In the spirit of quizzing, I decide to ask myself what I really learned this week.
I’m picking raspberries, and I reflect on all I’ve learned this week about unity and what destroys it.
As I think about living in unity within families, neighborhoods, classrooms, and larger communities, I’m learning that our default state tends towards separation, isolation, divisiveness, cynicism, superiority, gossip, and complaint.
We know very well how to destroy harmony. I can do it every day with my words.
So I’m learning to fight against it. I choose to move towards the outsider, to draw others in, to build up and not divide, to speak hope, to stay humble, to believe the best and speak the best, and to offer thanksgiving. Every unity-destroyer has an equally powerful opposite force that generates beautiful harmony between people. The Christian life should–I’m learning–reflect that beautiful harmony.
Living with flair means we generate beautiful harmony.
What are you learning most of all these days?
I remember being very critical of others when I was a kid. When I reflected on my weaknesses before Confession, this was the one constant. I was always finding something to be irritated with others about and couldn't imagine how I could ever stop that destructive way of thinking. I felt I was doomed.
I have long since given up going to Confession, but I still reflect on my shortcomings and growth and find that I rarely feel the need to find fault with others the way I did when I was younger. I'm no saint by any means, but what was once a mainstay of my relations with others, rarely enters my mind these days. What has happened to cause this shift? I believe it has to do with a greater sense of confidence and a new comfort in my own skin – a comfort that has only come with age and experience, exactly what I was lacking as a young person.