Saturday, February 13, 2010

On generosity and spades

I've been thinking a bit about the balance between generosity of spirit, and calling a spade a spade.

Let me explain...

As I find myself seeing some things in a different light than many others do, I have felt that a generosity of heart and spirit is appropriate. I need to recognize the rights of other people to feel the way they do, to understand things the way they do. I guess this is coming at least partly from an effort to not be arrogant, saying “I'm right, you aren't, end of story.” I am realizing that there needs to be lots of room for conversation, for sharing of ideas, for openness of mind. I don't always see this in the traditional church setting when most teaching is very one-directional (lecture-style), and that style of delivery doesn't provide opportunity for discussion.

So, I don't want to be the same kind of guy, spouting off my own interpretation, and then expecting everyone to agree with me. I want to try to encourage a better way of approaching the searches we all have at one time or another.

So, I want to be generous, allowing others to see things differently than I do.

But what if the 'others' are effectively blinded by the process (and to the process) that brought them to their present point of view?

Forgive my proximity to another rant on the Olympics, but how can people NOT see how spending billions of $ on 16 days of partying versus spending $$ on the well being of our children, healthcare, education, etc. is a terrible exchange? Is the combination of cutbacks on government programs and the likelihood of years of debt NOT a scary one? (Not to mention other injustices I have blogged about before here and here.) And yet facebook is filled with excited clamorings about the Olympics.

It makes me think about the Biblical prophets. They are given a 'shape up or ship out' message to pass along to a people that aren't exactly in a doomsday mood.

So are they supposed to generously let the people go on their merry way if they don't choose to 'shape up'? Or are they expected to don their 'the end is near' sandwich boards, and stand on the street corners, even if they get untold flak from the general populous?

This is not a rhetorical question—I'm interested in your thoughts.

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