Friday, 8 January 2010
What have these people got in common?
People I admire - Read on!
Following on from my post on what education is for, and a number of blogs I read on priesthood (which I can't now find!) I started mulling over what being a priest is about. Right now my working definition is to become the kind of person that I described in my education post, and to help and
encourage others to do the same. This might seem a long way from the Gospel, but I believe that that is what Jesus was doing (as a long aside I was interested to read that the originator of WWJD was using it to stimulate social action, and the book which told me that suggests that it should only be used for yourself - not others - see left).
This then set me thinking about the "Undefended Leader" (also for sale from here) a book that was highly recommended during some training. This in turn set me thinking about politicians I have admired, not necessarily for their politics, but for their approach. Interestingly they are all from the extremes: Enoch Powell, Michael Foot, and Tony Benn. I think that what I admired about all of them is that they were prepared to speak their mind - regardless of who it upset. They also showed some ability to change their mind, with at least two of them showing changes in political views over the life. This ability to speak your mind seems to be something that today's politicians have lost, and I suspect that this prevents those who would speak their mind from entering politics - a great shame to my mind.
This is also a quality that I think is shown by some of the other people I admire: Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Muhammad Ali, all of whom stood for what they believed and suffered in one way or another.
As I was mulling all this over I read todays excerpt from "Insights for the Ages" (it changes daily, so won't be there later): "Adulthood is a matter of being completely open to the insights that come to us from our superiors and our spouses, our children and our friends, so that we can become more than we can even begin to imagine for ourselves."
I can't remember where I found it, but there is a quote along the lines that if Jesus were us he would be the best us we could be - not someone else. I think that for all of us our calling is to be the best us we can be. And I can think of no higher calling that to do that and to try to help others to do the same.