Saturday, April 29, 2017
Being versus Doing
In our present culture, we are considered valuable by what we do. We search for what will make us more employable which makes for a stressful growing up period. Korea is a showcase for this thinking. Our worth in our society is what we do. As Catholics, we know that a Saint is not considered one because of what he or she did but in the way they did it.
We are valuable because of who we are and not by what we do. When we are what we are supposed to be we will do what is needed. St. Catherine of Siena said it beautifully: "Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire."
Function is all important in much of the world culture and sadly has infected all of our thinking and doing. In the Scriptures, the story of Martha and Mary is a good example of a Christian's understanding of the dilemma that is faced in the lives of many.
A College professor writing in a diocesan bulletin gives us a meditation on the conflict that parents face in educating children. There are two kinds of parents. One teaches the children what they should do and the other the way they should do it.There is wisdom in both approaches.
Both are important the what and the how. The professor stresses the order is the most important. The one you put first will decide the way the child will live.
When you grow up what do you want to be? This is asking the child to look only at one area and we have the push from behind. When you grow up what kind of person do you want to be? With this kind of question, you are showing the child that he is not alone in the world.
When you ask what do you want to be the child will continue to compare with others, be in competition, and be stressed. Whether he achieves it or not will be the sign of his or her success or failure.
What kind of person do you want to be has a different result. The child will examine his life and find joy and satisfaction in the search towards the milestone he has set. God is more interested in how we do something rather than the what we do.
Also, the child who understands this will find satisfaction in whatever they do. When the what is put in second place and the how in first place, they will be more interested in being all that God wants them to be.