Home

Sermon 07-10-11

(Transfered here by me for Sapadu... Jestor)

 

Sermon 07:11
Written by Sapadu

MAD LIBS: When you assume, you make an [synonym for 'fool' and 'mule'] out of 'u' and 'me'.

Jack sighed and slid away from the bar. She'd had a long day, and her drink had done a great deal to relax her. Now, it was just time to head for the bus stop and wait for her ride home.

“Hey, where's your boyfriend at?” Asked a server as she passed him on her way to the door. Jack froze. Suddenly, her calm and relaxed mood came crashing apart. How did this guy think it was in ANY way appropriate to ask her that? And it would have been bad enough if it was just some random jerk trying to pick her up, but this guy was a server! Forget insulting, this was borderline creepy behavior.

'Jack, you can't punch the guy – you'll get kicked out of the restaurant.' One of her voices reminded her. That didn't mean she wasn't going to give this moron a piece of her mind, first.

“Excuse ME?” She demanded, wheeling on the server. His formerly cheerful – if creepy – smile vanished, “For ONE thing, what makes you think I have a boyfriend? What if I'm single? Is it a CRIME for a woman to be unattached in this day and age? Am I not allowed in here unless I'm in a relationship? Second, even if I wasn't single, who says I'd have a BOYfriend? Did that NEVER occur to you? Why don't you ask a vegan why they didn't order your double cheeseburger special – it'd be less offensive than THAT! Thirdly, why do I have to have a date to come here? Maybe I'm just relishing in my independence, or maybe I'm here to see the bartender, or maybe – just maybe – I came here to DRINK! Is THAT ever a possibility, or is there a law saying the ladies here have to be waiting for someone? And FINALLY – how, in any way, shape, or form, do you think that it was okay for you to just pry into my personal life like that? It was totally NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS – what makes you think that it's acceptable to ask a complete and total stranger about their significant other?” Half the restaurant was staring, but Jack didn't care, “I'll be telling your manager about this, so THINK about that for a little bit. Good night and THANK you.”

And Jack stormed out, not at all intent on having a good night.

~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~

That's one way it could have happened. But, how about this?

~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~

Jack sighed and slid away from the bar. She'd had a long day, and her drink had done a great deal to relax her. Now, it was just time to head for the bus stop and wait for her ride home.

“Hey, where's your boyfriend at?” Asked a server as she passed him on her way to the door. Jack froze. Suddenly, her calm and relaxed mood came crashing apart. How did this guy think it was in ANY way appropriate to ask her that? And it would have been bad enough if it was just some random jerk trying to pick her up, but this guy was a server! Forget insulting, this was borderline creepy behavior.

'Now, be nice – how would you feel if you wanted to ask a cute girl out and she just snapped at you?' Scolded an empathetic voice, 'Besides, it would be rude to correct him – we all do have our own perceptions about the people around us, after all.' The server was still waiting for her to answer. Jack managed to feebly turn and offer a weak smile. She even tried to laugh it off – like it had been an inside joke. Yeah, that had to have been it – he was just kidding around.

Jack stumbled out of the restaurant doors as quickly as she could. She was no longer in the least bit relaxed or calm – much closer to tense and uncomfortable. And it only got worse when she got onto the bus and could have sworn the driver was staring at her a little too long as she paid her fare.

~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~

That's another way it could have happened. But, how about this?

~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~

Jack sighed and slid away from the bar. She'd had a long day, and her drink had done a great deal to relax her. Now, it was just time to head for the bus stop and wait for her ride home.

“Hey, where's your boyfriend at?” Asked a server as she passed him on her way to the door. Jack froze. Suddenly, her calm and relaxed mood came crashing apart. How did this guy think it was in ANY way appropriate to ask her that? And it would have been bad enough if it was just some random jerk trying to pick her up, but this guy was a server! Forget insulting, this was borderline creepy behavior.

'Hey, dude – stop. Now, think about it.' And she did. She worked in the service industry, too, after all. And more than once, her managers had told her that part of her job was to be friendly and invested in customers. And, of course, the one way they kept pressuring her to do this was to ask questions and be open, to show that you cared about them. They'd prod her into asking 'Who's this shirt for? A boyfriend? A husband?' Not that Jack ever listened to the advice – she was too shy and too awkward to make it sound natural and it always came out like demanding to know or snooping.

