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Maladjusted by Terri McPherson

Maladjusted: not in harmony with one's environment or conditions of life.

Anne is, admittedly - maladjusted. She's a school teacher and a friend of mine who is not in harmony with an environment where some kids come to school with bulging lunch bags, while other kids come to school hungry. She is not in harmony with an environment where some kids have mittens to keep their hands warm in the winter and other kids come to school with cold, bare hands. Anne keeps a desk drawer full of hearty snacks to share and a box filled with mittens to give away.

Allen is maladjusted. He drives a delivery truck. One day, while making a delivery to a nursing home, he was delayed when his truck wouldn't start. After calling his office for assistance, Allen took a seat in the lobby of the nursing home and picked up a magazine to pass the time. One of the residents, an elderly gentleman, introduced himself to Allen and struck up a conversation. Allen felt the man's yearning for company and later learned that the gentleman very rarely had a visitor. The following Saturday, Allen returned to the nursing home, just to chat and visit. Now he's a regular visitor every weekend. The residents know his name and he knows their names. Allen is not in harmony with an environment that tarnishes the golden years of its most senior citizens.

Erin is maladjusted. She escaped from an abusive marriage with the help of a women's shelter. Now, she's back on her feet and settled into a new life, but feeling out of sync with an environment where safe havens for victims of domestic violence have to scrimp and scrape and beg for funding. She spends her spare time lobbying the government for funds to support shelters for women and children.

I like maladjusted people. I want to be in harmony - harmony of mind, harmony of heart and harmony of soul - with maladjusted people. Maladjusted doesn't mean living a life without serenity. It brings deeper meaning and greater appreciation to the serene moments of life. My littlest grandangel, Lacy, recently spent the night at our house. She woke up at 5:27 in the morning. I carried her out to the kitchen, made her a bottle, then settled in with her on the living room couch and fed her. She was wide awake when she finished her bottle, so I cuddled with her for awhile. The house was quiet, except for the soft, delightful sounds only a seven-month-old baby can make. She laughed, waved her arms and kicked her legs. It would have been easy to lose myself in the moment and think 'all is right with the world'. Except, all is not right with the world. During the time I'd slept, on a planet that has enough food to feed all of its citizens, 27,000 children died of hunger. 27,000...... I held my littlest grandangel close, kissed her face and cried for all the children who didn't make it through the night. Before long, Lacy was sound asleep. I carried her back to bed, tucked the covers around her, then tip-toed to my office. I turned on my computer, connected to the Internet and went to a familiar web site. It was the site of an organization I support every month. They feed hungry children around the world. Soon, smiling faces of children filled the screen. I am maladjusted. I needed to see those faces. Their smiles held back the howling hurt at the core of my being, a hurt that would tear me in two if I wasn't doing something, anything, to contribute to the solution of world hunger.

In 1957, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. advocated maladjustment while addressing the student body at UC Berkeley. "Everybody passionately seeks to be well-adjusted. ... But there are some things in our world to which those of goodwill must be maladjusted. I confess that I never intend to become adjusted to the evils of segregation and the crippling effects of discrimination, to the moral degeneracy of religious bigotry and the corroding effects of narrow sectarianism, to economic conditions that deprive people of work and food, and to the insanities of militarism and the self-defeating effects of physical violence."

I pray you are never well adjusted to the conditions on this planet, as they exist today. Not a single one of us is capable of fixing all problems in the world, but every single one of us is capable of contributing to the solution of the world's biggest problem - lack of love. True love is not a feeling you harbor in your heart. It is a feeling so deep and so profound it moves you to action. Find your passion, reflect your light, live your love!

Then the King will say, "I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me - you did it to me." Matthew 25:40

Terri McPherson
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Email: terri@wisehearts.com

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