ok to discriminate against one?

Let’s juxtapose two different legal proceedings.

First, as reported by the progressive advocacy news site, “Think Progress,” in May…

“At last, Jane Meyer gets to celebrate a victory.

The former senior associate athletic director at the University of Iowa sued the university for gender and sexual orientation discrimination, whistleblower violations, and unequal pay. On Thursday, she was awarded $1.43 million in damages from a Polk County jury…

Meyer began working at Iowa in 2001, when she was hired by then-athletics director Bob Bowlsby as the senior women’s administrator. She was the second-in-command in that department, and Bowlsby gave her excellent performance reviews and indications that she would be able to run her own athletic department some day. But everything changed when Bowlsby left the school in 2006 and Gary Barta became athletics director…

At the end of 2014, Meyer gave Barta a memo outlining the gender discrimination she had witnessed and experienced in the department. The following day she was reassigned to another program at the university, away from the athletics community she loved.”

Second, as reported by the conservative commentary, Stream.org, a little over a month ago…

“Former college basketball star Camille LeNoir was hired to be a college assistant coach. However, the offer was rescinded when the school found out from an old YouTube video that she was no longer gay. Not only did she no longer identify as gay, she said it was a sin.

LeNoir’s former coach at New Mexico State University, Mark Trakh, offered her a job as an assistant basketball coach. But just two days before she was to leave for New Mexico, he called her to rescind the offer. Trakh informed her that he’d watched a 2011 YouTube video where LeNoir talked about basketball, sexuality and faith.

For most of her collegiate career, LeNoir was in a relationship with women. After college, LeNoir played basketball in Greece, where she was the top Point Guard of the league. It was during her time in Greece that she felt convicted to leave homosexuality…

Trakh told LeNoir to pull the video or she’d never work in the industry. ‘I felt the job was taken away because of my heterosexuality,’ she said. She’s now suing New Mexico State in a U.S. District Court. She said she was discriminated against because of her religious beliefs and sexuality. New Mexico State claims in court documents that LeNoir’s statements on homosexuality in the film would ‘have had an adverse impact’ on her ‘ability to effectively coach and recruit players who identify as LGBT’…

‘I never had a chance to talk to anyone, to share,’ LeNoir told The Washington Post. ‘It’s like they took this video and the fact that I’m heterosexual now and made decisions without getting to know the Camille six years later.’

‘I believe it was an injustice,’ said Camille. ‘A huge injustice.’”

So two women feel discriminated against…

One because she is gay.
And one because she is not.

Assuming the accusations are true (which has yet to be determined in the latter case), allow me a brief series of sincere questions:

Is discrimination ever ok?

Why would we be sensitive to only some injustice? Why would we be sensitive to only one of the above?

And, in our sincere efforts to love and respect some, why do we sometimes justify the victimization of someone else?

Respectfully… always…
AR

last week’s questions

As this semi-humble current events blogger, attempts to have a pulse on the world around us, often it helps to scan the news for the latest questions. True, the question mark is notably the Intramuralist’s favorite piece of punctuation, as it’s the only punctuation mark that invites a response.

I wonder how we would each respond to last week’s questions, each of the 50, which at some point was a featured headline…

