Musings and Prose of Greg Gough

An opportunity to experience my world

Archive for September, 2008

Useless banter

Posted by ggough56 on September 11, 2008

In that there is a divide, we must engage it.  In that there is a defense of a perspective, we must uphold it.  In that there is an understanding, we must live in it.

The strange thing about sidedness in an issue is that it’s clouded to the issue.  I’m not convinced that an issue is adequately addressed by simply approaching it from solution or disposal perspective.  How can what we see be solved to not present an problem or disposed of so that it need not be dealt with?  Useless banter, back and forth.  

The modern context and framework understands this banter well because it was modernity that nearly gave birth to it in it’s current form.  I’m not a philosopher, but it seems clear to me that our handling of issues within the modern context has led to befuddlement and destruction.

I was invited to a “green” event this week.  I was given an opportunity to enter into an experience with other people regarding something that is important to them.  This is such an honoring thing to me, this is such a humbling thing for me.  I’m prepared to enter a space in which I’m not sure what to expect or learn.  There is much curiousity for me.  I’m not going in with a divide, perspective or understanding.  Short of saying those are useless, we often forget the role those have.  They help us to forget to play our role, they help us to forget our own humanity and curiousity about “other”.

Somewhere along the line we decided that adding adjectives in front or behind our names gave us credibility in what we were saying:

“Baptist Mother” says: “French toast is unhealthy”

“Pastor of First Reformed Church in America” says: “What Scripture says is true and must be accepted”

To the saddness of it all, these adjectives give far less credibility to a particular banter and create deceptive heirarchies with in the context of the postmodern conversation.  Now, understand that I’m discussing the way in which adjectives are used and what the intended purpose is, for example:

“Joseph Johnson, President of the Institute for the study of Racism” says: “Racism is an unhealthy dynamic in our culture”

In my opinion, putting adjectives that are relevant to the context of a banter is critical.  It is not in the adjectives raising up of the individual making the comment, but it is in the adjectives description of the individual making the comment.

Anyone can be the President of the Institute for the study of Racism, can they not?  Well, I’d agree, they can, the only issue is the time required in identification with the title.  It’s not enough to claim a title without putting blood, sweat and tears into it.  No one can authentically claim to be anything they do not dedicate themselves to in their heart.

We cannot claim to know the mysteries of God without dedicating our lives to a role with that title.  We must be dedicated to the study of the mysteries of God, if you will.  It is then, not just academically, that we will engage with the blood, sweat and tears of what is really at stake.

It’s very easy to see a situation as being so in your eyes, but is it just as easy to see how it is so in anothers?  It would take huge risk to set aside your prideful task and put on the humility required to enter into another’s world.  That there may be another way of seeing it.  It will be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven.  It’s because humility is favored far more than being clean.  The Pharasies were scolded for straining a gnat and swallowing a camel.

Any situation is not so because you, or anyone else, percieve it to be so.  Be careful not to jump into conclusion before just jumping in.  Be careful not to jump into perception and defense of perception before just jumping in.  Be careful before you consider your own equality with God something to be used to your own advantage instead of humbling yourself and just jumping in.

Though we are reminded we never remember, though we learn we are never taught.  When I was a child, I didn’t understand what it was to be a child, now that I am grown I long to be a child again.


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