In the words of one famous (for, uh, not necessarily always good reasons) ex-California governor/actor, “I’m back!” It’s been a special 3 weeks.
First and foremost, many thanks to our guest bloggers, who over recent weeks have creatively encouraged, inspired, informed and made us think; they were vocal about the shooting in Colorado, the heartache at Penn State, the partaking of fiction, moving, accountability, abortion, respectful dialogue, faith, fear, and the inability of government to create jobs. We heard from men and women, liberal and conservative, of various faith and demographic backgrounds. We even heard from one self-identified “little kid with some big beliefs.” (Way to go, Becca… way to go…)
So question: why do we do it?
Why on the Intramuralist do we even entertain the concept of a Guest Blogger Series?
Great question. Granted, the series always provides this semi-humble blogger an opportunity to refresh, renew, and “recharge my batteries,” so-to-speak, thinking of what next we should discuss. I am thankful for the time to intentionally reflect, attempting to discern whether or not the Intramuralist is staying consistent with our purpose in both content and expression.
What is our purpose?
To model respectful dialogue. We do not have to each possess the same opinions; in fact, as a society, we are fairly incapable of that. But if we are to be a mature, wise people group, we must grow. I believe we grow through respectful dialogue.
Respectful dialogue, however, is not something to be assumed. Some may argue, no less, that it is even rare…
While away, for example, as several of you noticed, a bit of a societal stir took place when one congressman suggested there existed a difference between “legitimate” and “illegitimate” rape. Last this current events observer knew, rape is rape, as articulated by both current presidential candidates. However, in one discussion I witnessed, a gentleman used the controversy to verbally attack VP candidate, Paul Ryan; the gentleman (although the “gentle” is debatable) referred to Ryan and his Republican colleagues as persons who “keep trying to make it legal for husbands to rape their wives.”
Excuse me, friends, but that is not respectful dialogue. That does nothing to advance healthy conversation. It is also not a helpful articulation that encourages us to discern truth, develop solution, and individually grow.
The primary reason we host our annual Guest Blogger Series is because it gives you, the reader, an opportunity to hear from someone different than me. While I appreciate your sincere interest and commitment to the Intramuralist, I also wish to uphold our blog’s primary principles:
1. We value humility.
2. None of us have life all figured out. And,
3. We each need to listen better, often, and more.
The Guest Blogger Series allows us to model each of the above. Agree or disagree with the perspectives expressed, the varied opinions by others have the potential to prompt growth…
… if we listen… if we intentionally humble ourselves.
True, those can be big “if’s,” but they are necessary indeed.
And so I return to you, refreshed, recharged, and ready to go. Friends, we have things to discuss! So join with me in the dialogue. Contemplate. Consider. Comment. Agree or disagree. Add perspective. Add an ‘amen.’ You may even add a ‘what-were-you-thinking?’ But most of all, let us humble ourselves and listen to one another. Let’s discuss. Let’s grow.
A special thanks to our special bloggers… can’t wait until next year! You spur us on.