Good timezone everyone
Yesterday as I was meditating on what I would like to talk about for the sermon, it came to me that corruptibility yet integrity is no better indicated than in our own human-ness. In our bodies and in our social structures.
Consider our bodies for the moment. Our bodies are fragile. Even the smallest things, without proper care can lead to the biggest complications. One might even say, our bodies are corruptible. That said, our bodies are designed with an immune system in place that rushes into action. If we cut ourselves, our body sends countless signals to various systems that marshall defense. The wound begins healing before we can even see the process at work. Our body in the physical sense is the picture of corruptibility, yet integrity.
Think about our social structures. Those that I consider most successful (your opinion may vary) are those that function much like our body. The vulnerability of one portion, one person, is supported by the strength of the full body. How do we get there?
Is the answer that we lend the body (social structure) our strength? We be strong? We defend? We protect? I’ve certainly thought so
For the next few minutes, lets listen to the following video by Brene Brown:
Brene Brown says that because we fear being vulnerable, we “armor up”. We make ourselves “incorruptible”. But look at all the things we lose access to:
Love, Belonging, Joy, Empathy, Innovation, and Creativity. If we look at our Doctrine, how many of its aspects speak about these things? The Creed speaks about bringing love where there is hatred, and never seeking so much to be loved as to love. bringing joy where there is sadness. Teaching 13 says Jedi practice empathy. Teaching 10 and 12 respectively say that Jedi serve out of love and believe that love and compassion are central to our lives. Our first teaching about being in touch with the Force and keeping ourselves open to the beauty of the world can only be done through creativity. What service project is not first a project of innovation? What goal? What dream? None. We need vulnerability to be our best selves.
Like our body, we need to accept that part of our human-ness is wrapped up in our corruptible nature. Corruptibility isn’t so much a weakness as it is a function of human-ness. It’s true for ourselves and it’s true for others. What is required in those moments of vulnerability from others is the capacity to be vulnerable ourselves.
When we see a new person, remembering what it was like to be new. How excited we were, but also how scared, how nervous, can help us engage more authentically in our welcoming.
If we see someone make a mistake, remembering a time in which we made a mistake and all the feelings that came up as a result of that, and listening with that in mind will help us support one another, marshall a defense as it were.
When we see someone in need of support because they are doing a hard thing, remembering when we had to do a similar hard thing, or had similar feelings will help us listen with that in mind and provide the best support we can in the moment even if it is just listening
We may have unique experiences that come from culture, time, space, etc, but below the surface, we are all human. Capable of human-ness, corruptibility, yet integrity.
Exercise (Thank you River)
Corruptibility yet integrity exercise
Think of a time in history, either recent or long past, when someone chose to act in a corrupt and harmful way. Do a bit of research into the event and find the people and instances of integrity within it; there is always a counter movement of some kind. Pay attention to your emotions as you consider the corrupt actions and the actions that show integrity within that story. Which emotions does each bring up for you? How does your body feel as you contemplate them? Which feelings are the ones you'd like to have more of in your life?
Now think of a time in your own life when you behaved in a way that was purposely harmful to someone else, but were able to apologize or make amends to them. Why did you make the choice to behave in a hurtful way? Why did you decide to address your hurtful actions, and how did it feel to do so? Did anything about it feel difficult? How did the other person respond to your integrity as you apologized or made amends? As you review your story, pay attention again to how each event feels in your body and which emotions it brings up for you. Which feelings would you like more of in your life? What can you do to make that happen?