  1. Does Intellectual Humility Matter for Democracy?
  2. Is Being Good Good for You?
  3. On Taxes, Who’ll Be Crying in Their Beer?
  4. What Does Patriotism Mean?
  5. What’s the Matter With Transparency?
  6. Can My Children Be Friends With White People?
  7. Can Carbon-Dioxide Removal Save the World?
  8. What Will Happen to the UCLA Players in Trouble in China?
  9. How Will California Pay for Free Community College?
  10. Do Better Tests Lead to Better Teaching?
  11. Is the Middle East Breaking Up?
  12. What If All Americans Went Vegan?
  13. What Are Your Thoughts on the Latest College Football Playoff Rankings?
  14. Liberals Still Aghast at Trump, But What Good Has It Done?
  15. Who Will Vote for Republicans Next Year?
  16. Write-in Option for Voters?
  17. Could Prince Harry Ever Marry Divorcee Meghan Markle?
  18. Can a Robot Join the Faith?
  19. Should We Fear Robots?
  20. Is There an Intrinsic Morality of the Free Market?
  21. Want More Gilmore Girls Episodes?
  22. Will Schools Start Lying About Attendance Rates?
  23. Can Religious Symbols Be Tolerated on Public Lands?
  24. Pre-Black Friday Sales: BS or a Good Deal?
  25. Is the Gun-Maker Liable?
  26. Did World War I Not Teach World Anything?
  27. LeBron Looking to Make a Statement at MSG?
  28. What Will Happen This Winter?
  29. Why Do We Sleep?
  30. Are We Born Believing in God?
  31. After Wacky a Week, What Happened to Reliable Fantasy Studs?
  32. Did Crabs Hide Amelia Earhart’s Remains?
  33. Is This the Future of Commuting?
  34. Can You Really Be Addicted to Sex?
  35. What Policies Can Really Lower Drug Prices?
  36. What Happens When Secular Ideals and Tenets of Faith Conflict?
  37. Do We Understand the 2nd Amendment Anymore?
  38. What’s Wrong With Sidney Crosby?
  39. Apple Cider Vinegar for Hair Loss?
  40. Does a Litigious Culture Undermine Our Capacity for Humility?
  41. More Lawyers or More Justice?
  42. What Is Moral Injury?
  43. Does China have a Grand Strategy?
  44. Is Trump’s Base Support Slipping?
  45. Do Trump’s Liberal Critics Seem Increasingly Unhinged?
  46. When Does a Watershed Become a Sex Panic?
  47. Who Should Pay for Electric Vehicle Chargers?
  48. Is God Wholly Separate from the Material Universe?
  49. Can You Learn to Control Your Mind?
  50. (… and, maybe my favorite this week…) Why Don’t Fish Swim Upside Down?

Amazing the variety of perspective we could learn… that is, if we actually took time to ask questions.

Respectfully…
AR

wrestling with a tough topic

Talk about tough topics in current culture, I came across a unique one this week. Allow me to share the unfolding pattern prior to any specific perspective…

It started with a bold statement on social media.

Then, some genuine, diverse opinion was shared.

Then came some strong feelings…

Are you referring to me?? To my family??

To some, it became personal. That led to finger pointing and defensiveness…

I am actually shocked that you are not supportive… Your concern is not my fault…

And then motive was assigned to opposing opinion…

They are afraid.

Few questions were asked seeking to understand — from any supposed side. There was more an assertion of individual opinion accompanied by a disdain of perceived opposing opinion, as it seemingly evolved into an “only two-sided issue,” where only one could be right — and one had to be wrong.

Hence, with no questions, then came the actual dismissal of any validity in different opinion…

This is the way it is. Period.

As a current events observer — and only a semi-humble one at that — I paid special attention to this thread, as it was based on a subject matter of which I’m fairly ignorant. Seeking to learn from those who have broader perspectives than mine, I thought it was a great way to learn.

But I was quickly dismayed that any learning opportunity was squelched by how personal the topic was perceived, the justification of finger pointing, the absence of questions, the assignment of motive, and the rejection of any other perspective “other than mine.” There was no tolerance for perceived opposing opinion.

And so I again found myself asking…

Is there only one right angle?

Is there only one right way to think about this?

If I put myself in your shoes, would I feel exactly like you? Do the “shoes” matter?

And the great big, profound clunky question: since we believe what we believe because it is best, what happens when what I think is best is different than what you think is best?

My sense is our goal shouldn’t be to beat another into submitting to our opinion. My sense is also that we should not finger point, assign motive, and reject. In a wise society, friends, we are to respond in love. All the time. Regardless of issue.

