Friday, November 30, 2007

Can you blame the sky for having clouds?

(If you don’t feel like reading there’s a cute hamster picture at the end of this entry ;-) )

A paper I wrote for my Religious Perspectives on War and Peace class yesterday morning (7 pages in 2 hours...I still rock!) got me thinking about the nature of my personality versus the person I desire to be.

My paper dealt with "conflict transformation", specifically what various religious groups are doing to aid in the process. My research gave me a plethora of examples, and I am still in awe of those individuals who bravely put their own lives on the line to help resolve and transform conflict in violent, tense situations.

Allow me to let you in on the train of thought which led from the Catholic Relief Services to my personal discomfort with how snarky I can be when it comes to ex-boyfriends-

I wonder what causes conflict, what is at the root of hatred? In my small group in class we swerved pretty far off topic and found ourselves discussing Mel Gibson's hate speech during his DUI arrest. It was unimaginable to us how an individual could hate another person so much simply because of their race or religion or what have you.

A quote I used in my paper from Douglas Johnston makes me wonder…

“Reconciliation born of spiritual conviction can play a critical role by inspiring conflicting parties to move beyond the normal human reaction of responding in kind, of returning violence for violence

Is this really the “normal human reaction”? Is this what we’re programmed to do? Is my default setting hatred and a thirst for retribution?

Sometimes I think that might be true. I’m horrible when it comes to ex-boyfriends…don’t think that I don’t have multiple scripts in my mind of mean snarky things I’d love to say to them, especially if their wives/fiancées/girlfriends were around. The hurt I felt has congealed into repulsion and general spitefulness.

So I’m working through it; I’m working through the hurt to transform my own conflicts into positive energy. I want so badly to live the Eightfold Path, to truly love my neighbor as myself…but why should that be a such a struggle for me unless I’m inherently broken?

So what is it?

Can you blame the sky for having clouds?
(Inherent goodness with a few bad days)

Or

Can you blame a fire for burning?
(Inherent brokenness explains everything)

I'd love to hear what you think...

Here’s the afore-promised hamster picture! Aww…


4 comments:

Themindtaker said...

Well, I wasn't sure if my opinion counted on this one, since I am one of those ex-boyfriends you spoke of.

But there's nothing to compare us to as an example of "fixed" as opposed to "broken." I think the human instincts toward anger and defensiveness are normal. Unless Adam and Eve were normal and all of us postlapsarian children are "broken."

But I don't take Genesis literally, so I don't think we are inherently good or bad, I think we're just humans. Though, If it brings you pain it's probably a negative thing.

I can enjoy a clear day as well as a cloudy day. :)

Eli said...

Clouds make the sky more beautiful.

Fires are more often productive than destructive, they just catch a bum wrap.

Andrew Algren said...

This seems to be a topic on so many minds of late. I find that letting yourself really revel in those strong emotions to release them is effective. After that, there is no point in bringing mindless harm to others. Those are my thoughts at the very least..

Also:

Thank you. If I can get anyone to really spend some time and think about the next beer they drink, then I can live a satisfied life. I have a PG for you as well. Well, actually, it is a Costamolino, similar, but delicious nonetheless.

Cheers!

Laura said...

Some researchers suggest that fear and hatred stems from a sense of terror or a percieved threat to their way of life. When one feels a sense of terror they are likely to bond with those who are like them and come to fear and hate those not like them. This is based on evolutionary theory suggesting one is more likely to survive when protected by others and it is safer to be around others who look and act like me. As far as hatred towards ex's this may apply, but it is just a theory.