Friday, November 16, 2007

We Know Each Other's Weaknesses

There's a lot of anguish being expressed on the Moho blogs right now, accompanied by a crescendo of complaints that things have changed for the worse since the new Moho bloggers have come on the scene.

As one of the "new" bloggers, I'll try not to take that personally, especially since I have never attacked a fellow blogger, and have tried to avoid posting anything that might give offense to anyone else. That doesn't mean I couldn't have written something that inadvertently gave offense. If I have done that, I wish someone would tell me, so I can figure out how to avoid doing that in the future.

It has also always been my intention to encourage faith, and to encourage people to love each other. That's what I'm trying to build my whole life on lately, and that path has given me a lot of joy, joy that I wish for all others.

Everyone wants happiness. And those of us who believe in eternity want eternal happiness. But whether you believe in eternity or not, the fact is Mormons have never been pie-in-the-sky Christians. We've never believed happiness was for some beatific next life only. We've always believed that happiness in this life is secured by building our lives on principles that will secure happiness in the next.

Those principles include: love, faith, hope, family, and sacrifice.

No one promised this would be easy. And if you're gay, you get to pick your version of hard knocks. Depending which route you go -- marriage, celibacy, same-sex partnership -- you get a unique set of heartaches and challenges. Somehow, to me, if we beat others up for making a different choice from our own, we've failed the most fundamental test. So let's please start by being kind to each other. Let's start by acknowledging that the other guy, the one who took a path different from my own, has his own sets of pains and heartaches, and let's have enough empathy to want him to succeed, even if that's not where we want to go.

Most bloggers in this community have shared enough about themselves that we all know more than anyone has business knowing what buttons to push to hurt each other. We know each other's weaknesses. Let's try to grow our hearts big enough to make that sharing an opportunity for healing.


iwonder said...

Thanks. I agree.

playasinmar said...

In my experience, a concerted effort to avoid conflict while commentating on a contentious issue inevitably leads to... the same highly contentious conflict.

J G-W said...

Playa, maybe you're right.

And I'll be the first to say that conflict avoidance or conflict denial at all costs is probably really unhealthy.

But there's a difference between conflict avoidance and humility. There's also a difference between conflict avoidance and developing a healthy ethic of listening to what others have to say without passing judgment on them.

And I think there are certain things that must be sacrosanct. One of those is the individual conscience. We're all struggling, in our heart of hearts, to do what is right based upon our unique situations and our unique perceptions of the world. So I personally try to focus on encouraging people in the paths they have chosen.

This is hard for me to do, when I think someone is choosing a path that I feel is unhealthy. So there has to be a certain amount of trust, of letting go, and trusting that that individual is the only one really equipped to make decisions for his or her life. And I want that person to be happy, so whatever happens, I want them to know that I love them and am rooting for them.

I think we have to have a little more compassion, that's all. Compassion will go a long way toward allowing us to disagree without becoming disagreeable.

playasinmar said...

I agree with everything you're saying here.

Beck said...

"Compassion will go a long way toward allowing us to disagree without becoming disagreeable."

I have felt nothing but incredible compassion from you. Thanks.

Original Mohomie said...

Thanks for these thoughts. I tire of seeing what I consider to be unnecessary division, and you, despite being in a situation many people have a tough time understanding or accepting, show a lot of courage and humility by trying to soften or lessen that division. But what do I know? I'm a new blogger, myself. :-)

Peter said...

Thank you for this post.