This issue had nothing to do with kneeling, climate change, or the latest college football rankings. There was no talk of the 1st, 2nd, or any Amendment. There was also no one who invoked (good or bad) the name of the current Oval Office holder. Still, it was a subject in which admittedly, the Intramuralist knew little…

Co-ed wrestling.

“As a parent would you want your daughter to wrestle?”

“… There’s not a girls’ wrestling team… Some boys will not be able to give 100%… I think there’s a big difference between youth vs. high school…”

I wish we could have all conversations better… conversations, regardless of topic, in which we could respect one another, allow differing opinion to exist, not make it or take it personally, resist the assignment of motive, especially regarding perspectives we don’t share.

I wish we would respond in love.

Respectfully…
AR

what’s most important

Marquese Goodwin has known much success in his 26 years.

He was born in Lubbuck, Texas and attended Rowlett High School. There he had the second fastest 100-meter time in the Lone Star State, was the state champion in the triple jump and long jump, and was a member of the state title-winning 4×100-meter relay team. He won seven team track and field championships.

Goodwin’s success did not stop there.

On scholarship at the University of Texas, Goodwin continued to succeed. In track and field, he was a two-time NCAA champion in the long jump and a four-time All-American in track and field. He won five Big 12 Conference championships and made the All-Big 12 team seven times. His collegiate success then propelled him to the 2012 Summer Olympics, finishing tenth in the long jump.

But Goodwin simultaneously played collegiate football, starting as a receiver and returner, including in the 2010 BCS National Championship Game. He has played in the NFL since 2013; he is currently a wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers.

This past Sunday, the Niners played the Giants. In the second quarter, Goodwin was on the receiving end of a huge play, scoring an 83-yard touchdown, his best play of the year.

As soon as he reached the end zone, Goodwin blew a kiss to the sky, fell to his knees, and made the sign of the cross. He then gently laid his head upon the end zone turf, as several players came and appropriately, gently knelt beside him.

Just hours earlier, his wife, former Longhorn hurdler champion Morgan Goodwin-Snow, had to deliver their first child prematurely due to complications within the pregnancy. The baby boy did not survive.

Said later in an Instagram update by Marquese:

“I just wanna thank those who’ve genuinely prayed for @morganakamomo & myself through out this pregnancy. Unfortunately we lost our baby boy due to some complications, and had to prematurely deliver him early this morning around 4am. Although we are hurt, I am grateful for the experience and grateful that God blessed me with a wife as courageous and resilient as Morgan. The pain (physically, mentally, & emotionally) that she has endured is unbelievable. Please Pray for the Goodwin family.”

I can only imagine the depth of the pain the Goodwin’s feel at this time… and to still go to work. Gut-wrenching.

And while my heart aches for this family, I find myself simultaneously struck by Goodwin’s apparent realization of what’s most important.

When Goodwin crossed the goal line, there was no celebration. There was no dancing. No drama. None of the current clever, often whimsical festivities.

Goodwin did his job, was honest in his emotion, and in his grief, still later was able to acknowledge the great big God of the universe.

My sense is that sometimes we get lost in the game. We get lost in any perceived competition — be it sports, politics, you-name-it. Sometimes we get distracted and derailed. We start to major on the minors, no longer able to recognize what is minor.

My prayer is that we always instead realize what is most important.

God be with the Goodwin family. Pray for them, Marquese humbly requests.

It’s important.

Respectfully…
AR

a social experiment

Every now and then I really like a line on this blog so much, I think it and say it over and over; sometimes it’s more than a line. I keep thinking today of how each of us contributes — knowingly or unknowingly — to the division in this country. As stated Thursday, “Our national divide will never get better if we keep contributing to the fire. We’re adding fuel to the fire with our sideways comments… our angry posts, our cutting comments on social media… the rolling of our eyes when people are sharing their stories.” Yes, we are part of the problem.

I have a good friend with whom I have long bantered over all sorts of stuff… from music and kids to healthcare and home life. We’ve long been able to talk about all. We don’t always agree, but we both recognize that agreement is not necessary for unity; respectful dialogue is always more important. We are both sharpened via such.

