some thoughts on patience and perception
I've been doing a lot of listening lately, and taking the time to read the commentaries, from the moderate and thoughtful to the aggressively pugnacious. I've also read through the address by +Anis of Jerusalem and the Middle East, delivered to our House of Bishops. I have a few observations to make.
- Patience is best called for by those who are themselves patient. It is a behavior better modeled than exhorted.
- One is at least as much responsible for ones own perceptions, and what one does with them, as the stimulus that gave rise to them. If the stimulus is an indirect or third-hand report, examination of evidence is a helpful step in forming an opinion.
- People should listen to the perceptions of others, but not necessarily believe them to be objective, unless the others have shown themselves to be objective in other ways, or can offer independent objective evidence for their conclusions.
- However, one can learn even from ill-informed criticism. The Episcopal Church has been given ample opportunity to do so.
- Thus, caricature serves a function less refined than portraiture, but of some service in helping one to be aware of the features to which others may give undue prominence.