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Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Reflections: Dana Burgess

Many of those dispensing advice (welcome or not) to college graduates this year are likely to address the economic downturn. Your job or career will consume much of your energy for the next 45 years or so, but I would like to invite graduates to think about other challenges.

Be conscious of how you think. When you get all caught up in what you are doing, make sure you sometimes step back from it and think about how you think about what you are doing. Beware of getting so immersed in your activities that you deny yourself perspective on what you are doing.

Listen carefully to someone who tells you that you are full of crap.   Maybe that person is wrong, but maybe not. Suspend judgement long enough to figure out that person’s reasoning.

Just as you should be slow to dismiss another’s challenge to your worldview, so should you be slow to accept someone’s approval of it. Praise may be even more dangerous than blame, if it prevents you from understanding how you think.   It isn’t easy to make time for genuine reflection. You may need to formalize that activity, if it doesn’t come naturally to you.

Art provides exactly the new perspective you need. It lets you see afresh what you may have erroneously thought you already understood. You don’t need to be rich to make sure that you regularly expose yourself to art. When you travel to a new city, stop by the museum to see the Manet. When you have a boring wait in an airport, try to read Balzac rather than Danielle Steele.
Don’t limit yourself to what you already like. If you find opera boring, but you get invited to the opera, go anyway! Try to figure out why folks like it. If you reconfirm your prejudices, you will have learned about your prejudices. If you don’t, you will have acquired a new perspective.

Have real conversations. We usually talk to one another about trivia or personal experience. It’s fine to ask about your friend’s weekend and to have an opportunity to tell about your own, but try to have some real conversations now and then.   Ask your friend when it is better to work for social justice and when it is better to work for your own advantage. Don’t just say that you liked this movie better than that movie because this one has a more attractive actor. Try to discuss what actually makes this movie better than that. When the Jehovah’s Witnesses knock on the door, explain your own concepts of God and try to understand theirs! Accept any opportunity to have a real conversation.

Finally and most importantly, love!   You may spend some hours during young adulthood worrying that you aren’t being loved enough (or, perhaps, that you aren’t getting laid enough).   Such worry, though natural, doesn’t get you out of yourself.   If you pay attention to art, or if you engage in real conversation, you are getting a new perspective; you are growing.

If you are merely being loved, you may not be getting a new perspective and you may not be growing. But if you, yourself, do the loving, you are sure to get a new perspective, for you will be striving to understand the perspective of your beloved.

So try not to worry too much about being loved, and try to pay attention to loving. The being-loved will flow from the loving, as the Beatles remarked: “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”

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  • M

    marilynMay 20, 2009 at 9:39 am

    Thank you Dana for the VERY UPBUILDING article. More people should apply it. Until God does something about it there will always be people who won’t. Example is in the comments.

  • J

    Julie SinclairMay 20, 2009 at 12:09 am

    Shawn Holland – is in major denial of what he is taught by the JW governing body. Doesn’t have a clue about the real reasons why things have been established within the Watchtower organization.

    Google-Jehovah Witness Watchtower

  • J

    JosephMay 19, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    You Jehovah’s Witnesses need to rethink and retool the 1914 thing,because it is a false date and false prophecy that spoils your credibility.

    Ridiculing the messengers isn’t the answer.

  • B

    bluesmanMay 19, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    Nice observations and advice. I agree with dealing the part about Jehovah’s Witnesses. If I have time I talk to them. I find them to be facinating, well read and honest. Such a great metaphor on facing life openly.

    Thanks for your good words here.

  • D

    Denis LussierMay 19, 2009 at 9:36 am

    Danny Haszard on May 18th, 2009 2:10 pm
    In some 33 years,

    (Acts 1:6)  When, now, they had assembled, they went asking him: “Lord, are you restoring the kingdom to Israel at this time?” Error!!
    They ( apostles ) had tried to obscure this failed prophecy!!

    …proclaims Jesus second coming in October 1914.
    They sometimes try to obscure this failed prophecy (They d’nt want to say to the entire world) (…If they want to obscure this prophecy of the “most important” (1) So, where did you gather the informations that they want obscucir (so that nobody knows the most important prophety). And, by extension, (2) what are clues that prove that Jesus is present invisibly in his kingdom in heaven as King of kings and Lord of lords?! surely they want no more talk of these proofs are, they want to stifle), and say that he came ‘invisibly’.
    Yes, all other Christains are awaiting Jesus return,the JW say he ALREADY came back in 1914 and is only working through their Watchtower society,
    “Danny Haszard”. you beleive what?
    1-awaiting Jesus return?
    2-ALREADY came back?
    3-or, never mind, nothing is thrue?
    4-The pope is infallible, never he will make a mistake. Jésus is in the heart of every one, yesterday, now, and tomorrow.

    Jésus said: (Mark 13:35-37) 35 Therefore keep on the watch, for YOU do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether late in the day or at midnight or at cockcrowing or early in the morning; 36 in order that when he arrives suddenly, he does not find YOU sleeping. 37 But what I say to YOU I say to all, Keep on the watch.”

    Mr. Danny Haszard,
    1- Are you driven to build or destroy the faith?
    Faith? What faith? Faith based on the word of the Pope?

    2- Excuse my english and my composition

  • S

    Shawn HollandMay 19, 2009 at 8:57 am

    Haszard, you comment made no sense.

    Jehovah’s Witnesses are Christians because they have looked to the prophesy of the last days.

    1914 is not a failed prophesy. He did become king in 1914. It was not a ‘coming’, but an enthroning.

    Yes, he is working through all of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

  • D

    Danny HaszardMay 18, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    I applaud your blog!

    The big difference between Jehovah’s Witnesses and Christians is that the Watchtower Society’s central core creed proclaims Jesus second coming in October 1914.

    They sometimes try to obscure this failed prophecy,and say that he came ‘invisibly’.Yes,all other Christains are awaiting Jesus return,the JW say he ALREADY came back in 1914 and is only working through their Watchtower society.