I try to intentionally learn one new thing every day. I started this practice during Lent a few years back when I decided to take up something rather than give up something for the Lenten season. At first, I had a set time for learning my one new thing, but over the years, it has evolved, and the learning is more organic.
My learning experience as we entered this Lenten season was like landing a plane on the ocean.
My work and intentions were questioned, and in a not-so-nice way. So that I can tell you what I learned—I’ll just say it involved a blog I wrote five years ago that was re-posted for #flashbackfriday on Facebook and received some negative comments.
Here’s what I knew and what I learned:
I knew opposing opinions help you to formulate a stronger resolve for your argument. Always, check your facts and be confident in your work. I love a good debate, and you can’t please everybody.
I learned that debating in cyberspace is a lost cause.
I knew that no matter how good your intentions are, there is always a chance that they will be misinterpreted. Whenever my intentions are questioned, I remember a line from the movie The Joy Luck Club—“This feather may look worthless, but it comes from afar and carries all my good intentions.” When it’s work related, I recite the purpose statement over and over. That statement is the “afar” place that carries all my good intentions in my work with women.
I learned that it is never a win to jump in and mix it up with responders who are not seeking conversation. Thank you, Terri.
The first time I heard the purpose statement of Women of the ELCA, I knew the organization was on to something. And, with this recent experience, I have learned that some will always see her (the organization) as she was and not who she is today. And that’s OK. I also learned that she has done great things and there is much more to do.
Ultimately, I learned that I cannot always determine the source of or the way the one new learning experience will find me. And, most often that learning experience doesn’t come full circle in one day.
My hope is this Lenten season will bring new learnings for us all.
Valora K Starr is director for discipleship for Women of the ELCA.
Photo: Preparing for Lutheran World Relief quilt and kit distribution project at Elimaa School in Kwa Morombo, Arusha, Tanzania, 2015. Photo by Eva J Yeo
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