Should I Pull this Off for Christmas, too?

Most normal people are happy around Thanksgiving for family, friends, food and all of the good things in life.

Me?  Well, I didn’t have to peel any potatoes or wash any dishes—because I sliced my thumb on a can of cream of mushroom soup as we were preparing our meal.

I think I may have found a unique tradition for Thanksgiving!  It really worked quite well.

Fortunately, it wasn’t so bad that I needed stitches, just a good bandaid, which I am now considering wearing well-beyond the stage where my thumb is healed up.

Deceitful?  Nah, not me.  I just know a silver lining when I see one!

We were talking quite a bit about ethics over Thanksgiving as one of our daughters had an issue come up that necessitated her making an ethical decision that some of us might have found very difficult.  For her, it was a no-brainer, and she made the right decision; we are very proud of her.

Curiosity and temptation were the base issue surrounding her decision. Curiosity has such a strong draw, doesn’t it?  Curiosity about other people’s business can be especially challenging.

I read a piece of wisdom on this subject as it relates to humility, in Humility, Thirty Short Meditations by Father Richard Frederick Clarke, SJ.

Here’s what he said.  I’m not going to paraphrase it because it is short and so well written:

“Curiosity at first sight does not seem to have any direct bearing on humility but, in point of fact, it is very injurious to humility. Those who pry into matters that do not concern them will find this eagerness after unnecessary information very injurious to their humility. It is opposed to the quiet, peaceful temper of one who does his own work without concerning himself with that of others. It leads to criticism, the habit of rash judgment, and a dissatisfaction with what goes on around us. It makes the mind dissipated and unsettled and fosters a sort of unhealthy activity outside our own sphere of duty.

Curiosity does not mean that we should not be eager for knowledge, but not for knowledge that does not directly or indirectly help forward the work that God has given us to do. 

What are the affairs of our neighbors to us? We say, perhaps, that it will increase our influence to know them. It certainly will not increase our influence for good. It may puff us up with an idea of our own importance, and make us fancy that others admire us for it; but to know too much is not only most dangerous to our humility, but it alienates others from us, and makes them fear and dislike us.

Curiosity is one of the effects of pride. In Eve, it was the immediate effect of her sin of pride. Before she had indulged a rebellious thought against God, she had no wish for knowledge that God had forbidden. It is often the stepping-stone from pride to other sins - to evil speaking, to luxury, to greediness, to lying; and above all, to the weakening of faith and hope. 

Examine yourself whether you indulge in this dangerous habit of curiosity.”

As we leave Thanksgiving behind and turn the page to Advent and then Christmas, I hope these words will help your family gatherings be times of joy and peace.  We do not often consider how taking one small step toward something like curiosity can lead us down a longer path that can disrupt our relationships.

I had been wondering if my little thumb trick might work for Christmas as well, freeing me up from some of the kitchen work once again, but after reading this, I suppose indulging in such a rebellious thought might be kind of a stepping-stone to other sins, so I will have to be a good girl for now.

Janet Cassidy


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