The importance of being earnest…

Being EarnestOn 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:

ear·nest   (ûr′nĭst)

adj.

1. Marked by or showing deep sincerity or seriousness: an earnest gesture of goodwill.
2. Of an important or weighty nature; grave. See Synonyms at serious.

 

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!

 

 

27 thoughts on “The importance of being earnest…

  1. Closed minds don’t progress very far or grow very big or expand the depths of life….Anyone unable to let go of their beliefs enough to allow others to think what they choose are not great friends to begin with Kate. I have far more admiration for people who are willing to live outside the box than for those stuck out of fear in their closed up worlds….This is what religion as we know it has done to people. Made them fearful to think for themselves and to think differently. Have no fear my friend. The ones who stay and come back are the ones you want in your life anyway 🙂 Much love to you…..VK

  2. A wise man once said “Love one another.”
    There were no other qualifiers to that sentence, such as “love only tall people” or “love only rich people”… Just love each other.

  3. Oh dear Kate, I am lost for appropriate words. Please accept an electronic hug. Hang in – there are far more people like me who admire and love you regardless of your convictions, than there are those who critisise. Your willingness to expose your feelings and beliefs for all to read are brave and admirable traits. I wish I had half your courage. Hang in and be aware of the love flowing your way. What you do or do not believe in is irrelevant – that you are loving, honest, caring and non judgemental of others is what counts.

    • Dear Wendy.. don’t be, it has happened so often since I started blogging I’m very used to it. Thank you for your love and admiraton, I’m not sure it is all deserved, but it is lovey to hear just the same! Hope the biography work is going well for you? xox

  4. Kate – I’m so sorry that these supposed “friends” have treated you this way – obviously they weren’t true friends if this is the reason that they said those things and have cut off the friendship. More crimes and killing have been done in the name of religion than not – that speaks a lot in itself.

    I think you said something wrong ……. (sorry but I honestly believe you are wrong) ……..

    “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.”

    Taking the extremes, do you really think that Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini etc were all perfect? And what about the people who physically abuse their children? They AREN’T doing their best. They are very controlling, dominant, disrespectful etc etc. And don’t think that these situations are rare, because they’re not. I don’t know % for the different crimes etc, but even 5% is a lot ……. because 5% isn’t much out of 100% but 5% of 1,000,000 is 50,000 people who suffer horrendously. Even 1 person is too much.

    I think maybe you are seeing the world through rose-tinted glasses and being too optimistic.

    (hope you’re not offended but I believe you are just too nice ……….if that’s the right word………)

    • Happy for you to think I’m wrong… I may well be of course, but I’ll stick with my rose tinted glasses and remain as optimictic for as possible if that’s ok… in many ways, we are always right, and always wrong, depending on who we talk to. Take care my friend xx

  5. Beautifully-written Kate. Rejection by people because you don’t share an experience or don’t agree with their views tells us far more about the people doing the rejecting. I have a problem with “certainty” – some people are so certain that their way is the right and only way and I often find myself distrusting that certainty. I don’t know what I believe a lot of the time and that can be a comfort because it helps me to consider all views. I hope that doesn’t sound too pious. Keep writing. I look forward to reading your words every morning.

    • Thanks so much for sharing your views here Duncan.. they ahve really helped me, especially saying you don’t know what you believe a lot of the time… I think that is mee too, not atheist, not quite agnostic, not really knowing fur sure. For as while, I found it very distressing, as had really been a Christian all my life, and then not knowing was uncomfortable and strange… thankfully I’m ok with it now, but sharing how I felt, and then havig this continuing dialogue is really helpful to me too… thanks a bunch!

  6. Hi Kate

    Its my own view that people coming out with these remarks, simply don’t know what we are going through when we have this illness. We are certainly no different to anyone else, apart from the fact that we are writing our feelings down for all to read.

    Writing down your feelings is a well known way to cope with dementia, and as my consultant told me, it allows us to reflect, and allows others to understand our problems

    I have seen many Bishops stand up in the pulpit and shred the bible stories we all learnt as children, so do these people really care about the bible when they do this, and are they really religious.

