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Sunday, May 13, 2018

Loving Those That Challenge You

We all face the challenge of others, and those challenges when embraced make us better people.

Sometimes it's just the way a person lives his/her life that challenges you? Sometimes it's the words people use or looks they give that are challenging?

In the best of circumstances, we look for the promise in the challenge--we think about what we can learn from the challenge posed.

As I think of the challenges that exist, I think of the following:

The challenge of passivity--those that seemingly stand by voiceless in the face of discrimination, poverty, violence, oppression, and more. Though it's often the case that these passive individuals have too much to contend with in their own lives to be able to speak up about issues beyond their homes or jobs. For those that give more in time, voice, and action related to the big causes, I am probably seen as passive--I certainly don't stand up like some who give so much time, energy, and passion to causes far beyond their own lives, causes that truly uplift our collective humanity and possibility. There's a continuum here from those who never stand up to those who stand up and speak out all the time. So perhaps rather than look down on those who don't speak up, instead think about how I can help those people move beyond their own experience of oppression, struggle, and challenge.

The challenge of disrespect--some are most often disrespectful. Where does this come from and why does it happen. I suppose we can look at our own times of disrespectful speak and action--what drives that, and how can that be undone. In the best of situations we appreciate when people lovingly disarm us and right our direction when we are disrespectful and we can do this for others too.

The challenge of narrow perspective--there are some who have a very narrow definition of what is right and good. Few typically meet their tough, narrow review. In these cases, it's important to broaden perspectives and help yourself and others to see the strength in multiple viewpoints, experiences of life, and choices.

To love our enemies or those that challenge us is a BIG call, one that does us well as people to follow and one I will continue to contemplate in the days ahead.