“Why do we have the desire to tease the innocent? Is it envy? ” (GG) Why do we point out flaws in others just to feel good about ourselves. Shouldn’t we be able to know our strengths without crushing someone. We should, I want to, I will. I will from this time forth (of course I will mess up) not step on another to feel better about myself.
CSL says that following the commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves does not mean we have to like our neighbor, there are many times we don’t like ourselves. This not liking ourselves is as important as loving ourselves, it should go with self esteem. We should call it, well I am not sure, but it should be something that counters the self esteem myth that we are beyond mistakes and that somehow our mistakes are somehow not part of us. Mistakes may be more apart of us than our talents and good points. How much stronger would we be, how much stronger would our families be, if we could incorporate “that was stupid”, or “I am not doing that again”, into discussions as readily as we say “that was awesome. And with the criticism is a kind of silly laughter. “you silly goose” or “sometimes I do the dumbest things” . The recognition of our weaknesses releases us from criticizing others. When we are honestly aware of our strengths and flaws then we see others’ strengths and flaws. We see others as we see ourselves and the world can breathe a sigh of relief that we are flawed and we are awesome. If I am a child of God and he loves me, then he himself enjoys my mistakes and enjoys my awesomeness. He is simply asking in my clumsiness to lean on him, but I can only do this if I recognize my clumsiness.
I spent most of the morning cleaning the house after being gone last week. My husband and I are both ‘people of clutter’. The difference between my clutter and his is two fold; mine is much more colorful and he can’t see his. I picked up the following items of his this morning: a toolbox, a model airplane, a box of mail that hasn’t been opened (not a small box by the way), a briefcase (which hasn’t been used in 3 years), a pair of work shoes, forestry flagging, a pair of sunglasses, various papers and a set of keys. Now this clutter doesn’t seem all that important except that when he walks in the door he never sees it. He sees the wedding dress that I have to return to a friend laying on the chair but doesn’t seem to see any of his piles of to-dos. (He also doesn’t seem to see the dishes he dirties.)
My mother has a similar problem, she is more of a hoarder than a clutterer, but until someone comes to stay at her house for any longer than a week, she doesn’t seem to notice the mess. Not only after a prolonged stay by the vistitor does she notice the mess, and then mess becomes the visitor’s fault.
I don’t know what this illness (if it is an illness) is called and I don’t know if it can be changed. What makes us not see our own messes? What makes others’ messes bigger and more important than our own? And keeps us from recognizing our messes until we have someone else to blame them on?
Maybe it is because in our entire marriage my husband has never deep cleaned a room. When you have scrubbed every corner, taken apart every cupboard and tidied back up you have a better appreciation for the cleanliness of the room. My husband had his mother to maid for him and my mother had a maid for most of my growing up. So maybe there is a cleanliness detachment.
They are both artists and maybe their mess is actually a ‘work in progress’ and should not be interrupted. I don’t know.
You see I don’t have mentors in this small mountain community of 4,ooo. Not that this town is void of them, the mentors haven’t yet found me. Found me, how pompous can I be? I have sought for few and I have found none, but I don’t know if I sought for any I would find one. I am cynical, I have been spoiled by the environment I taught in. My students, my colleagues and my mentors fed me , I don’t know if I fed them. I don’t think that we have to feed those that feed us with the same food they feed us. Maybe that is one of the lessons that motherhood teaches us, our children and our husband do not feed us with the same food that we feed them. Mothers, many times, look at feeding their children as a boring chore, and many times it is, but what if it is simply an investment into the energy stash for the food they feed us. And does this change if we eat out? I don’t know. But in the give and take of associations we should not expect to receive exactly what we give; we should be prepared to receive something completely different, surprised by a gift that we could not have guessed, that we could not have orchestrated, that we could not have given ourselves.
So each person we meet is simply a giver of gifts. What will they give you? I knew a family that gave money to a women seemingly in need. The women needed cash for medicine, gas and groceries. There was no accountability for the money that she spent. It just so happens that the money was spent to pay the cable bill and support her adult son’s video gaming habit. What the needy women gave the giving family was a sense of righteousness, a sense goodness and sense of ‘being needed’. But this is not what our relationships should be giving us, this is not the purpose for which we were created. I am not saying we shouldn’t help people, but the association created when you are giving to either receive the same thing or receive nothing but a feeling of righteousness is not giving at all; it is actually taking, and in taking there is no creating.
So in your associations, which include partners, children and colleagues, are you accepting what they are giving you? Are you fully enjoying what you are giving them? This give and take is simply common sense and the only environment where pure charity can thrive.
I was sitting in a meeting behind a 13 year old girl and her baby. However, this was not your typical baby, it came with your typical car seat but not so typical computerized bracelet that kept track of when you fed it ,changed it and held it. This was a computerized rubber baby with an adolescent pretend mommy who is suppose to be learning from this experience that babies are hard work. The year is not 3010 it is 2010, this is not a science fiction story it is the story of efforts by social psychologists to discourage teenage sex or at least to encourage teenage birth control. Their message is simple “babies mean work”. Now I admit that babies are work. I have 5 children and they brought with them sleepless nights and worries. But it was a real human being keeping me awake, a real human being causing me to worry. The computer model baby is one of the many current examples of applied human reductionism. Current scientific reductionism pervades education as well as psychology. In fact reductionism’s greatest danger may lie in its applied methodology within public schools . “Teaching to the lowest common denominator”, or “dumbing us down” are just two of the terms used by non-reductionist educationalists describing constructivist/progressive education. For constructivists to apply their theories they need a group of guinea pigs and those guinea pigs are located within the prison looking buildings of the public school. Convenient as this location may be a “means not ends” view of the human is still required to give the constructivists permission to use the imprisoned students to develop and test educational theory. There have always been groups that attempt an ideological broad stroke of applied universal values, currently this broad stroke is a broad stroke of dehumanization and with it comes the loss of individual “thouness”. For education to come to terms with the immense scope and dimension of each student it will have to give up that education is capable of disseminating universality and elevate the free will and responsibility of each student.
No one is going to read this; at least that is what I think. 21st century grandchildren look at 21st grandparents as old, backwards and less evolved. This is the real danger of the evolution dialogue in schools. Our grandparents, greatgrandparents, old authors, ancient heroes and artists are merely beasts compared to the high-tech, self-actualized child of the 21st century. Technologies of old may still work but they won't produce the child of the common conversation. The child who demands peace without being demanding, who courageously cleans the earth without being courageous. To sustain the evolution conversation it is required that the youngest living generation dehumanize the oldest living generation. They must disregard former meanings so as to laud current meaning. They must brutalize history to paint their history as gentle. This view dismisses brutality that they won't see such as abortion, depression caused by an existential vacuum and other forms of invisible suffering and focuses on visible sufferings such as tobacco use, bottled water and team cooperation.