Tuesday, December 15, 2009

penny for your thoughts (a shiny nickel, too)

lately, instead of starting conversations by asking "what's new?" my friend (codename) v-slice has started asking, "what's on your mind?"

this is a far superior question if for no other reason than it gets right to the point. when someone asks me "what's new?" i feel like i have to come up with some hilarious story or run out and plan an exotic vacation rightnow so i'll have something to say next time they ask me. when someone asks me, "what's on your mind?" i can just cut to the chase.

right now this very moment i have something on my mind that is not quite fully formed. and i am going to let it take its time baking. here are the questions i am turning over.

what does it mean, as people of faith (and, particularly, as people of the mormon faith) to be in the world but not of it? how can we unapologetically live our own values, while creating a safe space where no one feels like they have to apologize for living by a different code? how do we build common ground when we are different, and come together when there are some things from which we are asked to keep ourselves separate? how can we be righteous without being self-righteous, and discern without judging?

i have a lot of gears turning in my head, working this one through. for certain, it is a tightrope walk the requires ultimate balance and finesse, constant self-awareness and charity. i am going to keep muddling at it and get back to you when some more coherent thoughts have formed. (i am really good at asking questions these days, but answers seem harder to come by.)

in the meantime, you should tell me what you think. to paraphrase the spice girls, what you really, really think.

1 comment:

Popster said...

Permit me to answer your question with a story (since our lives really are just a compilation of stories). Years ago, when working for The Dow Chemical Company, I was on a business trip to Boston with a friend and client, Bob. We were getting on the planee to come home, when Bob noticed my Book of Mormon. While watching him, it was like a light came on in his head, and he said: "Now I know why you don't smoke or drink. And all this time I thought you were a recovering alcoholic."

The point being, it is fine to live by a set of standards, so long as the standards don't define who we are rather than what we believe.