Thursday, August 11, 2016

Signs of maturity

My mother-in-law once explained to me that the job of a parent is to civilize her children.  And I found myself thinking about that this morning -- partly because we are currently living in such an appallingly un-civilized political climate, but also because I was reading Richard Rohr, who is so famous for having said "If we do not transform our pain, we will most assuredly transmit it."

It seems to me that one of the key signs of maturity is exactly that: that whatever our own trials and discomforts may be, we choose not to project them -- or the blame for them -- onto others. 

Which does not mean we become passive, accepting complete and total responsibility for whatever calamities may befall us: clearly we cannot stand idly by and allow tyrants to walk all over us.  

But it is imperative that whatever actions we might need to take emerge out of the wisdom that comes when we take the time to know and explore the roots of our pain: when we come to understand the wounds we carry; when we realize and accept that we are not the only wounded ones; when we find ways to contain, manage, and transform our suffering; and when we allow that whole process to help us become more understanding and compassionate about the suffering of others. 

No comments: