I was speaking to someone today and we were both wondering why our generation (60+) has less trouble tolerating the vagaries and foibles of various churches. We each do not attend one that totally offends us but we take for granted that none is perfect. We just seek out the one whose values are closest to our own.
I think that over the years I have sought a place where I can feel accepted and supported. I have a need to be in a Christian community. I would imagine that may be true of anyone in any faith. I don’t spend time pointing out my differences of opinion or the places where I see the train running off the track. I am entitled to my own thinking however strange it may be to someone else.
This way of belonging has taken a big hit. More people are anxious to find differences are dwell on them. It’s as if they don’t want any kind of community. The sad part is I don’t think we are by nature loners. We need others for our survival and sanity. At least I do. When things go wrong in my life it is those others who will help me to weather the storm. They may not all be my very best friends but they will go out of their way to help.
I seems that my generation is more willing to compromise and understands that nothing in the world is perfect.
This morning in church the sermon focused on two pieces of Scripture one from second Kings and the other from Luke. Both pieces of Scripture were talking about someone with leprosy. In the Old Testament of the Bible lepers were considered unclean. Unclean meant that they could not participate in any regular community. They were outcasts. In other parts of the Old Testament specifically the Torah there are laws written concerning people with leprosy and other diseases. The law prohibited these people from being part of the community. I am sure that they were initially formed to prevent contagion and exposure to those who might pass on illness.
In Luke Jesus heals 10 lepers. According to the laws of that time those lepers must go to the priests and be properly assessed and determined that they were no longer unclean. Only the priests could make that decision. Jesus, however, asserted that they were now clean and sent them to be looked at. Jesus essentially sidestepped the law.
This exclusion of people from society still exists today. Laws have been written to prevent people from being excluded from life in the community. Job discrimination is not tolerated on many levels. However, often the wording of laws is somewhat ambiguous. When a law is written it is usually written in a certain period of time and to address specific concerns of that era.
Now we have cases before the United States Supreme Court questioning discrimination laws concerning sex. The laws were written in a time when Blacks and women were being discriminated against in the workplace. Now there are questions about that law. The questions really are concerning issues that we face today that we didn’t face in the 60s. So a determination is having to be made about the real meaning of the law. There are people on both sides.
There has been a lot of discussion on media for both sides. “Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, as amended, protects employees and job applicants from employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.”
The law itself is not in question. It’s the interpretation of the law that is the problem. Whenever these issues come up it is always a good idea to go and read the original law in order to understand the discussion. Listening to the talking heads does not give you an accurate picture. Sometimes looking up the Constitution or other documents will give you a clearer picture. Don’t take someone else’s word for something. Read it for yourself and make your own decision.
Often I think that perspective is everything. How we view things is our reality. This is hard to learn and to realize that the world functions that way. One of the most difficult things to do is to change someone’s perspective. Our prejudices and our beliefs come from there. They are so ingrained that I don’t think we even know what is creating our world view.
The dictionary says perspective is:
a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.
“most guidebook history is written from the editor’s perspective”
||outlook, view, viewpoint, point of view, standpoint, position, stand, stance, angle, slant, attitude, frame of mind, frame of reference, approach, way of looking/thinking, vantage point, interpretation
When you read the synonyms you can see the far reaching effects of this. Sometimes it is worth our while to made changes to our perspective. If we see everything from a negative point of view then life will be negative.
“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” Abraham Lincoln
Perspective can change your life.
The doctor’s office put me on a new medication for IBSD. It really seemed to help but now I have been fighting some symptoms that disturbed me. I looked up the drug for side effects and discovered that the problems I am having are related to the drug so I have stopped it.
It is so important to pay attention when starting a new drug for you may discover that even though it works for the initial problem you may have problems that seem unrelated. Make use of the internet but be careful that you reach a web site is one that you can trust.
When I a curious about a medical issue the first place that I look is the web site belonging to the Mayo Clinic. In my experience they have the most accessible site and you know their information is correct.
When looking up drugs if you have any doubt about the information you are finding search the site for the manufacturer. I may be somewhat harder to get through but you can skip a lot of things and just hunt what you need.
It has been my experience that doctors can’t read all the information on every drug. There are just too many and each of us is different and responds to things differently.
As a nurse patient advocate if anyone need help finding information I would be glad to do what I can.
My husband mentioned recently that he doesn’t remember people being so angry at each other when we were younger. I agree with him. I meet so many people who are angry for no reason. Today I was crossing the road from Staples to my car and there was a gentleman down from me doing the same thing. A car came up to him and honked loudly several times. He was trying to hurry but had a limp and I think was moving as fast as he could. The lady pulled in next to my car and got out. Her shirt said: “Remember be kind.” I was so tempted to say something to her but I didn’t. She needed to read her own shirt!
It is so easy to see the anger in road rage, shootings, anger in our government, and just about everywhere. What has happened? Have changes in the ways we communicate (electronically) allowed us to not be kind face to face? The treatment of each other has deteriorated drastically.
I hope that we can discover the cause of all the anger and learn new ways to get along. If not, life will continue to be scary.
Today I realized that I have been writing this blog for two years. Time flies when you are having fun. It has been wonderful to have a place to throw out my ideas and my opinions. At least no one has tarred and feathered me yet.
At my age, 78, I do have lots of opinions and am old enough to not be afraid to share them. I am no longer afraid of speaking out and taking the consequences. It has gotten me in hot water occasionally but then I am not tied to everyone liking me.
Having lived through almost eighty decades I can see the changes that have taken place. The most concerning to me is the polarization of our society. The loss of perspective and respect for another’s opinions is worrisome. There is an unwillingness to even consider a different perspective. It is most evident in politics but can also be found in every day experiences. I feel like the lost lonely moderate. I know there are others but they are certainly not obvious.
I hope we can find a way to become reasonable human beings again. This is not the culture I lived in for many years. I am so sorry that it has come to this. Is there a way back to respect, moderation and finding a middle ground?
The holiday is over and we are heading back to ?normal? There is nothing wrong with that but I do miss them. I used to have a sign that someone gave me to hang in my kitchen. It said: all our guests give pleasure…some by coming, others by going. These were not guests….they are family. In today’s world it is not unusual to have family living far away. I feel blessed that they are not a country away. At least I can fly there easily.
Now it is time to catch up on things that have been waiting for me to get to them. Life continues to move on and there is always something to do.
Having a 21 year old and a 15 year old here was fun. I love ferreting out what how they see themselves. The 15 yo is an introvert and a male so feelings are not something that one discusses. I was able to sound him out about his favorite subject….biology..especially viruses and how to fight them. I can picture him working for the CDC one day. He struggles with social situations…but will learn with age. It’s funny that as we get older and find people who are like us things become easier.
My granddaughter is brilliant and hard to keep up with. She amazes me with her knowledge. She has done some modeling and can look beautiful when she wants. I like that sometimes she just wants to veg.
I wish I could say that I was able to dig into how they see themselves but that is hard to get from anyone. I have some idea from my experience of them but have fun trying to dig deeper.
My father taught me to watch out forming opinions of others but I think our opinion of ourselves tends to shape us. The new generations have time to decide how they feel about themselves. I hope they are able to see beyond the opinion of others.