Whats Really Good Essay
Whats Really Good
(1) (a) One passage from Nouwen I found particularly informative to my learning was from the middle of paragraph one of page 103. Nouwen explains, “Poverty is the inner disposition that allows us to take away our defenses and convert our enemies into friends. We can only perceive the stranger as an enemy as long as we have something to defend.” Here Nouwen is explaining that a reason for hostility is because we are afraid that others will take away what we have.
This can be anything to actual tangent property, or our beliefs of what we are, such as the thought that we are the best math student. We are hesitant to help another student out because we are afraid they may threaten our belief that we are the best student. Nouwen is saying that if we become poor, as in overcome our fear of losing something, we can become great hosts of hospitality. If we are willing to give up everything we have, no longer will strangers become threats. It becomes easier to give and create an open space for our guest to be themselves, once we have invited in poverty and faced the fear of loss. Moving from hostility to hospitality is a major theme of Nouwen’s book.
(b) A Christine doctrine implicit in this passage is the doctrine of original sin. Unfortunately, we all believe we can create our own reality and exist as a God in our own right. As a result of this belief we fail to recognize the dignity and commonality in all beings. Our original sin causes us to shun others out believing that we do not need them and can manage sufficiently in isolation. In reality this hurts both ourselves and others from not realizing our interdependent nature. (c) After reading this passage I began to realize how often I do this to other people.
I recognized that at times out of selfishness and fear of losing everything I have worked so hard for I view other people as opponents, not as people who inherently deserve respect for being created in the image of God. I then started to ponder how I have felt or would feel if I was viewed by a stranger as enemy for no apparent reason. I discovered how horrible it is that we hold our things and beliefs over the worth and well being of or fellow individuals.
It seems so foolish that we would through this. And from this recognition I realized how the marginalized can be used to promote change and growth within myself and others. (2) Loneliness, the longing for deep connection, perfect love and inner peace does give rise to illusion. Nouwen, illustrates, “It is sad to see how sometimes people suffering from loneliness, often deepened by the lack of affection in their intimate family circle, search for a final solution for their pains and look at a new friend, a new lover, or a new community with Messianic expectations” (Page 30, Par 2). Here is becomes apparent that when people are suffering from loneliness
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 30 January 2017
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