'So, for all you know, this guy is just doing what his job demands of him – he might be hitting on you, but he also might just think that he's being friendly.' This, Jack was willing to concede – after all, it was part of the reason she'd lapsed into her own shyness, because she'd attempted to take her manager's advice, and it had always backfired. Everyone had different ideas of being friendly and what was appropriate. 'Not to mention, for all you know, if he was RIGHT in assuming you were waiting on a guy, you might think it nice to have someone to complain to that you were stood up.'

'Right. How's about we go with a Plan C, then?' Jack turned and grinned back, still walking backwards towards the exit.

“I don't have a boyfriend.” It was honest enough. And at least made a point about two out of the four things the server had assumed. He jumped, as though surprised at her answer.

“What? Why not?” Okay. Getting back into that 'It's none of your business' territory... Jack continued to grin and decided to go with a 'I'll answer that question, but I don't want to continue this conversation' style of answer.

“Well, for starters, my girlfriend would get awfully jealous.” A white lie, but it seemed to effectively send the message that she wasn't interested in this talk about her personal life. The server's smile dropped, entirely, but Jack continued to smile back, “Thanks for the drink. Have a nice night.”

Once outside, Jack took a deep breath and gathered her thoughts. And, of course, her initial ideas on how to react came back.

'What if it hadn't been you? Or what if you had decided to lose your cool? That guy would get slammed with an official complaint and not have even realized he'd done something wrong until it was too late.' And as Jack had lost a job the exact same way, she wasn't about to do the same thing to a fellow in the service industry, 'Alright, then – let's see if we can't write a good, polite 'Dude, I'm only writing this to help you so you don't get in trouble in the future' kind of feedback.'

~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~

'So, aren't you glad you decided to go with the last scenario?' James prodded Jack. She proofread her letter, but paused over a spelling error, 'Yeah, he'd made four big, very wrong assumptions, but if you'd just stuck with the assumption that he was being a creep and trying to pick you up, or that you were in the wrong to feel uncomfortable with it, you would've ended up either over- or under-reacting, and it you wouldn't have been doing him any favors with that, either.'

“Yeah... but is it really okay to make this much of a deal about this? It was just few minutes of conversation.” She asked. James shrugged.

'If my fly was open, I'd want someone to tell me instead of finding out when my pants fell down.' He pointed out, 'And with work, I'd say it's pretty important to let people know when they've messed up early on, before they make an even bigger mistake that could ruin their job or cost their company money.'

“It just occurred to me that this guy probably didn't even realize he was assuming these things. There's some stuff that it's fairly obvious when you assume, but there are other topics that, when you ask them, you're making an assumption without even realizing it. I had a customer once that, while I was talking with her, I mentioned the weather. Later, my manager told me the lady had complained because she was from Florida and thought I was making fun of her for not being used to the snow. The weather – the FRICKIN' weather!”

James shrugged, again.

'So, maybe the moral of the story is that it IS hard not to make assumptions, but we still need to put some kind of effort into doing so.' And, yet again, he shrugged, 'But, doesn't the fact that it's a tough thing to do make it all the more worth it in the end?'

Jack gave him a Look.

'At least... as far as I can see.'  

Comments   

 
#1 Jestor 2011-07-12 09:51
So true... We all need to remember we do not know what others are feeling or going through in any given moment...

That our assumptions may sometimes be far from correct...

However, I feel that, if we do not take a chance once in a while, we may end up missing out on meeting someone with a message for us...

Great story Sapadu, to me, it shows the ease with which assuming can come to both parties in this story... As well as the reminder to not do so...
 
 
#2 Coperiana 2011-07-21 18:42
Another point to remember along these lines... If someone snaps or yells at you, cuts you off in traffic, cuts in line, or does some other offense along similar lines, they may just be having a bad day and you are the closest outlet. Remember that it's probably not about you. Smile and take the insult in stride. You don't know what is going through their head.
Great story and a wonderful point to keep in mind. Thank you for reminding me to be patient with those who make assumptions.
 
