At its core, civility isn’t an issue of choosing our words more carefully. Civility is an issue of attitude. Ultimately we will discover that every human exchange bears the promise of blessing instead of cursing each other. The more we can admit that God is always at hand and loving each one of us as (equal) children, the more we’ll treat each other in ways guided by our common Father-Mother God.
— excerpt from The Christian Science Monitor’s devotional column on 3/5/12.
How might we be civil with those whose choices are causing pain? With those whose short-sightedness or prejudice would distort or diminish the welfare of others? With those who use the name of God to perpetuate hatred or insular complicity in social ills?
This Lent, I pray for daily openness to transformation. A transformation of heart and character, not just external matters and etiquette. This piece on civility points to the heart of the matter: an equanimity of spirit about one another in our challenging relationships is the only way we can bear the fruit of blessing. Genuine blessing that empowers social change, just relationships, and thriving kinship. Blessing is not cheap affirmation, but holding a vision of empowerment and generativity.
For me, striving to know and be a blessing means always striving to see the Higher Self in myself and others, even when beliefs and actions are expressing limited current capacity for loving actions. For my spiritual coaching clients, it often means creating some essential space to simultaneously nurture their own good and their practices of prayer for others. We often have so many more choices than we perceive. For all of us, it can sometimes be very very hard on the Ego, which really wants to name Good Guys and Bad Guys. But its a kingdom pursuit that is every bit as worthy as the priceless pearl of Matthew 13:45-6
Did I say it was hard?
I will pray for you and I ask you to pray for me!