Back to my thoughts regarding how I’m trying to become less dismissive of others. Apparently, it’s working, I’m like a changed person.  Okay, not really, but internally I’m noticing something. I’m more aware of my attitude and dare I say arrogance (and ignorance) of others. (So maybe there’s a book in these five practices.)  The five practices are slowing down my reactivity (from the January 24th egram), lessening my claim on my self-importance (January 25th), developing a deeper awareness of situations (January 27th), expanding my perspective of the other (today, January 31st) and challenging certain assumptions about them (tomorrow, February 1st.) Expanding my perspective of the other – begins by my awareness that I judge people based on what I predetermine them to be. If I see a person as one dimensional, my desire and ability to think more expansively becomes limited. I can’t or won’t see them differently. Before I move forward with technics and tools, like don’t say always or never when talking about someone or be international about cultivating curiosity, there are ways to help embody becoming less judgmental. However, I know there is a deeper struggle for me. The challenge becomes far more difficult when there is only one dimension of the other on which to base my perspective of them. Sometimes the one dimension is what is most prevalent in their life. So, this practice is almost impossible for me. I say this without an apology. When my beliefs about God’s desire for (as I like to say) creature, community and creation are irreconcilable with the attitudes and actions, let’s say a racist, I find it almost impossible to expand my perspective of the person and not judge them as such. Can I really expand my perspective (or is it to soothe myself and pretend to say) “well the person is a generous racist or a caring racist and engaged parent racist?” Okay, a sexist then or a xenophobic or a… – you can fill it in – where the line crosses and conflicts with your core values. The struggle does not have to be yours but it is mine because for me to be a healthier person who makes a difference, I want to be less dismissive of others and (now I’ve added) remain authentic to myself. This one is going to take a lot more time on my thinking chair.

Scripture Reading: Luke 35:35-36
“But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

Reflection Questions:
What helps you be less judgmental toward others?
What do you do with those who go against what you think or believe?
How are you doing good?

Prayer: Holy God, quiet me so I can listen to what you ask.  Amen