Latest Posts Comments Articles
    • Questions regarding Clergy processes (Last post by Brenna)
    • While I appreciate the replies Tzb, this does little to quell my concerns. And it’s made me realise just how little faith I have left in the clergy and its processes, because of this, because of previous issues with the same lack of transparency, and because of the many behind the scenes conversations resulting in rifts because of a refusal to just go along with things that are not in keeping with the “spirit” of what we are meant to be doing here. For me, this seems like just yet another example of decisions being made on the fly, with the lack of transparency and a “secretive” nature that has been brought up by many members before me. I have reached a stage where I can have no confidence in the leadership or manifestation of purpose of our clergy.
    • Idea: topic/thread for insomniacs (Last post by Exarchias)
    • Guess what. I slept for less an hour i had a dream (i believe bad, not a nightmare exactly) and i woke up with full anxiety. Now i am tired as hell and i am wasting my time... life is great :P Good night and sleep tight, i will try to do the same :)
    • BBC News - "Have Jedis created a new religion... (Last post by Tarran)
    • Good point! And yep, like I mentioned, the fiction should be ambraced... like as a learning/teaching resource (like parables) for our faith, for instance :D There's a lot of treasurable gems within it, I think - beyond that, keeping in mind the statements on the home page is mostly what's important ;)
    • Discussion 6 - The Road of Trials (Last post by AlexanderJ.W)
    • 1. Life presents us with many trials, and we are sometimes victorious, and sometimes overcome. Think of the two great trials in your life, one in which you were victorious, and one in which you were overcome. Do you feel one allowed you to grow more than the other? Why? My diabetes are a new trail every day. Sometime it wins over me and I feel horrible with anxiety, anger, hate and sadness and some days I “win” in the matter that I can accept it for what it is, and live with it in peace. I have had my diabetes for sixteen years and it is not until the past two years that I have more days in the week that I “win” and less when I lose. I feel like I am learning more from the lose then from the win, because as a human I tend to analyze more when something is negative so that it won’t happened again. 2. Brother battles are an important but traumatic aspect of this stage of the adventure. Can you think of a time when someone you trusted turned against you? Was your trust misplaced? What did you learn from the experience? I wouldn’t say that she turned against me. But she definitely disappointed me that is the closes I can get. My best friend has made me several promises that we are going to do things she was going to help me move, we were going to see a concert (which I bought the tickets for, and she went with someone else), and she was going to come visit me in my new home and all of these promises she couldn’t keep and that isn’t the worst part. But it is that she couldn’t tell it to my face so she made a Facebook status that she was going to do something else at the time we had planes for. And from that I learned to keep the tickets to myself until the concert and to not trust her again. 3. Myth and dream are closely related, in that both reflect the deeply symbolic relationship our imaginations have with our experience of the world. Read this interpretation of dragon dreams. When you think of dragons, how do they make you feel? What do you think they represent? Why do you think so many myths have a dragon as one of the first enemies the hero must overcome? Dragons make me feel very small and that my knowledge and life has little importance in the world compared to theme, dragons are the ultimate mythical creature of all time. They represent knowledge, time, magic, respect and power. The dragon are used so often because the dragon can be almost anything you want, most mythical creatures have a static history and attributes that can’t be changed but that is not the case with dragons they can be exactly as the creator of the myth wants it to be. And there for the can fit any heroes journey. 4. Fictional Jedi must undergo symbolic "trials" at the end of their training. At TOTJO we don't follow this practice. What trials to TOTJO Jedi face? Think of the benefits for the hero of the road of trials - self-awareness, confidence, early victories. As I responded in the previous post, almost everything can be a trail it is just a matter of perspective. Every time I learn something new it is challenging what I already think I know, and that itself can be a trail. As I learn more and more, I learn that I really don’t know all the things I think I do know. It is like if I have ten questions and the new answer to that gives me ten new questions for each answer, so it is like a pyramid that is only growing the older I get and the more I think I know, and that is what self-awareness means to me. Confidence, what is that? Is it to be the best? No it is to know my limitations and the know when I need to pause and take a step back to either learn more so the trail can be fulfilled, or