In recent months, my friend found herself tempted to be more of the problem, contributing to that division. It’s easy, folks. Sometimes we don’t even recognize our involvement. We feel strongly… react strongly… sometimes even baiting another by posting something provocative… maybe they’ll say something disrespectful or outlandish back… then everyone will see that they are the problem.

Unfortunately, we are part of the problem.

Recognizing such, my friend decided to conduct a small but significant social experiment. With her permission, I share such with you now…

What exactly was your experiment?

I wanted to see if I could change the quality of my Facebook feed and take control of the algorithms. I unfollowed anything political in nature — all news and current event pages — and I unfollowed friends who only post provocative political posts. I also marked all like ads as irrelevant — and I replaced them with pages that promoted peace, joy, kindness, etc. I began liking posts like crazy that were similarly peaceful and positive and then hiding posts that triggered anger, sadness, or hopelessness.

What motivated your experiment?

My feed had become 90% news and politics. Funny thing is that before the 2016 election, I hid many abrasive conservative friends. After the election, I had to hide my abrasive liberal friends, too — who were doing the exact same thing, just from the other side. I don’t care for Pres. Trump, but I didn’t need to hear the sky was falling every time I opened my feed. My gut then told me the steady diet of political opinion was unhealthy and responsible for my emotional funk. I had to change the diet or continue feeling badly.

What have you learned?

I’ve learned that I feel better when I stay clear of the political backbiting. I was taking every snipe personally, feeling defensive and hopelessly unable to control the mess in our country. I’ve become better at observing others without my heart getting so personally involved. I’ve learned it’s pretty easy to change your social media feed.

What has surprised you?

I was surprised how easy it was to change. By limiting my exposure to the bad stuff and focusing on what unites us, I began to feel better immediately.

Do you feel like you know any less than you used to?

No. I can tell if something major happens by other people’s posts. I’m then forced to go to actual, factual news sites, avoiding the provocative spin of social media.

Will you keep it up?

Yes. No second guessing. I want my involvement in social media to promote peace and loving kindness — to all. I don’t want to be drawn into any mudslinging.

What else?

I think it’s important that we take charge of the angry rhetoric being thrown around — rhetoric that only divides us. We need to realize how easy it is to become part of the problem.

My friend also added that she wishes to help build that path to unity — to positively influence those around her — to intentionally build positive relationships.

Building positive relationships… dare I say, so much wiser than any fueling of the fire.

Respectfully…
AR

 

can you feel the tension?

It’s a prudent practice to heed the wisdom in others — recognizing none of us are anywhere close to cornering the market on wisdom. I thus spent some time listening to a wise friend this week. I couldn’t scribble fast enough. Here are my notes… his comments, with a few of my a-ha’s etched in…

The country is divided. Can you feel the tension?

But know what’s true?

We all believe what we believe because we believe it’s best.

But what happens when what I believe is best is different than what you believe is best?

We believe what we believe with passion. We believe it’s best. We also believe unity is best. So what is the path to unity?

Is unity that you agree with me all the time?

Is unity that we all see eye-to-eye on every single thing?

Let’s be clear: unity is not uniformity.

“Unity is oneness of purpose — not sameness of persons.” (as said by Dr. Tony Evans)

There are people who don’t think like us, act like us, look like us, talk like us. So let’s remember that the name of the game is not trying to get you to believe what I believe; the name of the game is not trying to get you to think, act, look, or talk like me either.

True unity can only be found when we minimize our personal preferences. But many of us rubber stamp our preferences and put them above all else… above other people, above divine inspiration and instruction.

What if true unity can only be experienced to the degree that we have accepted undeserved grace?

It’s all about grace. It’s all about grace. It’s all about grace. (Did I mention it’s all about grace?)

