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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %PRUDENT CHOICE RISK TRUST PEOPLE HIDE IDEAL VALUE+960607 %DISINTEGRATIVE FUTURE BEHAVE REJECT EXCOMMUNICATE 960607 Some of our most important choices pertain to discerning whom we can trust in light of their beliefs, convictions, agendas, ideals, values, goals, and actions. We cannot prudently trust people who hide their real convictions, agendas, ideals, values, goals, and actions. If people do not openly and honestly behave in ways which make it clear that they are truly committed to being true to themselves and others in open and honest dialogue---is it prudent to trust them? If people do not regularly work to promote personal and communal integrity---is it prudent to trust them? Some people are driven by particular ideas, ideals, goals, beliefs and convictions. Sometimes they are they so preoccupied with them and driven by them that they will justify deception, masking, secrecy, and dishonesty in their service. We cannot prudently trust people who are willing to sacrifice personal and communal integrity in the service of their chosen idols and demi-gods. Idolaters are not trust-worthy. How are we to recognize early those people who are preoccupied with and driven by disintegrative ideals, values, beliefs, convictions and goals? We may prudently look for early warning signs of: 1. Legalism, judgmentalism and prejudice. 2. Self-righteousness and exclusivity. 3. Dichotomous and linear thinking. 4. Expectations of rigid conformity. 5. Scriptural literalism. 6. Preoccupations with issues of control. 7. Perfectionism and intolerance. 8. Indifference towards communal considerations. 9. Preoccupations with individual considerations. 10. Preoccupations with winning contests/conflicts. People who are preoccupied with respectability, appearances, honor, and propriety need to be the focus of special considerations in regards to the above questions. The more successful they are in appearing respectable, honorable and proper while minimizing their own risks and vulnerability---the more cautious we need to be with them. Authentic people are willing to take risks and be vulnerable in the service of promoting personal and communal integrity. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================