Back in high school, I managed to work the system and avoid taking physics my senior year. So, if I was supposed to have learned something in that class about Einstein's Theory of Relativity, well, I didn't. And, to be honest, I really don't seem to have had much of a need for it all of these years. I don't even know why it popped into my head this morning. I guess I was thinking about how relative suffering can be and then my mind wandered into abstractedness.
What happened is this: I woke up this morning with a sore ear from my ruptured eardrum, a sore foot from what appears to be a stress fracture and a little oozing from an unpleasant insect bite from days ago -- my little afflictions to accompany me throughout the day. And then I had a phone conversation with the mother of a baby boy born about six weeks ago with a genetic disorder called Trisomy 18. The baby hasn't yet left the hospital but has already outlived the grim statistical forecast. In the face of that heartache, the mother was full of hope and enthusiasm and gratitude for the blessings received so far.
Needless to say, my -- can I even use the word?! -- sufferings are pretty insignificant relative to those of that little baby and his family. That leads me to my own theory of relativity: How good it is to keep our daily inconveniences in perspective. And this can so often be done very easily by reflecting even briefly on the sufferings of others. Okay, it's not exactly an original theory. But you didn't have to suffer through a year of physics to learn it, either.
Oh, the baby's name is Giorgio Michelangelo Frassati _______. (For privacy purposes, I'm leaving out his last name.) I bet you can figure out who he was named for! Keep him in your prayers and let's ask our heavenly friend to do the same. Verso l'alto!