But the reality is that undeserved and unlimited grace only comes from God. From everyone else it is limited in some capacity — some way, somehow. From everyone else it only goes so far. Unlimited grace… unearned grace… undeserved. It only comes from One who is bigger and wiser than we. And there’s only one of him.

If you’re a woman, pay attention. If you’re a minority, pay attention. If you’re a woman or a minority, it was Jesus who spoke of your value before any of the movements today.

So want to be part of the solution to the division in this country? Want to be on the path to unity, which most people agree is best? Remember it’s not beating down others so they agree with you; it’s not squelching the voice of varied opinion; it’s not even getting back at them in the next election.

Unity comes only from the awareness of how hugely much God loves each of us. When we recognize how much God loves us and all he’s done for us — and all he’s done for the person next to me, regardless of social status, income, or ethnicity — we learn to treat that person next to us better. We learn to treat him or her with love. All the time.

Hence, learn how to respond with love.

… to those people you can’t stand… to those colleagues at work you just wish would be transferred… away, far away… Respond in love.

Our national divide will never get better if we keep contributing to the fire. We’re adding fuel to the fire with our sideways comments… our angry posts, our cutting comments on social media… the rolling of our eyes when people are sharing their stories…

That’s contributing to the division. That’s participating in the work of someone or something other than God.

Someone mentioned that we are fighting the wrong enemy. So true.

So let’s be part of the solution. Let’s be the leader of humility, kindness, and grace… knowing that available, unlimited grace. It’s something that black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Democrats and Republicans, we all have in common.

Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.

[FYI: Time with my friend was well spent.]

Respectfully…
AR

sutherland springs

Sunday mornings are a reprieve for me. I walk in, typically greeting a few friends along the way — some greetings shorter than others, recognizing we each pushed the time to the max hoping not to be late. But I sit, relax, and intentionally attempt to throw off all the thoughts, troubles, and to-do lists on my brain and submit them to someone bigger than me. I try to center myself and be still, preparing for the rest of the week.

That’s really the bottom line for me. Going to church — and not like there’s any rule somewhere that we all have to go to the same church every Sunday at 9:30 or whatever a.m. — but going to church and intentionally resting and refocusing is the recognition that there actually is someone bigger than me. I don’t always get it. I don’t understand everything there is to know. But recognizing the reality of God is the start to wisdom and growth. I need that. Without that recognition — or, in other words, with the ulterior assumption that any of us could possibly be on par with God’s wisdom, omniscience, or goodness — what’s right and moral in this world becomes ambiguous; what’s right and moral evolves based on individual experience.

While I’ve never been a “rule follower” (yes, just ask my parents), there is no “rule” that says we have to be in church on Sunday mornings. I go not because I follow a rule; I go because it centers me. It helps me refocus. It helps me not put “me” in the center of my world and thinking.

I can’t imagine what it would be like to go attempt to refocus — and then have the epitome of evil show up.

On Sunday, a man armed most with evil walked into a church building that held about 50 people in a Texas town of only a few hundred. Most churchgoers were injured; 26 died. One survivor, gut-wrenchingly, lost his pregnant wife, three of his children, and his parents, with two more of his children in critical condition at the time of this writing.

At this time it’s too early to know all the details. In fact, with the shooter’s death, we may never know all… what was in the head of the gunman? … how long was this planned? … why here? … why now? … what set him off? … was he ill? All are questions we will attempt to find an answer to in the days ahead; all are also questions we may never answer with certainty.

But I can’t get past that here in a weekend gathering, a setting that occurs in all-sized towns across the country in which people come to rest and refocus — where the people recognize that “we” are not all there is — that someone would come blow up the deep sincerity and serenity of that moment. In essence, evil pierced the peace.

That grieves me.

Regardless of the unknown answers, regardless of the shooter’s potential mental illness, this killing of the innocent is the manifestation of some form of evil. I don’t say that angrily. I say it soberly… with tears in my eyes and a pit in my stomach. Murder is evil. That grieves me.

