Today’s prompt: OTHER
From the moment I heard that today’s prompt would be other, I knew I wanted to write about other as a verb. I originally thought I wanted to reflect on “othering,” treating people of different colors or abilities as something aside/more/exceptional than their humanity. It is something I probably did (although with good intentions) with my mother-in-law, who was blind. I overlooked her sheer humanity sometimes because I was so focused on the things she did as a blind person (knitting, golfing, ice skating, etc.) that I probably made a bigger fuss than she preferred.
Early this morning, though, I read Scott Simon’s piece A Sister Shares ‘Horrible And Wonderful’ Memories Of Her Brother’s Life And Death. There’s a reference in the piece to being a sister but not as a noun (she was his sister) rather as a verb (she sistered him for lack of a less awkward treatment).
Something about that stuck with me. I thought about headstones (there have been quite a few of those lately in our family) and how they often include the nouns: mother/wife/sister/friend/etc.
At a time when we have lost people in our family and lost friends to disease and accidents, I am struck that it is a potent opportunity to be a verb in the lives around us.
(Bear with me the grammar may be weird but…)
To mother our children
To friend those who aren’t of our blood but make our lives more complete
To sister or brother our siblings (or our siblings of the heart (shout out to my only children friends!)
To resident (reside in) our homes and neighborhoods
To citizen our nation.
Life often calls us to act; I am reminded to choose to do so more consciously.
Note: The audio version of Scott Simon’s piece can be heard here:
Welcome to this week’s Five Minute Friday. Our instructions, via creator Kate Motaung: “Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation.” (But I can’t resist spell checking, as you can imagine.)