On the one hand, my blog is finally helping me to find my voice. I'm becoming clearer in my thinking and more focused in who I am and what I'm about.On the other hand, I'm receiving more and more criticism. People are becoming more uncomfortable with what I'm thinking, saying and being.
There's so much talk about branding these days. Branding helps you to market your product. It's a good thing, apparently. The downside is labeling. I'm getting labeled lots lately too. Labeling is a way to excuse what someone is saying. "You sound depressed.
" "You're just angry.
" "Your humor is sarcastic.
" These are ways to conveniently disregard the content of what's being said.
I had coffee today with a good friend who's moving to Texas. I'm going to miss him. He met a bunch of people he's become good friends with. He said that they don't try to fix you, advise you or label you. You are free to be who you are and they don't care. Authenticity and originality is invited and welcomed. He's a fortunate man with such friends. But that's what a friend is! And that, I believe, is what the church... our society of friends... is. I think that's the radical way of being that is most needed today. Can we be in community together without judging one another, categorizing one another, labeling one another, and therefore disregarding one another? Are we free to come out and be who we are as we are?
The fine art photograph is the creation of my friend Mark Hemmings