Lenten practices and ‘geek culture’

There’s much to be said about the so-called ‘geek culture’.
Think about it:

Emulating heroes, championing the cause of right over wrong… Even those who cosplay the “bad guys” often do so with a mind that they’re there merely as a foil to those serving the side of Good.

But I’m getting ahead of myself here. I’ll back up.
It’s Lent. I’m a practicing Catholic. So I’m in extra-conscientious ‘thoughtful and prayerful’ mode this month+
Some days it’s hard, some days it’s easy. Some days the state of my heart depends on whether someone cut me off in traffic or was inconsiderate at the store. You know, normal human-ness.

But Lent calls us to be a bit super-human. Not in that we need special powers to be good people. But our base instincts, our laziness, our selfishness, sneak out when we lose concentration or are tired or, maybe, just a bit sad.

This post comes out of an interesting moment I had last week. It’s been on my mind every day since. Here goes:

I pulled into the grocery store parking lot and grabbed an out of the way spot. I’m young and hearty, I can take the extra steps into the store on a chilly day with my warm coat and scarf. But there was a big ol’ truck parked 2 spots away from mine out there in the far reaches of the lot. A woman was just leaving. And in preparation, she was rather carefully trying to ‘lock’ the wheels of her shopping cart against the lamppost that stood on the edge of the spot between our two cars… you know, rather than taking it back to the corral for carts at the end of the aisle.

Without hesitation–without hesitation!!–I walked past and, with a smile, simply said, “Hey, can I take this with me? I’m just going in so the timing’s perfect.” No scold. No sly judging passive aggressive glance. My heart was light and helpful. I meant it. It was . . . weird. And so, so easy.

It was easy to be kind.

It is easy to be kind.

Now, back to where I started this post & the conclusion I came to this morning when I went shopping again for my weekly groceries.

I have a vanity plate that declares my car to be the Tardis. I wear a 4th Doctor long scarf when it’s cold. I like to call it: casual cosplay. And I absolutely love getting thumbs up and secret smiles from other ‘geeks’ in public.

This morning, as I parked in my far corner of the lot and turned by collar up against the cold, the biting wind whipping the long tails of my scarf in dramatic fashion, I recalled the words of the 12th Doctor, Peter Capaldi, my Doctor:

“Never be cruel, never be cowardly. And never ever eat pears! Remember – hate is always foolish…and love, is always wise.

Always try, to be nice and never fail to be kind…

Laugh hard. Run fast. Be kind.”


Simply donning a scarf, I represent The Doctor. Amazing what a fandom can give rise to within our hearts, yes?
I’ll repeat: It is easy to be kind.

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