Saints inspire us to do better.
And some of us need that after a night of indulgence and stealing candy from our kids. Because the saints wouldn’t do that. The saints would practice moderation. They would practice restraint. They would practice generosity. They would practice buying your own candy.
Though practices vary among cultures, All Saint’s Day celebrates the lives of all saints, both known and unknown. In celebration, we propose the following saints for the modern age:
Saint Brittney of Instagram
An extraordinarily average 20-something, Brittney posts pictures from her ordinary life without giving thought to public perception. She simply shares photos she wants to share and likes photos she actually likes. Brittney is smart, kind and a lot of fun, and that comes through in her photos — but she isn’t trying to use Instagram to change the world or inspire anyone to do anything. Photos she has never posted include: an idyllic cup of coffee, succulents, before and after shots, glamorous backlit silhouettes, her breakfast or an electronic read-out of calories burned during exercise. She will post selfies from time to time but has never made a duck face.
Saint David the Conservative
Despite having strongly conservative political views, David respects those who do not. He knows he could not possibly be right about everything — even though it sure seems that way to him sometimes — and he readily listens to other viewpoints and perspectives. He’s smart enough to know that people aren’t dumb just because they don’t agree with him. When David feels angry about something, he takes time to cool off so that negative emotions and defensiveness don’t get in the way of communicating well. David seeks to find common ground, even though it can be difficult, because he knows that most of us want the same thing, we just have different ideas about how to get it. He is more concerned about people having rights than he is about being right.
Saint Julia of Facebook
Julia is a ray of spring sunshine in Facebookland, both welcome and refreshing. She exhibits genuine kindness on social media by not engaging in arguments or posting too many cute photos. She gets mad sometimes, but knows venting on Facebook doesn’t make things better. She doesn’t post too often and when she does, it’s something she thinks her social community will enjoy or benefit from. Julia enjoys social media in moderation, without letting it take away from productivity and in-person relationships. Sure, she likes — even loves — a lot of posts, but that’s because she genuinely cares about people.
Saint Lucas the Playful
Horrified by the amount of time children spend staring at screens, Lucas started an adventure program designed to connect kids with their real, actual life. Sometimes they would play a game of kickball or make cookies in the kitchen. Other times he and kids would go to the undeveloped areas in town to build forts and run around playing spy, even if there was a risk of someone falling and skinning a knee. The results were miraculous: the kids got healthy exercise, grew their imaginations and creative skills, reduced stress, expressed emotion and had face-to-face conversations, all by playing.
Saint Pearl the Hipster
Even though she is a vegan who dresses awesome, recycles and shows an inclusive attitude towards all people, Pearl doesn’t see herself as a better than anyone. She doesn’t judge those who are different from her and even has friends who eat fast-food hamburgers or who only drink bottled water or who think liberals are “the worst.” She is accepting of others because she knows everyone has different values and experiences and that no one is perfect, including herself. When she does speak up on something that’s important to her, she is kind and humble. She knows that most people don’t change their views by being punched in the face with moral superiority.