There are No Ordinary People...
Quote by C. S. Lewis
“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree helping each other to one or the other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all of our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics.
“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations - These are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals that we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit - immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.” – C.S. Lewis
Clive Staples Lewis -- 1898 - 1963
All things are wondrous...
How this affects my life
He describes it as a "serious thing"... and so it is. Imagine! Every person we meet, including the guy who just cut us off on the freeway, including the lady who cut in line in front of us at the store, including the bully at school or the obnoxious person at work, including the crude rude person who seems to have the heart of the Grinch... 10 sizes too small.
But like the Grinch... the story isn't over yet. It's not over until God says it is over. There is still a chance for redemption and rebirth.
When I see strange people, dishonest or unkind people, selfish and even truly evil people... what do I think? I see people as they CAN become. This perspective gives me even more faith in a living God who can work mighty miracles.
Perhaps a greater miracle than organizing this world and the universes around it, would be to make a beautiful being of light out of some of His children! And, our honor is to be an instrument in the noble purpose of helping each person we see to reach that desirable destination.
With this knowledge is responsibility. It is not our job to judge whether a person inherits heaven... that is God's job. Let's leave it to Him.
How Communication is Affected
Think of a moment that changed your life... a pivotal moment when you had a conversation with someone, and something they said made a great impact upon you.
Now, ask yourself... Do you think that person knew at that time what impact their words would have on your life? Do you think they planned and prepared to make that tremendous difference in the future of your path? Of course not.
Similarly, every communication, every interaction, every look or act has that same potential... to change someone's life forever.
Imagine that! Therein is great power... and great responsibility!
That is why C.S. Lewis said, "immortal horrors or everlasting splendors." If every interaction has that potential, to help someone along the path to everlasting joy, or immortal agony... it certainly behooves us to do so carefully and with proper perspective.
Additionally, as we ponder upon our relationships with our family, friends, associates, enemies, and strangers... They take on new meaning and purpose.
How I see myself
So, if I am actually a "spiritual being having a mortal experience," and am also far from "ordinary" and on a path toward "immortal horrors or eternal splendors"...
What responsibility do I have toward myself?
What about my internal self-talk?
How does this effect my choices about what I put into my body; what I let enter my eyes and my ears?
Think about it. If every conversation has the power to make an impact on others in helping them to go one way or another... doesn't it stand to reason that our conversations with ourselves has that same power?
Additionally, the impact of food on our health, and the impact of our health on our ability to follow our dreams has a direct correlation. Not only that, but what we see and hear influences our thoughts... and "As a man/woman thinketh... so is he/she." That's true power.
San Jose, CA
The stinging truth about C.S. Lewis' statement is that we joke with immortal beings... we work with immortal beings... we marry immortal beings... we snub immortal beings... and we exploit immortal beings. Wow!
How does knowing this change our behavior? We are honored to do such a thing! Certainly we do not always live up to our privileges.
We surely must spend some time in purposeful introspection and self-evaluation. The result of such self-assessment returns within our hearts an increased desire to remember who it is we are talking to... who it is we are looking at... and who it is we are serving.
In truth, we know that when we are in the service of our fellow beings, we are only in the service of our God. This is because He places such high esteem on His children... so should we. This re-alignment with truth is invigorating and infuses the soul with peace.