The Mote in My Eye

I woke on Christmas morning with a small lump on the inside of my eyelid. For three days now, it has been itchy and uncomfortable, and by this morning it had progressed from "itchy" to "painful," from "small" to "large and puffy." Now this evening my entire eyelid is red and sore.

As I stood in the shower a few minutes ago, it suddenly occurred to me: I know what caused this! Not allergies, not some dread disease. It's my stupid face scrub, the one that smells so good but doesn't help my face at all. It has small grains of . . . something, and when I rinse it off in the shower, sometimes a grain gets into my eye & hurts like mad. This time, apparently, I didn't get it all out & now my eyelid has grown a protective coating around it, somewhat akin to what an oyster does. Only I doubt I will end up with a pearl.

As I steamed my face in an attempt to ameliorate the situation (didn't help), I debated whether or not to toss the remainder of the face scrub. On the one hand, there's hardly any left, it doesn't help my face, and it did this to me. On the other hand, it smells really nice, and there's at least enough left for one more application.

At which point, my good eye developed a twitch, and I realized that I had more than one mote, if you get my drift.

All of this led me to ponder motes in general, and how detrimental they are to our lives (not including the Motes who live next door and are quite pleasant neighbors - and mow their lawn about four times as often as we do). I try, I really do try, to find and rinse out my motes frequently. Since I teach comparative religions at a community college, I routinely discuss hidden prejudice, stereotyping, etc., and conduct exercises aimed at assisting my students in exploring assumptions they may not have been aware of holding.

But (to return to the metaphor) I am still often blind to my own. And this can be frustrating and embarassing. In this case, I find myself dwelling once again on the monetary and material aspect of the situation instead of the obvious health aspect: it doesn't work and is, in fact, bad for me!

Where has my common sense gone? How did this mote get in my eye?


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