A New Friend: Girl Scout Troop Leader
In the beginning of the school year, I met a woman named Paulie. I did not interact with her, but we knew of each other when we started attending monthly Girl Scout troop leader meetings.
Paulie and I didn’t talk too much to each other, aside from a friendly hello, as we both had things on our minds and we were both attentive in learning everything we could about the Girl Scout leadership experience.
Paulie and I were both new troop leaders and we were learning about the Girl Scout organization and leadership at the same time. Several months went by and the hellos turned into pleasant conversations, usually on our daily morning walk to drop off our daughters at school. As it turned out, Paulie and I learned that we share a lot in common.
We both have super-smart husbands whose work consumes them. We also have daughters whose interest in the Girl Scouts inspired us to become troop leaders. The love for our daughters led us straight to leadership. We both had high hopes that our decisions would somehow benefit our daughters and create a troop of happy girls who did lots of fun things.
Paulie and I shared internal desires to do the right thing and take the Girl Scouts to the next level. However, we both learned the hard way that the voice of innovation and creativity was to be silenced, quite ostensibly, I might add, mostly because “that’s not how we do things” or “that’s what we did last year.”
Common Ties: Complaints!
Paulie and I started getting upset with the Girl Scouts early on, and as we met coincidentally each morning, with no pre-conceived plan to meet up, the concerns and doubts and sometimes anger seemed to come out naturally. We were literally in the same boat, fighting the same battle, getting the same results.
Our conversations frequently turned into comments about how we posted questions or concerns to the troop email list and how we both had our hands virtually slapped for speaking up or somehow saying the wrong thing.
As the saying goes, misery loves company, and out of our common complaints about the Girl Scouts, Paulie and I became friends. Hugging friends. The type of friend that asks how your children are doing. There was no specific turning point in which Paulie and I became friends. The budding friendship was a natural process that happened without either one of us putting much thought or effort into it.
Accepting Others Blindly
I am so grateful for Paulie’s friendship because she represents the one thing that I think we all want others to have with us - - blind faith. Blind faith is a warm acceptance of a person without knowing anything about them. Person 1 meets person 2, learns a little bit about person 2, and right away invites person 2 to have lunch. Blind faith acts as a precursor to friendship.
I can tell you a million examples of people who have not had faith in me and have brushed me off for multiple reasons - - too young, too old, ugly, wears glasses, has black hair, funky teeth, speaks Spanish, and so on and so forth. I can certainly talk about each of those learning experiences, but right now, my focus is on Paulie as one of the people who chose to have blind faith in me.
Think about people who have used blind faith to invite you to parties, hire you for a job, or offer you a special gift. Those are the people who are shining stars in our lives who have had blind faith in us, and in some cases, a truckload of I-have-no-idea-where-this-came-from-I’m-in-total-disbelief blind faith.
Blind faith is a beautiful thing. It is shiny, pure, and transparent, like the finest crystal. The person who uses blind faith in another chooses not to let negative perceptions or obvious imperfections get in the way of friendships. That person exercises blind faith to get to know people, for better or worse.
Despite knowing how many problems I was having with the Girl Scouts, Paulie did not just poo poo me off, like an annoying gnat, as many others have. She took the time to listen, establish eye contact, and stay silent while I spoke. That, right there is Humanity 101. Giving others a chance to talk and respectfully listening.
Paulie had blind faith in me, believing that I was essentially a good person, worthy of friendship. She asserted her blind faith in me over and over every time she saw me, by waving hello, saying good morning, sharing a friendly smile, or embracing me in a nice hug. What kind of life would we have if we all chose to exercise even just a little tiny bit more blind faith in others?
Faith In God: Starting off With Blind Faith in Others
Having faith in God is a lot like having blind faith, almost literally. Relying on our visuals of prayer cards, statues, and paintings, we see glimpses of God through the eyes of the artist, but not the real God.
I have written artistically about my God, defining him as a waiter and serving me up slices of sweet stuff daily, because in my life, I feast on everything that he serves me. No matter what God looks like to you, you can’t really see him, so you have no choice but to have blind faith.
God likes it when we have blind faith in him because his invisible presence allows him to easily blend in the crowd to create magic and miracles in our lives. God is the one who causes babies to be conceived and born. He helps the sick to be cured. He pairs up wealthy benefactors with needy causes.
God is everything to everyone, but that is made possible only through blind faith. If we make the decision to believe that God is good even on occasions when our prayers go unanswered or when things don’t go our way, we are efficiently using blind faith. I know that is hard to do and I don’t blame you for having doubts, but at least we can start off small by exercising blind faith in people.
Lots of baby steps of having blind faith in others will help us graduate so that we’ll be able to exercise blind faith in God without sweating too much.
Can you think of recent examples in your life when you used blind faith to invite someone to be a part of your life, as a colleague, co-worker, or friend? How did it make you feel to exercise blind faith in others?