In our review of a sensitive matter, the focus has been on the primary character. We have casually discussed others involved, however until a recent conversation everything centered on one. As we discussed yesterday, it was clear that we should not consider just one. We need to have a holistic view that includes the others.
In or out, what do I take away from this? Life is never about one. Who and what we are is defined by what is on the inside and what we are in our relationships with others. It is the sum that defines us, not the parts. If I choose to deal with the fragments of my life, it is unlikely that I will be able to act in a holistic, committed way.
I realize that I presume that commitment requires a holistic approach. Life experiences tell me that there is a tight relationship between the two. I also realize that I tend to deal with others as well as myself in compartments. It seems easier. It may appear simple. However, the change that I aspire to in my life is not sustainable if I deal with anything less than the whole.
I have found that there are a few mantras that help me in the process.
In every situation there is a community, not just an individual. When I only see the individual, the mantra is to look further. Discover the linkages. For those with family, look beyond, otherwise “children would be left out; as it is, they also are included in the spiritual purposes of God.” (1 Corinthians 7.14)
When something appears odd or negative, look beyond the obvious intent. What forces are shaping an individual’s view? What are her/his goals? What is happening in her/his life? Do you understand her/his positive reason for taking the negative action?
Remember the lesson – if you were in their shoes, you would likely be doing the same as s/he is doing. Understand that lesson. Compassion can be friends with Accountability. Mercy is not Responsibilities enemy.
Each is on a journey.