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This-essay is a9702031.htm which is available at the web-site See more notes at the bottom. Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay By-Months By-Years By-Words Webs of Like-&-Un-Like ESSAYS <==> Like-&-UN-Like This-One ========================================================== %ACCEPTING REJECTING PERSONAL DIFFERENCES EVIL SIN+970203 %BLAME SHAME GUILT DISINTEGRATION COMFORT EMBARRASS+970203 %UNFAMILIAR DUTY ACCENTUATE ALIENATION WEAK CONCEAL+970203 %POWER CORRUPTS DENY LOVE HEALTHY WHOLE SELF OTHER+970203 %RELATIONSHIPS GOOD KNOWLEDGE PEACEMAKER RECONCILE 970203 We often behave in disintegrative ways in response to our differences. We often find it difficult to accept our differences; and reject people who are different, or who differ from us. We often feel uncomfortable with different people who are unfamiliar to us. We may even feel it is our duty to accentuate our differences and use our differences as grounds for engendering shame, guilt and alienation. We often motivate weak people are motivated to try to conceal, eliminate, minimize, and/or deny their differences---because we, who are powerful, will not accept them as they are because of their differences. We love to be with people who are like us because we are often embarrassed when we are with people who are not like us---and often we blame those who are different for our embarrassment. Sometimes in our weakness we do not recognize, name, describe and deal honestly with our differences---because we fear that our differences will be occasions for rejection, condemnation, excommunication, shame, guilt and alienation. Denying, concealing, rejecting, ignoring, and trying to eliminate our differences, usually leads to personal and communal disintegration---for they tear us apart rather than move us toward healthy integration. When our differences are occasions for generating anxiety, embarrassment, shame, guilt, fear, coercion and violence---our relationships are evil relationships; not relationships of love, understanding, reconciliation, peacemaking, sympathy, empathy and healing. When we accentuate our differences, we lay the foundations for personal and communal disintegration. There are occasions and situations when we will do well to recognize, name, describe, share, celebrate and take advantage of our differences---for there are a varieties of gifts given to us by one God who created us all different --- and Who Loves us all just as we are; different. We need to welcome each other's different gifts in order to be a whole community. If we were all alike, we could not be a whole community; we could not enjoy personal and communal integrity. Personal and communal integrity entail the integration of many kinds of differences into the whole, which transcends all the differences which are together in the whole. We can enjoy personal and communal integrity only to the extent that we share our differences in sharing our different gifts---openly, honestly and without apology or embarrassment. We need to welcome the stranger who is not familiar to us, for the stranger can bring into our community new insights, new perceptions, new ideals, new values and new possibilities for personal and communal integration. If we fear and reject those who are different we will be haunted by and be victims of prejudice, ignorance, intolerance and alienation. We are fools if we insist that others must be like us or be our enemies. Conformity is not the key to personal and communal integrity. Non-conformity is not the essence of evil. The essence of evil is to be found in personal relationships which are characterized by alienation, estrangement, fear, and self-righteous excommunications. The essence of evil is not found within persons, places, things, images, words, thoughts or desires---but rather within personal RELATIONSHIPS. When we try to locate evil within persons, places, things, images, words, thoughts and/or desires---we thereby engender evil RELATIONSHIPS in tragic ways we are unlikely to recognize. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in Search for Integrity and Honesty (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================
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This-essay is a9702031.htm which is available at the web-site These 5 lines echo top lines. Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay By-Months By-Years By-Words Webs of Like-&-Un-Like ESSAYS <==> Like-&-UN-Like This-One