This is a moment, friends, in which we could come together. We could each bow down, refocus, and recognize that there must be something or someone bigger than us.

We are heartbroken about the evil. We are heartbroken about the gruesome deaths. We gasp at the pics of the children whose lives were tragically ended. “Why?! Why did this happen??”

And in those heart-wrenching questions, we have the potential to together submit ourselves to the only one or thing that has the answers — because friends, the reality is that sometimes life on this planet simply doesn’t make sense.

What do we do when it doesn’t make sense? For me, it serves as an intentional return to submitting to someone wiser than me. When we fail to recognize that we have often mixed up the positioning — meaning we put any of us on par with the wisdom and righteousness of God — conflict ensues.

And then — as if on some sort of enemy’s cue — we fight.

We fight. We don’t solve. We don’t grieve. We don’t seek to understand. We don’t say, “Lord, help me. Help us all. Help those so hurt by this horrific tragedy.” We instead fight.

And with all due respect to each of us — as sometimes we are part of the problem — myself included — that fighting grieves me even more.

God be with the victims and families in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Be in small town America. Be in our big towns. Be with each of us, too.

Respectfully…
AR

is Facebook good?

There aren’t too many times in life when I knowingly continue on in something that isn’t a good idea. Ok, granted, there are a few fast food drive-throughs in which I would be better served to suppress an every-now-and-then craving; routinely, however, I find myself re-examining a habit: is it good? … is it healthy? … or do I need to change some aspect of my behavior?

For years, I’ve enjoyed the contact and communication that comes via social media. I’ve been able to catch up and keep in touch with friends in a fairly fast and convenient way — from my school day besties, peers in Russia and Thailand, to old friends far and new friends near.

Facebook’s “friendaversaries” prompt thanksgiving for our enduring connections. Twitter’s tweets keep us current on the high school sports teams back home. And Snapchat and Instagram each make us smile, offering a real-time glimpse in what’s going on in the life of another. Some even add some rather unique and unusual facial features.

Yet I find myself again examining a somewhat simple idea: is social media good?

Is it good?

Assuming we have reasonable boundaries and the outlet becomes not a time-waster, keeping us from tending to all else that needs to get done in our day, are these websites and apps healthy for us to participate in?

The pictures of peonies and pups certainly brighten my day. The sports team shout outs also make me smile. Truthfully, I even find the daily deluge of pickle posts quite encouraging; while never a fan of the tiny, briny, and (in my semi-humble opinion) still slimy cucumber, at least my friends are thinking of me!

But the question of goodness arises beyond the pickles and puppies. It’s when we substitute a thread or a post for authentic conversation — especially when we’re talking about serious stuff. As one who was exposed to significant conflict growing up, it’s not that I love conflict; it’s more that I believe strongly in handling it well. If we could learn to communicate more respectfully and listen more selflessly in the existence of conflict, I believe we could damper the intensity and avoid much of the relational, collateral damage.

The challenge is that Facebook and Twitter do not do the above; stereotypical participation does not promote respectful communication nor selfless listening. When I utilize my 140 character allowance to opine, for example, that is not dialogue; that is not authentic conversation. It is simply instead a rephrasing of “I just have to say”… “let me tell you how I feel”… or “this is how I think.” How I feel or think does not require me to respect the feeling or thinking of any other. If there is no need to respect the feeling or thinking of another, it seems a foolish trap that even the intelligent fall into.

Remember the wise words an articulate guest writer shared here two and a half years ago, a friend who decided to make a behavioral change on social media:

“… So without even knowing it, I learned that I didn’t have to attend every argument I was invited to. I stopped posting political pieces. Stopped commenting for the sake of starting up a fight. I weighed in here and there but I chose my words carefully and bracketed it with things like ‘respectfully’ and ‘we don’t all have to agree.’ I became mindful that, for most of my Facebook friends, what I posted was the only definition they would have of me. I don’t speak to many of them face to face. They don’t know how I live my life, that there is more to me than my posts and replies. And I didn’t want that to be their truth about me. I am more than just my political beliefs or my religion or my alma mater (though that one I still have a hard time not defending). I am a sum of all of those things and more…”

Authentic conversation helps us know one another deeply and more. And yes, there is more to each of us than our opinions, “sides,” and alma maters (Boiler up). But when we omit the respectful give-and-take and selfless listening vital to authentic communication, we aren’t getting to know another any more than we already do. We are only hearing ourselves think. That doesn’t seem wise.

