Good morning Gentle Reader. I have decided to step-aside this morning and offer you the following post. I will continue with ‘Is Greenleaf’s Concept Realistic’ next time.
Awareness does not bring comfort or solace.; it brings disturbance –Robert K. Greenleaf
One of the most challenging things for us to do is to wake up, become aware, listen to what is emerging from within oneself, listen to what is emerging in the ‘world’ and to ‘see.’ We don’t want to engage this process of ‘seeing.’ For example, the Capitalist does not want to see what is good and healthy in Socialism. The rich do not want to ‘see’ the poor. The tribe does not want to see the full humanity of the stranger.
Why don’t we want to embrace this process of ‘seeing’? Consider this, Gentle Reader, if one engages in this process two things might occur: The one ‘seeing’ might well become disturbed by what one ‘sees’ and given what one ‘sees’ one might be called to change or transform [transform = a fundamental change in character or structure].
If one looks and one becomes disturbed one begins to sense a potential loss of control – the loss of the control of the life that one is holding onto. If one chooses to embrace and engage in this process of ‘seeing’ one must also embrace the possibility that one will have to, at minimum, change or at maximum, transform.
When it comes to our ‘seeing,’ Anthony de Mello offers us three questions to hold, consider, embrace and live:
- How much are you ready to take? [think: How much ‘seeing’ can you embrace]
- How much of everything you’ve held dear are you ready to have shattered, without running away?
- How ready are you to think of something unfamiliar? [think: hold the possibility that you will have to change or transform as a result]
As one embraces and engages this process of ‘seeing’ one – because one is awake and aware – becomes disturbed by the ‘fear’ that is emerging from within. This is not the ‘fear of the unknown.’ Actually, one cannot become fear-full of the unknown. It does seem, however, that what one fears is the loss of the known. (Think, for example, the loss of ‘identity’ as one of the potential losses that helps generate and sustain this ‘fear of loss’.)
A second fear one has is the fear that comes with the awareness that one will have to change or transform and in order to embrace and engage this process one will have to let go or empty in order to make room for the new (think: the ‘new’ way of seeing, for example). Who wants to give up his/her identity?
A third fear one becomes aware of is the fear of isolation or abandonment or shunning by one’s ‘tribe’ (think: family, religious group, political party, club, etc.). We are social beings and being ‘part of’ is crucial for our well-being. What will I do if I am ostracized by one or more of these ‘tribes’?
One of my role-models is Jesus. Jesus was awake, aware and often disturbed by what he saw. One of the things Jesus modeled for me was how comfortable he was with ‘sinners’ and how uncomfortable he was with ‘the self-righteous.’ Jesus never, not once, indicated that he was better than the ‘sinner.’ Jesus modeled what it was to embrace all human beings without embracing their actions. He ‘saw’ the fully human being and he responded to the fully human being.
This leads me to the fourth fear. This is the fear of ‘seeing’ each person as a fully human being. The implications of ‘seeing’ each person as a fully human being are legion. By the by, all faith traditions tell us that God will judge each of us based on how we have ‘seen’ and ‘responded’ to our ‘brother’ and ‘sister’ human beings.
If I see you as a fully human being then I must treat you as I want to be treated – for most of us this means that we will treat THE OTHER(S) with compassion, care, love and forgiveness. We will feed the hungry and shelter the home-less and tend to those who are sick (physically, intellectually, emotionally, and/or spiritually).
Given all of this it is no wonder that so many of us continue to choose to not wake up and become aware and ‘see’.
I am called to be faithful. –Mother Teresa