    Surely if a Bishop can state things like this publicly then we should be entitled to say what we think, without other people saying we are not worth bothering with because we have lost or are losing our faith

    In many ways, when you get this illness you learn who your true friends are, because a true friend will at least try to understand your problems without casting remarks.

    I find it difficult to write these days, and make many mistakes either in spelling, which I never see, because of my eyesight these days, or because I simply use the wrong words in an attempt to explain myself.

    In your case, I personally don’t see anything wrong, you have done a brilliant job in explaining how you feel and that’s the important thing in all of this

    We all lose friends in dementia, but are they really true friends

    Carry on regardless Kate and forget these remarks, or do what I do, read them then delete them

    Life is too short

    • Thanks Ken… I will certainly carry on doing what I do, for as long as I can. Just like you, I find the writing and expressing incredibly therapeutic, and some people say our blogging helps them too, which is a bonus. My husband finds it very helpful, although painful too… take care my friend.

  7. Perhaps those erstwhile “Christian” friends who have spurned you are not earnest enough about their faith and all it teaches about love & compassion. I think often criticising & condemning others is the refuge of people who refuse to think and therefore possibly change.

  8. Your blog gives us your insight, wisdom ,humour, and opinions. That’s why we read it. To read only my thoughts, opinions and personal beliefs, I would only have to read my diary. Please continue to write from your heart, without the fear of judgement. xxx

    • What a lovely thing to say gh… you’ve made my day! The idea of blogging from the heart used to be quite challenging, but I guess it is not really different to somebody publishing their autobiography, just in smaller bites! Realising that has made it easier to write… thanks spo much for reading, and for joinng the conversation here. xox

  9. Hi Kate
    I’m sorry to see that people calling themselves Christians have been so intolerant. It gives the rest of us a bad name!
    I have found the following wisdom very helpful, and I remind you of it with love:

    ‎“What other people think of you is not your business. If you start to make it your business, you’ll be offended for the rest of your life”– Deepak Chopra

    Life is short. There are so many more worthwhile things on which to expend our energy aside from worrying about the opinions of others.
    X

    • Hi Sally, I love that quote, thanks for reminding me of it. You’ve reminded me of the book a friend read daily when she ran for politics many years ago, called “What you think of me is none of my business.” It’s a fab read, and she found it really helpful coping with all the knock backs she got when out door knocking!! There is plenty of intolerance from non Christians, and people of other faith too, that seems to be the way for so many. As you say, life is short, and Idefinitely agree with that, hence one of my sayings ‘You live until you die!’ And Wayne Dyer’s is ‘Live every day as if it’s your last, just in case it is.’ Worrying about what others think is definitely not depriving me of living well, but regularly gives me food for thought, and fodder for my blog. Happy Easter to you and yours. X

      A friend just replied to my blog by email, with this: “Hi Kate, Hope this finds you, Peter and the boys well. Hope too that you have had a nice longer weekend and not received too many more negative replies to your blog on Good Friday; I’m disappointed but not surprised that you have recd some negative responses. The blog is your opinion – that’s it. I am a practising catholic as you know; as I read the blog I thought ooh Kate this comment is tough and will surely upset some people – but, it is your opinion and although I may not agree with you; I will defend to the death your right to say it. I didn’t think it was offensive but I certainly did think it was controversial in the ilk ok Germaine Greer and female eunuch! You go girl, Aust is a country that thrives on free speak : we’ve lost a lot of people who have defended that right and I will defend you to the core if needed. Take care, (name witheld).”

      Of course, I’m not even a fan of Germaine Greer, and think she did more harm than good for women in general… yikes, more food for thought to have been likend to her!!! X

  10. Dearest Kate – it saddens me to think that other ‘so called Christians’ have judged you because you don’t ‘believe in their God!’ Seems to me they have selectively forgotten what the Bible says: Matthew 7 – 1. ” Judge not, that ye be not judged.’ The world would be very boring if we all ‘danced to the same tune.’ It seems to me that the basic tenet of all religions is to treat others as you would like to be treated and one does not need any sort of religious label be it Christian or otherwise to live a life that respects the self and others. And yes, being ‘Earnest’ sounds right to me too.

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