Thursday, October 21, 2010

Article on judging


Hi world - I am passing on the most recent issue of Cafe, including a reflection written by my friend Rachel. The topic is judgment. In the lead article, Emily Williams Guffey talks about why we are so quick to judge others. I especially like her line "you don't know the whole story." In Rachel's reflection, she connects self-judgment and judgment of others and also draws the corollary: compassion toward self leads also to compassion for others. Amen!

With the high school group, we've been talking a lot about self-confidence related to bullying lately. We've agreed that bullies have surprisingly low self-confidence. They judge because they feel judged. To be truly kind and compassionate requires great self-confidence.

Last night we used an exercise called agree/disagree to talk about confidence. It goes like this: one wall of the room is agree, the other side is disagree. I ask a question and we line up on the continuum of the room depending on how much we agree or disagree. Then each person shares why they are standing in that particular spot.

One question last night was: when you remember how much God loves you, does your confidence increase? Many of the kids joined me on the strongly agree side, but quite a few of them were in the middle: not too sure. This is partly because some of them are at a point of really questioning their faith. I also think its because the overwhelming message they get is that they can craft an identity apart from relationships - especially apart from relationship to God.

I just saw the movie About a Boy and really loved it because, well, it's adorable, clever and uplifting. But also because it shows in a real world way just how important community is for creating an abiding sense of non-judging identity. My faith in God compels me to take that a step further: God is the source of community and relationship. Self-confidence is really God-confidence.

Enjoy the cafe articles.

1 comment:

  1. I quite agree with this and it "gives me courage and hope in my troubles" as our AnglicanLiturgy used to put it. I really do feel inclined to pray for people who ill-use me, when I think how inadequate so many of them are. I think of the "alternative healer" I recently met at a social function. Since I could not afford either his therapies, or to accompany him on a guided meditation weekend he recommended, he as good as told me that I might as well be living at subsistence level (not that I'm far from it!) and it's a real pity that, here in the UK, there is minimum wage legislation to protect me from that sort of exploitation.

    Jerry Hall, Franciscan Tertiary and another barefoot chiold of God, London

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