Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Civilized Discourse is Sadly an Oxymoron

I'm Too Busy Being Right to Listen to You

Yesterday, I wrote about the Main Stream Media (MSM) coverage of the real sex scandal in the Catholic Church, and the alleged (lacking any evidentiary support) complicity of Pope Benedict in it.  There is for those who seek, however, much evidence to indicate that he has been a light in this dark tunnel for the Church.

I received only one comment, and that was from Lady Janus, a self proclaimed Witch.  You would expect us to see the world differently, and no surprise there, we do.  I confess that a couple of times I caught some of her pro-choice comments on a pro-life blog I frequent, and responded to her comments in words that were less than complimentary.  I mean, she was flat our wrong, IMHO (or maybe not so humble).  So wrong, that I did not have to even read what she wrote to write my own reply.  I was kinda seeing red, doncha know.  I was too busy being right (self righteous) to listen (properly read with attention) what she had to say.

Lady Janus is also a regular commenter over at my internet friend Father Tim Moyle's blog Where the Rubber Hits the Road.  I find that I am no more in agreement with her there particularly in general, but something has changed. 

Last week, 4 of us got into some serious exchanges there over a few of Fr. Tim's topics.  One guy from a small town in BC was proclaiming bible scriptures at us over everything from the price of tea in china to the recent media assailing of the Pope.  As a former Catholic, who got religion elsewhere, (God Bless his pointed little head), he felt we all needed his brand of religion to be saved.  Saved from what? - Lady Janus asked.  The other commenter was a man from SoCal who appears to hate the Catholic Church, all priests and anyone who supports them.  Lots of noise, a little substance from time to time, but hard to get to his point through the angry hyperbole.

In the midst of this, I started to realise that I was a part of the problem of 4 sides banging and haranguing away at each other, while Father Tim rested up from Easter, and let it all go.

I started to realise that these were all intelligent people (maybe that's a stretch, but it is a worthwhile assumption), who might have something to say, and maybe I could take a few minutes and listen to their thoughts.

So, I stopped seeing  red every time that I read a posting, and tried to just read the words.  You have probably all been told by a parent, a counsellor, or someone else who cares about you, to listen to the other person and understand them, before responding. Don't form your response while the other person is speaking - or writing.

So, where reading and responding earlier last week was very stressful for me (a sign that something is not right), I changed my attitude.  I started to look for the truth in what the 3 others were saying.  I have been trying to find some kind of common ground.  We must agree on some things.  I am not sure that it will work easily with the born again Christian who feels the need to save us all from the Catholic Church, since he quotes me scriptures that I know, and manages to put his own twist on it.  I am not sure that it will happen big time, with the SoCal reddog either, but there are things that he says that are worthy of thought.

However, I have found in the group a person whose logic I want to understand.  Lady Janus, the Witch, when I read carefully what she writes, is articulate, intelligent, and has come to her conclusions in life through her own experiences, experiences that I have not had, living in places that I don't live.  I have concluded that it is foolish for me to just dismiss, as I did in the past, what she says, because she is different from me.  That makes me "Too busy being right to listen to you."

If I am unable to listen to another, who I know is going to disagree with me, and so would prefer to dismiss that person, what does that say about me?  I think it says that I am not very secure in what I think and believe.  In fact, I am very happy to be where my life is at this time, so I think that in fact, there is and was the requirement for an attitude adjustment on my part.

Is there a good reason why I cannot follow the path that my life is leading me, and stop to smell the flowers that are along my way, while I follow that path?  The flowers are the other people who I meet.  Can I not enjoy their fragrance, their beauty, their understanding of truth, without having to dismiss them for disagreeing with me?

Who died and made me God?


Janus Bellator said...

"I received only one comment, and that was from Lady Janus, a self proclaimed Witch."

Michael, please...I know you don't mean it that way, but the term, "self proclaimed" is insulting.

Besides, I'm not just self proclaimed. I'm registered. 8^D

Thing is, if everyone always agrees all the time, all but one of us is redundant. In order to learn and grow, we need to disagree with one another. But at least we can treat each other with courtesy in the process. And have a little fun, to boot.

"Who died and made me God?"

Nobody had to die. You are already God.

Michael Brandon said...

Dear Lady Janus:

Please forgive my Fox Pass (faux pas).

I was not aware that there was a Witch registry, as we do not really have a mick or mackerel snapper (we do try to eat fish on Friday still)registry here in the RCC. We only register locally.

I shall attempt to be more sensitive in future.

As to the need to create redundancy through assimilation into one melted mind, I am quite okay with being in respectful disagreement and testing each other's brains from time to time, or regularly as the case may be.

As for your comment "Nobody had to die. You are already God," I agree to disagree with you, though there is nuance. My belief is that I have been created in the image of God, and that Jesus did in fact die for me.

There is some similarity, but nuance as well.