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Color Blind?

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Color Blind?

This morning our staff attended a lecture on the Understanding Your Implicit Bias. The takeaway is that we all have biases, ways of looking at the world, groups of people, each other. These biases come from our parents, other role models we had as kids, extended families, the neighborhoods we grew up in, friends we hung around, and countless other influences. It wasn’t a lecture on “if” but “why” we developed biases and how they impact your interactions with people you encounter each day, what you think when you hear certain words, see certain images, and how deep these biases are rooted within us.

One of the more interesting topics the lecturer spoke about was the idea of being “color blind.” In other words not seeing a person’s skin color but their character. On the surface, this seems like a great way to connect with each other. The challenge with this way of thinking, according to the speaker, was that you strip a person of part of their identity. As a Christian, white, middle class, middle-aged, southern, heterosexual, male, each of these traits are part me. Along with the unique experiences of my life they make me who I am.

I found this a wonderful and a too often overlooked idea. Sometimes, in order to make everyone “equal”, we take away parts of their identity or neutralize them. When we do this we are doing a disservice to them and ourselves. People, fully known, recognized and loved, connects us in a balanced way that honors the breadth of humanity and the amazing uniqueness present in all of us.

For more posts, reflections, and other writings, please visit: http://www.thewannabesaint.com

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)

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Graduation

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Graduation

I’ve spent the last few weeks staring at graduation photos of young women and men whom I’ve had the privilege in some way to be a part of their lives. They are graduating from college, earning their masters and doctorates. I am blown away! I have known these “kids” for most of their time on this planet and to watch them succeed and exceed my wildest dreams is a testament to the wonderful people they are and to parents, mentors, teachers, and guides as they’ve walked the road of life.

I often hear only negatives about this new generation. They’re weak, spoiled, “snowflakes” and I don’t see it. The ones I know would rather lead with their hearts than with their mouths (a problem I notice in the 40 years and older crowd a lot!) They don’t believe because you say so. They want to see it lived before they make up their minds. They are incredibly smart and committed. They know how to spot a fake and people “going through the motions.” This is why church attendance for this group is dwindling but are still spiritually seeking. They aren’t afraid to challenge the norm, call a bluff, or stand up and resist the many wrongs in our world.

Is this group perfect? No. Can they turn around a dying planet consumed by greed and consumption? Maybe. What can we older ones do? We can support them or at least get out of the way and let them try.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

Fight the Way You Practice

Fight the Way You Practice

This afternoon was the first class for Incarcerated Fathers, Spring 2017. The first day of class is always a little awkward. The residents do not know you and you don’t know them. You explain how the class works, what’s required of them and what you will give for the class to be a success.

We talked about respect and relationships and how the key to successful parenting is our children being able to trust that we will be there for them in every way possible. By doing this we give kids the confidence that they can venture out into the world because home is always safe and always there.

Many of the men I teach in these classes didn’t have that kind of home life growing up and find it difficult to picture what a family such as this would look like. As we go through the class we will practice showing them it is possible and necessary to give their children the childhood the residents didn’t grow up with and for them to be the parents they aren’t sure they can be. Once they work on these skills, practice them they will begin to believe it possible.

You can only fight the way you practice.” This the hope we have for the men who participate in our class; to learn to fight in such a¬†way that builds up, not destroys.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

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