Why?

Argument, Angry, Silhouette, Boss, Client, Dispute

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay  

 

Why is it that some instigate, incite, and connive?

Creating rifts and obstacles, so many just contrived –

They feel they are entitled to bring upon others pain –

Then they act all contrite; and innocence then they feign.

 

Why is it that so few build-up, encourage, or cheer?

Helping others surmount their worries or their greatest fears.

Giving just a moment to rectify misunderstandings great or small,

Aiding others in their wants, and open hurts so raw.

 

Why do we pass by silently, when these things we see?

Ignoring chances to speak up or aiding others to agree –

Be it politics or relationships, do we really need to divide?

I leave that with you now,  it’s for you to decide.

 

Padre

 

 

 

Inspiration Call: Word Prompt Wednesday – Why?

FOWC with Fandango — Instigate

FOWC with Fandango — Surmount

FOWC with Fandango — Raw

FOWC with Fandango — Rectify

 

Disagreeable?

Angry Man, Point, Finger, India, Angry, Male, Hand

Image by ashish choudhary from Pixabay 

Fandango’s Provocative Question for this week is: Is it possible anymore to disagree without being disagreeable?” 

It is interesting that this question was posted on the very day that my wife and I witnessed a hair-pulling confrontation with accompanying blows between two young women in a restaurant.  The exact cause of the fight is unknown, but as it came to punches, a server from the restaurant who tried to calm the situation was struck and pushed, leading to a wound on her arm.  So can being disagreeable be avoided?

Fandango in issuing the challenge raised the areas of religion and politics as examples of points of disagreement.  These are tricky at the best of times, but it often comes down to the attitude of the disputants.  Here I will need to speak with some familiarity, though No Authority.  I am a minister of religion, and as such have succumbed to the occupational hazard of being a theist.  I must start with the premise that “I believe, I hope, and I even have faith.”  A belief is something that you hold to be true, even if you cannot “prove” it.  A hope is something that you have a expectation and desire to be true. A faith is a belief in which you have absolute trust in it being true.  But that is not the same as saying I have all the answers.  There are many aspects of the spiritual and the temporal that I, even as a working theologian, do not “know.”  It is with this attitude that I enter into religious discussions.  When Fandango once challenged me on a point of word choice and semantics, I was quick to concede the point.  Dogmatism on definitions is iffy at best.

When I served with the Navy’s Chaplains Corps, I was happy with the sentiments of the motto: “Cooperation without compromise.”  I hold my beliefs, to which I will not yield unless given good reason, and I expect you to do the same.  It isn’t about pushing one view over another, it is about common purpose.   Later I worked in Inter-Faith Dialogue in which the principle was “Hold fast to your beliefs, respect others for doing the same, seek areas where there is agreement in order to facilitate further dialogue.”  Does all this mean that I will not teach what I believe?  Of course not, but I am not going to condemn you for disagreeing.   I will share my views, not impose them.

Politics is a bit stickier.  I am a trade union official.  I have dealt with employers, and politicians who make educational policy.  We often don’t see eye to eye, but slurs and hostility seldom result in useful results.  Compromise may seem anathema in religion, but in politics – dogmatism ends up building walls – literal and figurative. Finding common ground is always best.

So can you disagree without being disagreeable?  Most certainly so.  In the end it is about human respect.  You will never even consider my point of view unless I am willing to hear yours.  Dr. King noted that aggression does not help your opponent to understand you, and that aggression breeds aggression.  The path of mutual respect therefore calls for us to step back from dogmatism.  Even is we in the end disagree, we need not do so disagreeably.

Padre