vendredi, juin 11, 2010

This is your mind. This is your mind online...

Do you ever worry that perhaps your child is being rewired by all the time he or she spends glued to the computer, on the cell, or playing games on their Ipod?

Do you ever stop, in between texting and reading and talking, to think about the effect all of this stimuli could be having on you?

Well, pop on over to Philly Moms and state your case, whatever that might be, on the heated debate over whether electronica can indeed reshape the neurons in our brains.

Don't get distracted and forget now!

mardi, juin 08, 2010

Forgiveness in E Flat

I've had occasion this week to ponder what it means to forgive.

Not I've suffered terribly -- one wasted evening does not a drama make. Just a few blog posts.
And perhaps I'm a bit less willing to reach out, a bit more suspicious with other guys for now -- expecting that they will turn on me. So the hurt is real. But to be fair, I can't lay the weight of that disillusionment on one man.

Yet it makes sense to move on -- wish the guy well and hope that we both learned something. I think I was saved some pain.

But what of the boys who left my son in tears tonight at the Little League playoffs, blaming him for missing some catches in the outfield in a game marred with poor pitching, errors, and some really juvenile fielding?

That's going to take a little longer.

I know people who thrive on a sense that they have been wronged. Endless slights...daggers between the shoulders, and a world bent on hurting them.

They can make lists, itemize, ritualize...and make life hellish for friend and bystander.

We forgive, in part, so we can move onwards.

Free ourselves by letting go of our anger against the other who has wronged us.

Start afresh.

We forgive, it seems to me, to unchain us to show compassion, and concern, and even love, with a deeper freedom.

A freedom which perhaps we all crave, whether we confess it, or no. Yearn for that inner unleashing, but still sometimes choose to wear the manacles around our hands, our feet, our souls.

Have you had to practice forgiveness recently?

How deep was the wound?

Do you truly feel like you have put the injury behind you?

dimanche, juin 06, 2010

When you stand...and when you fold

What causes you to feel shame?

Or, to put it more directly, is it ever appropriate to feel shame -- as opposed to remorse?

I don't feel shame a lot anymore. But when I do, I recognize the historic roots of that shame.

I have paid a price for walking a different road than many of those with whom I would ordinarily find commonality. I wear the mantle of the outsider, as a convert, a liturgical bridgebuilder, a journalist.

And in this I'm not that different from immigrants, and those who transition from one economic class to another, or folks who, for one reason or another, have been compelled to step outside the bounds of the conventions that generally make it easier for us to move in and out of friendships and romances.

For some reason, even when I was younger, my insecurity would focus on my looks -- the guys at PTS who only wanted to date blonds, the fellow Anglican who told me he liked "All American girls." And it's true, that in a seminary full of WASP Presbyterians, I stood out.

Call me a late bloomer, but in my thirties, I began to appreciate that it was OK to look a wee bit, well, exotic.

Thank goodness for the assurance that is one of the better things about getting older.

But, as we all know, it's what inside that counts -- counts more and more as we age.

And on that score, I have a feeling that perhaps a little more remorse might be in order.

When I shoot from the lip. When I lapse into my drama queen routine. When I don't see the consequences...

Remorse can prompt change. As a friend reminded me yesterday, with a bracing "Are you kidding?" shame can mess with your mind. It is a dead end street, a boulevard of broken dreams.

But remorse...the ability to feel what someone else felt, to walk with them a few steps, to see that inadvertantly or not you have damaged him or her...well, that may be the beginning of healing -- for both parties. For a community. Even for our despoiled earth.

Can you tell the difference?