Something that this past year of pandemic has made glaringly obvious to me is that we do not do enough of this with each other.
There is a difference between claiming “this thing is objectively bad and no one should use it” as opposed to being able to say “this thing is not for me, but I know it has value for my neighbour in helping them become the best human being they can be.” It’s about curiosity, not cutting each other down, or competing for space.
Here, in this community, we are called to make room for multiple sustaining beliefs. This does not mean that we, as individuals, are sharing all of those beliefs together. It means we support diversity, and learning, and that hearing what someone else believes helps us understand our own beliefs better, even if they are not the same beliefs.
This is especially important when we find ourselves in a community shared between theists and atheists. Too often in our culture, we’re told that we must be in unhealthy conflict with each other, instead of sharing our stories, sharing our personal experiences, to learn from each other and strengthen our own, individual core philosophies that lead us into living out our shared values in the larger world.
“Philosophy,” at its root, is “love of wisdom.” Wisdom applies to emotional intelligence, and body awareness, as much as it does to intellectual awareness. One of our members reminded me a few weeks ago that so much harm has been done, and still comes from, the deeply embedded idea in the West of mind, heart, and body being separate things, with the body often being targeted for shame and disgust. In fact, mind, heart, and body are parts of the whole. Loving and listening to our bodies as much as our rational minds and our emotional hearts is essential work for us as we fight to reclaim our wholeness.
And part of that work is examining how willing we are to listen to each other with curiosity instead of arrogance. How will you embrace ”yes, and…” in this year to come?
In gratitude and faith,
The Reverend Meghann Robern