let it overcome me. To know one self that is confidence. As a social worker I get to learn a lot of theory’s about the human behavior and one of these theories are that we are controlled by the impulses we get when we do something. Like if I get hurt when I am touching something hot I won’t touch it again. If I do something and I fail, I feel bad and that will lessen the chance for me to try it again but if I succeed the chances improve that I will try again. So yes I think that it is important to have early victory’s to make the journey a positive one from the early beginning. But as a Jedi I train myself to not be influenced by the negative thoughts of failures. So there for whether I succeed or fail should not matter. If I succeed great I know that I can do that, but if I fail I know that I have to try something else and learn from the failure. And it is the learning that is important.
    • What is TOTJO? (Last post by RyuJin)
    • A symbol....hmmm...I have a modified jedi symbol tattooed on my left forearm plain as day...when someone asks I tell them...my actions tell them more...which is the real symbol?....a picture is worth a thousand words, actions speak louder than words....both are symbols, one has more power than the other...a picture should be a symbol to yourself, your actions should be a symbol to others
    • Discussion 5 - The Belly of the Whale (Last post by AlexanderJ.W)
    • 1. Think of times of despair or darkness in your own life. Were they preceded by new decisions or choices? What was the lasting impact of these hardships? Try and think of both negative and positive things. I’ll start with a positive one, moving from my home County to study to be a social worker, at first it was terrifying but I knew that it was necessary for me to move from my family and current friends to become happy and healthy. And now after only two months moved here in late of august. I feel at peace with my choice and I feel happy. The lasting impact on this is that I should not try to fit in for someone else or adept myself so that they can “use” me as they like. But to be the one I want to be and I will get friends and a family that loves me for who I am, and not for what they want me to be. My last relationship which I mentioned in the previous post was long and we got together at a very young age we were only fifteen and the relationship ended around this time last year when I was twenty tree. That is more than a third of my lifetime so far, as I also mentioned in my last post. I don’t mean that the whole relationship was a dark time in my life but the last year was really bad. And when we ended it I didn’t know who I was or how to be my own person I had no real identity, I was a part of us who didn’t know anything else except being with her. So I had to find myself again, and that lead me to pursue my sleeping dream of being a social worker. 2. Think about the way you made your way out of those periods of despair or darkness. Was it easy? When you finally made it out, how did you feel about the hardships you endured? Were they necessary? How does it make you feel to remember them? Since I still am in the belly of the beast of the first one, I can only say that it feels awesome, it gives me an energy I didn't have before. We struggled for almost one and a half year before I finally decided that I had to leave her. We have talked about it afterwards and we both agree that we should have ended it sooner if we could. I felt trapped in someone I wasn't any more but couldn't leave the safety of the relationship. The separation was not painful because I somewhere knew in myself that it wasn't right anymore but of course I felt horrible. And yes the hardship was necessary it taught me many things of myself and how the current friends saw me. I remember the relationship with happiness we shared many great things which I will never forget, but I do miss her in some kind of strange way, and without her I wouldn’t have made it out of the other things that were going on in my life so I am grateful to her and our time together. 3. Listen to this song:(link to lyrics) Why do you think Bruce Springsteen wrote the song "Swallowed Up (In The Belly of a Whale)"? Does the song make you feel like you are still near the start of an adventure? What about the character in the song. Does he seem heroic? Has he been able to achieve great things? Consider what this means for heroes. How do you think their adventure looks when they are in the belly of the whale? For me when I listen to music I convince myself that the artist is trying to share something personal with me so I think that Bruce Springsteen felt like he was in the belly of the beast. Like he was in a place with no hope. This song makes me feel like the hero has given up in someone and doesn't trust in his own skills. I feel that this is the point when it is decided if he is a hero or not it is not until after this stage of the monomyth I can call him hero or not. A man is not a hero until his skills are tested so that he can overcome the darkness to prove himself as a hero. So I can’t say if he has done great things in his past life. It is not the past that is relevant it is the present is he a hero or not? Since I can’t see the future I don’t know, but if I have to answer with a yes or no I would say yes. All men are heroes in their own way at all times. I respond the last question with the same answer as the previous one. This is the point to prove oneself. That is the meaning of the belly of the beast. 