*This is the proper spelling because it's the one that makes any sense. When people say "return missionary" I want to say "Return him where?"
By now I've forgotten most of what I learned my freshman year, other than a few of the life lessons that I learned such as classes, such as this: most stereotypes exist because they're true. If you see a scrawny pale guy with glasses, for example, you can safely assume that he probably likes Star Wars, and not just because liking Star Wars is suddenly cool again. (People are upset about how the same people who used to make fun of them for liking Pokémon are now obsessed with Pokémon Go. I had a similar experience many years ago when my classmates took a break from bullying me for liking Star Wars to get excited about "Revenge of the Sith".) This was borne out again at a recent game night when five of six players made that assumption during a game of Imaginiff, and were correct. Debbie was the sixth, and she was like "Well I didn't know, I don't know him" and I was like "You can't tell just by looking at him?" and he wasn't even offended. He nodded.
Me: You don't trust me to protect you?
Her: I trust that you would try, but if he has a gun, we're both out of luck.
Me: Do you not trust any of these guys, or just the sketchy-looking ones?
Her: No, but it depends on the time of day too, like if it were midday it wouldn't be an issue.
Me: Do you trust me?
Her: I'm with you, aren't I?
Me: This feels like a huge responsibility.
Her: To not turn and attack me?
Me: I just mean – I know I'm trustworthy, but you don't know that. You're taking a leap of faith. And what if you take that leap of faith with someone else who isn't trustworthy? So I feel like, even though I'm trustworthy, maybe you shouldn't trust me because you just shouldn't trust people.
Her: And I'm more likely to be assaulted by someone I know well.
Days later, she flinched very hard when I reached over her to pick something up.
Having her neighbor around much of the time that we hang out hasn't turned out to be an unbearable nuisance as I thought it would be, either, since she makes a visibly conscious effort to be equally inclusive of us both. If anything, I am the guilty party for paying more attention to her than him, but still he has graduated in my mind from “friend-in-law” to actual friend. So I started inviting them both to stuff instead of just her, and when she couldn't make it to something and it was just me and him I didn't even mind. We bonded over our shared love of Homestar Runner and our shared ambivalence toward the latest Star Wars movie.
The Mormon Section
From this I came to wonder if Jesus experienced all of this pain during the Atonement. It seems self-evident that the Atonement covers animals because they will be resurrected. And they are no more deserving of pain, and less so in many cases, than humans. So did Jesus take their burdens upon Himself too? Did He intimately feel, for example, what it's like to be a rabbit experiencing sheer terror and adrenaline as it runs from a fox, only to be overtaken and torn apart? My answer is yes, but like, that's just my opinion, man. And I think there is a self-evident parallel between the necessity of suffering to create species and ecosystems and the necessity of suffering to create gods.