Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Friday, January 21, 2011

Pride and Prejudice

Disappoint is a very large word. Although by definition the word refers to a sense of displeasure or an aspect of failed expectations its full implications are really matters of the heart. Of course I am talking about the
relational, not how disappointed I am that I did not win the Lottery.

The expectations we have in our love relationships, whether they be that of friends, family, etc., are simply that there exists a level of compliance, respect or mutual and synergistic interaction. It is in these expectations that we have the greatest opportunity for disappointment. It is not necessarily that our expectations are over-board or that friends and family are not willing, it is a matter adjusting our reality to comply with the needs of those realtionships. (oops)

To disappoint means that someone we are close to us has failed. Rather judgemental at least, intolerant at most, nevertheless real. We can be highly prejudiced when it comes to matters of disappointment. It is this prejudice that is the substance of disappointment, the pre-formed opinion that my hopes are to be a priority in the life of another person, that my expectations are to be foremost in a person's life. In realtionship this could be a reality, perhaps the bulwark of the friendship, definitely the foundation of a marriage and should translate into other commitments we make in the course of our lives, the Judeo-Christian work ethic, etc.

To disappoint is a reflection on the integrity of an individual. Not only is the heart of the one disappointed harmed, but in the confrontation the integrity of the offender is challenged. As matters of the heart go, these issues could remain unresolved and serve as a vexation and thorn for many years.

At root in these matters are the strong elements of disrespect, disgrace, dishonour and shame. Now we are dealing with some words that have impact, and perhaps an understanding of being disappointed is brought to light. Disappointment forces or reveals weaknesses, either in relationships, or in expectations. Shame is in the asking and is revelatory in the needs and aspiratiions of individuals and groups.

Other roots of being disappointed are found in trust and hope. In trust and hope we expect guarantees, assurances and hope is fueled by the prospect.

All these aspects of 'disappoint' mean that someone has been put to shame in unfulfilled promise, whether that be an expectation of excellence in another or hope in another to supply or meet a need. This has now escalated to an issue of pride. Relationship inloves (involves) understanding another person, recognizing needs and being found trustworthy with expectations and feelings of pride and prejudice.

We all come to the table with our issues of pride and prejudice, these are not inherently at fault, however, when allowed free rein they are the bane of any realtionship. It is not only the responsibility of each individual in relationship to 'not disappoint', it is also the responsibility of each individual to check their ego and notions at the door.

Psalm 119:116, "Sustain me according to Your word, that I may live, and do not let me be ashamed of my hope."

"Do unto ... as you would have."

I have found that as I grow older I have less answers for the problems of the world and the effect they have on my friends and family. It is humbling to realize how little I really know, how absolutely ineffective my efforts have been to facilitate change and how remarkably well life goes on and people survive and friends continue to be friends regardless of my input. Sometimes I am 'disappointed', often I am just thankful.

It is a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one's life and find at the end that one has no more to offer by way of advice than "Try to be a little kinder." - Aldous Huxley

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