i think that i may have mis-communicated something. because my intention and my thought process is so far from calling others out on being judgmental. my intention is rather to bring attention to the feelings of those being reproved or being corrected. if you felt i was judging you for any reason. i'm sorry. it wasn't my intention. i think so often we all get lost in ourselves that we forget what the potential repercussions may be. i want to draw attention to that.

in dealing with human behavior on a daily basis in my profession i am often reminded to "wait and evaluate" before reacting to any situation. in most cases the individual will be able to draw the same conclusion on their own and will be more recpetive to that assessment. there is no harm in waiting before we say something. in that we wait we're given the oppotunity to go over in our mind what the result of our action may be. it is also a good opportunity to get confirmation from the spirit and guidance as to what should be said. and more often than not, it's just not our place to say anything.

i think that especially in the utah valley area and former BYU students have this tendancy to feel "a responsibility to the greater good" to call someone out, or what-have-you and really that principle isn't a part of the gospel. if someone is doing something that will hurt others than we need to bring it to the attention of their priesthood leader or stop that immediate action but it's not always our place to reprimand the individual. and it should never be done in anything more than a spirit of humility. now a priesthood leader or a parent has place to use righteous dominion to reprimand and individual for their actions but that's just not the average member's role.

i would never want to stand in the way of someone's legitimate role to call someone to repentance. i want to encourage people to take time to think and reflect upon what they are about to do and make sure they are doing it in the right spirit and that they are in the best position to have the most impact on that person's life.

for most people the greatest pep talks were silent. most people react to their own recognition of error after being touched by the example of another better than any argument or chatisement or reproach. people in general don't like to be told what to do and fight against that.

i hope my thoughts are more clear and my intent is more clear in this post. i've sat her for an hour reading it over and over again. i believe that there is ALWAYS a proper time and place for reproach and correction we just need to be keenly aware of the impact that we may have and the role that we have in the person's life before we dare to correct their behavior.

i will use one more example... i work in the human services field, with the cognitively disabled. i am a program manager. i have one woman that i work with that is somewhat hard of hearing. she yells at every opportunity she gets and is aggravating to others around her. she takes an active role at the center that I work at and wants to help, but in so donig, because of her yelling, comes off as bossy and overbearing. her peers dislike her greatly. so often the staff that support her would yell down the hall, "gina be quiet!" it comes off very hypocritical. we're yelling to tell another person to be quiet. i was guilty of it too. i would loudy remind her to use her inside voice and she would loudy respond, "i know big guy!!!" we were getting no where with her. one day at lunch she was particularly loud. i decided that i was going to use a completely different tactic. i calmly approached her and sat down next to her. i sat there and said nothing. when others would address me i would whisper. when someone called for my help from accross the room i would get up and walk over to them and have a very quiet discussion with them. then i would come back to her and sit quietly. i began to have conversations with others at the table again whispering. then she looked over at me and whispered, "what are you doing?" AHA! it worked. i didn't have to yell at her to be quiet. i didn't have to reprimand her. i was able to use example as the most powerful source. she still needs reminders and i'm still working on being a better example for her. and it's slowly working. it's not perfect btu it's having an effect. now i just need to get the rest of the folks at the center on board and use the best meathod and the least intrusive meathod to make a HUGE positive impact on her life. this will potentially increase her network of friends and do so much more for her. she has come to respect me and will do just about anything that i ask her to do because i was able to show her that i respected her first.

now applying this experience to this principle... i am her program manger. i am in a position of authority to correct her actions that will affect others in my program. my first instinct was to speak above her and correct her error. i thiought, "i have to fix this." that was ineffective. when i took the time to "wait and evaluate" i better understood her needs, wants and motivation. i was able to realize that i too was in error and needed to correct my own actions before i could ask her to correct her actions. once i was able to adjust my own actions to be an example for her and i didn't even have to reprimand her. she recognized the error and is working on conforming to a more acceptable norm, or in gospel terms, aligning herself to the principles of the gospel. but in reality no matter how hard i push only SHE can make that step.

in my own life i have learned a great deal when others have been able to simply be an example in my life. their subtle call to repentance never fell on deaf ears. however, when my own parents fought with anger and frustration against my actions i fought back with the same anger and frustration and their words and counsel fell on completely deaf ears. i wanted nothing to do with them. now that they have become more receptive and understanding of my situation they have also shown a better example of what they expect of me. my parents for the first time in 15 years are willing to actually discuss my SGA on a spiritual and intellectual level. in the past i was bombarded with quotations from the miracel of forgiveness and scriptures that were shared with such a limited perspective. i understand the intent that my parents had but i also was so stressed out by their lack of desire to even comprehend what i was feeling that it just made it easier to push them away rather than to listen to their counsel and advice. i know it was heartfelt and sincere but it was SO OVERBEARING and i got the feeling that if i didnt comply with their wishes than i was not worthy of their love or their affection. My father pitted my sisters and my mother against me referring to my home as "the den of satan" and calling me a "false prophet" and a "devil in sheep's clothing." at the time i was volunteering actively with special olympics and working in human services. i owned my own company and was helping my family out financially. i was reading and writting more than i had ever done before. i was happy for once. i wasn't suicidal. i was content with the person that i was becoming. i was healthy and successful both physically and financially. but i "wasn't leading a good life." i have always been a good person. and i continue to be a good person and seek to live in accordance to my covenants. and now finally my parents are becoming more receptive to my side of the story. they are finally able and willing to read books that explain what it's like to be SGA and a member. they are going to read fred and marilyn's book, in quiet desperation. after 15 years of this being an issue in my life i'm jsut now getting to that point with my parents.

i share my expreiences and i share my hopes and my beliefs to hopefully have a positive impact on the life of some young man here. i share my beliefs and experiences so that i will not be guilty of what others have done to me. i share the experiences and beliefs so that you too can benefit from my mistakes and those experiences. we live in a new era. we no linger live in a time when force is acceptable. people long to be speical, unique, and understood. as followers of Christ, the man, the son of God that sat with sinners and publicans we can learn so much from his subtle example and live our lives accordingly.

jeff, i hope it's clear now that i'm not telling anyone to NOT call other's out when so prompted and so ordained. i hope only that we will all be wise in our meathods and seek to be more christ-like in ALL our doings with our fellow man.

thanks for listening/reading

nathan - signature 001

1 comment:

Ezra said...

Whew! There's a lot in there, but the message is clear--be slow to judge, quick to forgive and love.

Thanks for the post!