The practice of vulnerability
I am hopeful as I watch other people practice qualities and skills that allow others to experience them as people of “character”. This helps me keep practicing too. How in the world could we keep the faith and keep practicing transformational recovery if we don’t have people in our world who show us the way?
Community is where one learns virtues…Virtues are chosen because they are good. Community is where we learn what is worth choosing. Virtues are practices, practices formed by community, modeled in community, and taught by community, that express what is good, right, and worthy. Virtues are habits, and what we do habitually, naturally, without pretense reveals our character. Virtues are those qualities and skills that link together to form the structures of character; “they are characteristic of a person.” (Dissident Discipleship by David Augsburger, 2006, p.73)
I am a more decent human being because of some of the people I hang out with. There’s just something about watching gentleness practiced that inspires me to try for more of that in my life. I cannot figure that out by reading a book or taking a class.
I am hopeful when I watch others show up with their authentic selves and kind of just let the chips fall where they may. This requires a lot of trust, but it provides an amazing experience with grace.
I’ve learned how to be more honest about myself as I have watched how others are compassionate in their dealings with others who also struggle, like me. I think to myself, “Wow. No one is getting all judgmental and harsh with THEM, maybe it’s ok for me to tell the truth about my own defects.”
I find this far more hopeful than self-improvement projects that often end in despair.
What are some virtues that you see others practice? How can you imitate them today? What virtues do you practice that might help your own community find hope?