When the Intramuralist began nearly 10 years ago, there were some baseline principles we vowed to embrace, such as:
All people are created equal.
Everyone’s voice is valid.
Everyone deserves respect.
Disagreement does not equate to disrespect.
How we handle disagreement matters.
Listening is a virtue.
We are each endowed by our Creator.
None of us have life all figured out (… especially since we are each endowed by someone other than self…).
Focusing on what is good and right and true is best.
Dialogue leads to both solution and growth.
Insults, ridicule, and judgment kill both solution and growth.
I’m certain there are more than the above top ten, but these are principles to which we have consistently attempted to adhere.
Have we always done so?
Great question. Probably not.
There have been times I did not listen well. There have been times I played the judge and pointed fingers more than shared well-thought-out perspective. There have been times I, too, unfortunately, have chosen to rant and rave and perhaps even ridicule. There have been times I have thus been hypocritical.
Such is not my desire. But I — just like you — am very imperfect.
This side of heaven — even though endowed by that Creator with certain unalienable rights — I will sometimes fail, screw up, and royally fall flat on my face. Such is the nature of being human; is it not?
But I will not quit striving — striving for what I deeply believe to be good and right and true.
That said, one of the principles embedded in the above, is that you need not always hear from me. Other voices are valid. Other voices are pertinent. We do not all agree on all things, but that doesn’t matter. We must listen to — and learn from — one another. We are sharpened by the one who thinks differently than we. That, my friends, is part of the beauty of diversity… a beauty that too often contemporary culture fails to acknowledge.
Beginning Sunday, therefore — and continuing for the next 3-4 weeks — you will hear from some trusted, articulate friends of mine. Yes… it’s time for our 10th annual Intramuralist Guest Writers Series! … an opportunity to hear from multiple individuals from multiple perspectives… men and women hailing from varied ethnicities and demographics. Please know: the opinions shared may or may not be held equally by me… but that doesn’t matter.
What matters is that we listen well to one another.
We can learn much if we actually listen to another; hence, this thought-provoking series will feature multiple guest writers sharing unique perspective regarding what’s going on in our world. You will hear about the Supreme Court, civility, some alarming suicide statistics, and far more. Feel free to agree, disagree, engage, and ask questions of them. Simply, as always, be respectful in your response.
Indeed… may our respect for one another — imperfect as we each are — always be intentional and clear. It is both a privilege and joy to be on this journey with you.