I took part in a survey this week. One that wanted my views on feminism.
With questions like:
Do you identify as a feminist?
Has feminism had an impact on your life?
Is feminism relevant to you?
Is feminism empowering?
The following is the Miriam-Webster Dictionary definition of feminism:
“The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities”
I don’t really want to debate the feminist movement because I’ve been blessed to never have a time in my life when I’ve felt unequal. Rev has always treated me as an equal partner. And I always felt valued and equal to my male counterparts as a teacher.
Why did I bring it up then?
Because I can’t help but wonder if there isn’t a better way to debate issues where we have differing views.
Feminism isn’t an issue for me, but I know it is for some.
I’ve not personally experienced racial discrimination, but I know it exists.
I haven’t made up my mind on gun control, immigration, and a whole host of other political issues . . . but that doesn’t mean I don’t care.
I want to listen. I want to be given a chance to learn more without being pressured to take a side or ridiculed if I ask questions or remain undecided.
I want to pray more than I am persuaded.
My favorite teacher growing up had a great sense of humor, funny nicknames for each student, and the ability to turn her normal speaking voice into a whisper when she felt her frustration levels rise.
And we listened. When she whispered we knew she had something to say.
Maybe we need to whisper more and listen better. Maybe we should make it a goal to listen for understanding not argue to win. Maybe we need to learn how to disagree.
The truth – I don’t listen to shouting. I turn it off or shut it down. If you want to persuade me, you need to speak reasonably and respectfully. And I don’t think I’m alone in this.
What if we made the following goals for 2016:
- To listen first.
- To choose to understand.
- To pray for God’s views before we side with our friends or a political party.
- To share our views and personal experiences with gentleness and respect.
Remember – The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
by Stephen Covey
1 – Be proactive . . . take responsibility for your life.
2 – Begin with the end in mind . . . have a personal mission statement.
3 – Put first things first . . . make choices based on your mission statement.
4 – Think win/win . . . put relationships first.
5 – Seek first to understand, then to be understood.
6 – Synergize . . . practice creative cooperation.
7 – Sharpen the saw . . . “rinse and repeat” habits 1–7
So the question . . . Do you want to be effective or noisy?
As for me, I’m praying for effective. I’m praying for the Spirit’s guidance and for gentle and respectful communication. Do you care to join me?
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. James 1:19
Now it’s time for…
Faith ‘n Friends Blog Hop
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by Betsy DeCruz
@ Faith Spilling Over
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