Friday, January 13, 2012

It's Up to Us Not to Alienate Those Among Us Who Feel Different

There always will be tension between individuality and community in any organization that grows. Every exceptional orchestra, to hearken to Elder Wirthlin's wonderful analogy, simply must have piccolos AND oboes AND trumpets AND clarinets AND percussion . . . I think his talk in General Conference a few years ago, "Concern for the One", was a direct and open acknowledgment that one strident voice can dominate a discussion - and that such a situation is not good. It says we NEED to have those who feel different among us not being alienated any longer simply because they are different. 

Frankly, I've heard a lot of similar messages from multiple apostles lately. I am fairly certain Elder Anderson will carry that torch. I know personally that one of the other higher ranking apostles wants deeply to see the tent broaden, and I'm sure that feeling is shared by others. It's just SO hard to get that message understood and applied at the individual ward level.

I try to think well, but I also try to think well of the organization and its members. It really isn't all that hard when I refuse to take things personally and try to just love them. Some try to rock the boat (which, really, is stupid if you think seriously about that image and how people who feel frightened of drowning naturally react); I simply try to help point out ways to avoid the rocks I think I see, without insisting on grabbing the wheel or the oars. I'm not fighting ANYTHING or ANYONE, so (almost) nobody takes what I say as an assault or a complaint.


Christy said...

We have to remember that we cannot determine our own self worth by measuring ourselves against others (good or bad). I think that is a big part of the problem.

Papa D said...

That is an excellent insight, Christy. Thanks!

It's such an ingrained, natural tendency - but it's so wrong.