So is social media good?

Maybe. Those pickle pics make me laugh.

But my sense is, for most of us, it’s more our behavior that may need to change.

Respectfully…
AR

new(s)

So over the weekend, after months of planning and putting multiple things in place, the Intramuralist & Co. moved into a new home. In other words if you could see me now and take note of my current, domestic surroundings, you would see a box to my left, a box to my right, and a creative selection of odds and ends all in between. Things are a bit more messy at the moment. There’s a ton to untangle and much to unpack, but… all things are “new.”

What is it about “all things new” that attracts us?

A fresh start?
Clean backdrop?
New relationships?
A do over?

An opportunity to change things up?
Do them better?
Learn from past mistakes?

An opportunity, for instance, not to plaster that one last pic or divisive opinion on social media?

There is simply something within the “all things new” idea that is empowering and attractive… that opportunity to start anew.

I’m wondering if we sometimes get into behavioral and ideological ruts — like “this is what I do” or “this is how I think” — and therefore because, “this is how I think, I’m always going to think this way”… as if it what we do and think could never be new.

The challenge, it seems is when we cast those ruts onto another — when we put another into a so-called, stereotypical box. For example… “This is what they do, so they’re always going to do it that way”… “this is how they think”… and the ultimate, “this is who they are.”

In other words, we judge them.
(Granted… it’s pretty easy and convenient to judge…)

But what if our assessment of “them” isn’t accurate?

What if we’re (God forbid) wrong in what we think of them?

What if they’ve grown? … they’ve changed? … and they have found the freedom and freshness of “all things new”?

Hence (in today’s zillion dollar question), what if we could see “them” differently?

My sense is that judgment is clouding our assessment. It’s impeding us from seeing the growth and the good in another. It’s blocking us from fording another the same opportunity we crave — to “do and think” differently — to make “all things new.”

And if it’s blocking us from seeing the good in another, it’s blocking, also, the wisdom in us.

As said by the Chernoffs in “1,000+ Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently,” “When you choose to see the good in others, you end up finding the good in yourself.”

It seems like we’re missing a lot of good…

… in ourselves.

Respectfully…
AR

 

who I am for

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to discern that current social media conversations are frequently too harsh and uninviting of actual, respectful dialogue. I’ve actually been somewhat perplexed as to why way too many of even the typically are so willing to forgo respectful dialogue.

I’ve also had to raggle and wrestle with my own role — my contributions to the current state of less than encouraging vitriol. I wish to be part of the solution — not fueling the fire of a hot-tempered state.

Recently, a wise friend hit the nail on the head for me. He made a comment that highlighted my sense of what’s happening in social media. That is…

Too many times we are known most for what we are against.

In other words, we are so busy shouting and pointing fingers at what we’re against, that who we are actually for is completely drowned out. People can no longer hear who and what we are for.

I want to be known for who I am for — not for what I am against.

Let me repeat that…

I want to be known for who I am for — not for what I am against.

Let that sit in for a moment.

What you are for?

Can people tell?

Or…

Have you yelled so loudly that we only know what you are against?

Shouting about what we are against rarely invites increased dialogue. It also typically is not marked by any broad, consistent respect.

I want to be known for who I am for…

… for my family… friends…
… for the least of these…
… for all…

I want to be known for who I am for…

Notably, this may be my shortest post ever.

But when we speak of what we are for, it removes the ranting and raving, and leads to clearer, more concise, respectful conversation.

Respectfully…
AR