earn a living and support themselves.
Another person who gives so much of his time to helping less fortunate is Bill Reagan, who manages Loaves and Fishes in Harlingen. This entity also helps the homeless with meals and job placement sometimes housing families until they can get back on their feet.
A newcomer on the scene is Jodi Goodman, a lawyer, who volunteers time to help immigrants with their petitions to cross legally into the United States.
Surely these people could use more support with “the upward order".
If they can turn negatives into positives, why can't we? Let' s give it a try!
If you want to learn more about Posada Provendicia, visit their website at https://cdpsisters.org/la-posada-providencia.
You can also find information on Loaves and Fishes on their website at https://lfrgv.org/.