On Friday I posted an honest Easter reflection, in part about losing my Christian faith. I have already been judged by some people I know, a couple to the point of saying they admire the work I do, but have now lost respect for me because I don’t believe in ‘their God’, and I quote, they said ‘I definitely will not bother to read your blog again’. I have not bothered to approve their comments on my blog either. When discussing this with one girlfriend, she said, ‘their loss, your gain’, to which I replied, ‘losing friends simply because of differing viewpoints is not necessarily my gain’. As long as it is respectful, and kind, I really like hanging out with people who have different opinions and beliefs as it makes life very interesting.
Anyway, throughout my life I have thought a lot about life, and death, and writing, and blogging, and Christianity, and Buddhism, and dementia, and friendships, and marriage, and so many other things… and how I’ve arrived here, I’ll never know, but today, I thought I’d write about the importance being earnest… and I don’t mean the play by Oscar Wilde! The free online dictionary defines earnest like this:
Part of being earnest, I suspect, is not to become too fond of your own reputation. Also, having a healthy respect for others, and acceptance of all opinions, religions, race, is important. How can you be earnest, that is, ‘show deep sincerity’, if you are judgemental of others? I was very judgemental when I was younger, something I feel slightly ashamed of, but I suspect it partly stemmed from growing up in a small community and not being exposed to ‘other’ enough. When I go back to that community, many of the conversations are about judging others, and these days, I find it stifling and upsetting. I have friends who are gay, blind, Buddhists, Christians, Aboriginal, Vietnamese, Australian, English… you get the drift! I agree with gay marriage, I really find it really offensive now when I hear people speaking unkindly, and with judgement of others.
May I’m wrong to link the importance of being earnest to humility, and respect for all others, but it feels right, and I work on being sincere, and humble, and not judging others, but realise I probably still have a long way to go to achieve those goals. That is life, and I think we are all perfect, every day, in our own way. Even lousy parents did the best to their ability, at the time they were parents. We all have limitations, and baggage, and things we could do better. To aspire to be better, to learn more, and to accept others is about the best anyone can do… being earnest sounds about right to me!