4. At TOTJO we don't have a symbolic "dark space" unlike many other religious temples. Why do you think that is? Do we lack something by not having it? Do you feel there is value in this kind of "darkness ritual" during initiation? No we don’t lack anything, because as I see it the force which we believe in is nether god or bad it just is. The force is everything so there can be no dark place. There exists no “dark” or “light” it is just a theory so that humanity have something to grasp of what is right or wrong from there point of view. No because it is not about accomplish something for the Temple it is about growing as a human. I don’t see a value in a dark ritual because what others believe or think of me is not what matters it is what I feel and who I am to myself that matters.
    • Harmonizing with the Force (Last post by taidavrikaurvan)
    • This is a recent write up of a lesson I did with my Master Phoenix the other day in relation to my training in energy work. The article is based on the concept of manipulation of the Force and I would love to see what you think of it. Harmonizing with the Force A Jedi strives to live in harmony with the Force, become part of the flow of the Force. Manipulation of the Force is a conversation often discussed within the communities. Manipulation of energy to achieve some goal such as moving a rock or cup is something at one point I think we all have desired to do. Force powers or ability has crossed the minds of many Jedi especially in the early stages of training. The manipulation part is important as it contradicts that of the Jedi ultimate goal. Manipulating is that of controlling something and I would not say that controlling the Force is something that does not line up with the main goal which is harmony. The Force is the foundation on which a Jedi is built and to be in harmony with the Force is a key element in training. Manipulation of the Force or at least the way in which we see it does not line up. To have a need to manipulate something suggests that the manipulator is separate from the object. When we are working with the self there is an element of control over how we can shape ourselves. We do not manipulate ourselves because it is us and so we have that level of control. When you expand your awareness your personal Force comes into contact with other personal Forces of other beings, and as that movement goes inward you feel the connection of it all through the unifying Force. That the all is actually within the self, the connection to the all is within. That unifying feeling in the moment is you connecting to all things, becoming one with all things. This is my understanding of oneness. When you connect with the all you do not need to actively move it around you simply flow with it. The Force is everything and to be in harmony with the Force is to be in harmony with the all. The Force is like a flowing stream, it does not try to move the rocks or try to change the direction of the flow. The water just flows through and around without any resistance to the path. The Force is no different to this. To be in harmony with the Force is to be the water, not to force the water to flow or to change the flow but rather become part of it. When you become a part of it or one with it you don’t need to manipulate it because it is a part of you. It becomes an extension of yourself and so that unification brings forth harmony. You are no longer separate things or perceiving it as separate things. When you try to manipulate the rock you separate yourself from it and so you cannot move it. To move the rock it must become a part of you. It is like that scene in the matrix with the spoon. It is not the spoon that bends it is only yourself. It is not the rock that moves it is only yourself. When you come into harmony with the all and you become the flow, you can move yourself and thus the rock could move. When doing energy work the goal is not to control the object but rather to become one with it. To feel the Force within it and connect, harmonize with it. This is the nature of what I feel it means to be a Jedi. To harmonize with the Force, connect with it and become one with it. The goal of many Jedi is harmony and that is portrayed not just in the teachings of Jedi but in the Jedi code its self. There is no chaos there is harmony. By trying to manipulate something you break the connection with it and in doing so you also break the harmonization. To work with the Force you must become that which you wish to move so to speak. You must become the flow of the Force and let the nature of the flow be the guide.
    • Further Religious Structure (Last post by Akkarin)
    • Quote: Quote: Most people here tend to enjoy the looseness of the doctrine, and if it were more specific then it would, as has already been mentioned, cut some people out. That said, one of the joys of the way this faith is currently structured is that if you (as an individual) want it more strict or more cohesive or more whatever for you, it can be. You just can't expect everyone else to follow along with it, because it won't suit everyone. Yes I agree exactly :)
