Friday, August 7, 2015

Proofreading -

I spend a significant amount of time reading and editing. This summer I've been editing a Business English course. I have to be super-critical about the material I'm reviewing - watching for numbers and numerals, quotation marks, commas, periods, spacing, indents, overuse of words such as that, you, misspelled words, font size, and the list goes on and on.

Then when I read for pleasure - I find myself doing the same thing - Aaaha - found a typo, way too many you's in this paragraph, shouldn't that period be inside the quotation marks? And the list goes on. Often these errors leap off the page at me. In fact, I can read a sentence or paragraph two or three times, if it doesn't make sense the first time, to try and figure out where the error is. I think, "Where was their proofreader/editor?" "Obviously the publisher was sloppy."

This makes me a good teacher, a good editor, but it makes me critical of what I should be enjoying.

I've been thinking about that - It's one thing to be professional, critical, but it's another to be engaged in the content rather than critiquing the content.

In life, this likewise applies. I can be the proofreader, the critical one, looking for, and finding, fault in others, in myself, for that matter. As I've been caring for my father these past 2 weeks, there are plenty of times I have found fault - feeding tube kinked, nurses who didn't respond as quickly as they should have, pain meds that don't do their job, a doctor who was a little too knife happy, a room just a little too cluttered.

I have tried, diligently, this time with my dad and my mom, to, rather than be critical, be compassionate. What am I to learn from this experience? How can I be better because of what I've seen and heard? How can I be honest without being hurtful? Am I asking for too much? Can I be patient with the process? How can I care for others, make this experience good for them?

The response has been amazing, if only to me. Instead of finding fault, I have overlooked mistakes (not ignored, but a choice) and in doing so, have found peace, and ultimately, joy in this journey. And honestly, it's easier - not being the proofreader allows for me to enjoy the surroundings, the message. I'm tired, my eyes are tired of reviewing, I need a rest, I need to do something for enjoyment, but joy has filled my heart. I am not frustrated, not anxious, not upset with the situation, because I have chosen to overlooked the "" that aren't up to my standards, the over use of "that" when "who" would be better, and in doing so, I have been able to focus on the content - Dad and Mom.

Hip-Hip-Hurray!

Lord, by Your grace, 
please replace my critical spirit with 
Your love and compassion for others.


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