While many people today have been asking the question “where were you/what were you doing when the Towers were hit,” I’ve been thinking about something else for the first time in fourteen years. I was at a meeting of chaplains in the NOLA area, and they were discussing the end of a book entitled Counseling Cops, and in listening to the conversation, I came to think about two things. First, we as humans love our stigmas. “He’s a cop, so he must be a tough guy who never cries.” “She’s a pastor, so she must never swear.” “Doctors and nurses are desensitized to their patients and see them only as problems to solve.” More so though, these stigmas get in the way of our thought processes that we are surprised when we find out that these stereotyped people are actually people with very real emotions and investments in the work they do. The other thing I thought about though was the blindness, whether intentional or not, of our own humanity. In the discussion, the chaplains spoke about how alcoholism, drug abuse, violence, etc. are very real repercussions of the work doctors, nurses, and cops do as they try to cope with what they see or experience on the job. Never once though did it come up how those who give pastoral care to others, such as chaplains, experience nasty situations and can just as easily turn to booze, drugs, or whatever to cope. In the end, it all boils down to stigmas; not only do we habitually create them for others, but we come to believe the ones others make about us so much that we overlook our faults and our being human. Perhaps I am beginning to ramble a bit, but these are things we as humanity need to think about and talk about. Regardless, until next time, may God bless you in all you do.