    • Discussion 4 - Crossing The Threshold (Last post by AlexanderJ.W)
    • 1. Consider the phrase "Point of no return". Say it aloud. How does it make you feel? Have you ever had to make a decision in your life which caused you to feel you were crossing a "point of no return"? Point of no return feels like a challenge. Something that I believe is to make the hero uneasy, but I feel curious and become even more determined to prove myself and to push myself over my own expectations. When I broke up with my girlfriend after eight years together, I felt like I was crossing a point of no return. I knew that even if I love her we can never be together again, and it was terrifying being alone since we had been together for a bit over a third of my life time, so I didn't know who I was or how to behave. 2. A key aspect of this stage is the hero stepping outside of their ordinary culture, and into a different world, with different rules. Describe the biggest "culture shock" you've ever experienced. What was so strange about it? How did it make you feel? My parents are separated since I was about five years old and the two of them have very different types of life styles and cultures. My mother is a social worker and is what I would call a middle class woman, when my father on the other hand is a professional golf trainer and his own business and is doing quite well. In the company of my father’s friends and visiting is work I feel like I don’t belong, like an outsider. So since my childhood has been pending between these to “cultures” I feel like I am pretty tolerant in the face of different cultures. And try to add there point of view to mine instead of replace it with my old one or to adapt to it. Because I think that it is in seeing things from different views that can make one understand. 3. Read this article on homeostasis in the human body. (web.archive.org/web/20141006124710/http:.../what-is-homeostasis) This is a picture of a certain system. It describes 6 elements which must be controlled. Pick any one of these elements. What do you think would happen if this element was halved? What about if the same element was doubled? How would that affect the system? If possible, please relate your answers to the idea of homeostasis in the Hero's Journey, described in this topic. My choice of element is easy I am a diabetic so I could ramble on forever about what happens to the body and how it feels and such if the sugar is doubled or halved, but I won’t because that would be boring for you to read, but if you have any questions about diabetics or you just want to talk about it, feel free to contact me. I love discussing it with others. To give a simple and quick answer you would die. And that goes for all the elements there has to be a balance to sustain life. And I think that goes for the point of no return as well if the hero are too attached to the stage of the monomyth that hero is in right now he might make excuses no to leave. And if he is to eager to leave he might miss the value of the point of no return and the stage of monomyth that he is currently in. 4. There are a number of thresholds at TOTJO. An obvious one is joining the Temple and making your first post. Describe your experience of starting out here. How did you feel? What were you major concerns? Can you think of further thresholds here at TOTJO? It felt like I found people who had the same idea of thinking, beliefs of the force and the same tolerance towards other people and curiosity. It felt like I found something that was missing in my life and it doesn't go a day without me thinking of our order and the meaning of it and what it has done to me as a human being. When I did my application to join as a guest I was lyrical. I had so high hopes of what I had found and my expectations were very high and the Temple lived up to theme times ten, and has taught me things I didn't thought was possible. As for further thresholds I believe that completing the initiation program is also an obvious one, and so is all the different rankings in the Temple are thresholds. But I also believe that it is in all the things we learn in every sermons that make me think of things in a different way that is testing my beliefs and reasoning how things work. And in all the lessons and all the other members of the temple. They become a threshold because they define who I am by questioning what I think and makes me think of myself and how I think over and over again.
    • Workout Check-In Thread (Last post by Exarchias)
    • 15 x 3 x (2 hands) 3 kg Biceps 15 x 3 Push ups 15 x 3 Sit ups 15 x 3 crunches 15 x 3 air squats 15 x 3 Push ups 15 x 3 x (2 hands) 3 kg Biceps

There are 243 visitors, 10 guests and 25 members online (one is in chat): Akkarin, Br. John, Zanthan Storm, steamboat28, Shadouness, ren, Adhara, Proteus, Alexandre Orion, Rosalyn J, Llama Su, Archon, Kamizu, Silvermane, tzb, Zenchi, Pyrus Erath, benedictveritas, SeventhSL, Quae-Do Lumen, Tarran, Mos-An Hobel, Puerh, dhaughewald, wisehunter, Cozzy, Barry_, Ja1979, Andrew Miller, Jumanji, kikikinjoe.

Follow Us