I think people started asking “What Would Jesus Do?” because we don’t trust ourselves to make decisions about our lives. Because we forgot how to be human. Or because for some reason, being human wasn’t good enough.
Wasn’t Jesus divine? He didn’t have kids and a mortgage. He wasn’t working in a dead-end job that sucked out his soul. He didn’t have to deal with chronic pain or obesity or a drug addiction. He wasn’t a human.
Shouldn’t we ask: What would the Pope do? What would Mother Theresa do? What would Ghandi do? Shouldn’t we ask: What would my friggin’ neighbor do? Or my grandma? Or the guy who delivers my mail?
Lately, I’ve been asking: If I were a better person, what would I do?
If I were smarter, stronger. If I were more evolved. If I were less reactive, less emotional. If I weren’t addicted to eggnog and approval from others. If I always ate the right foods and kept my bathroom clean and finished those sewing projects and meditated before breakfast. If I weren’t afraid. If I believed in myself.
What would I do if I were my former recovery program sponsor, the one who always seemed to have and still seems to have everything figured out? What would I do if I were my friend, the Buddhist vegan who teaches people to be healthy and whole? What would I do if I were my coworker who I always say is the nicest guy in our entire organization?
If I were a man and not a woman. If I were young and not old. If I were rich and not living paycheck-to-paycheck. If I were divine and not a mere mess of a human being.
What would I do if I knew the answer was already in me and all I had to do was stop thrashing about and let the waves take over and float to safety?
Maybe the point of asking what Jesus would do is not that we don’t know what to do. Maybe we just need someone to remind us that we do know.