Pointing at the bulletin letter's date (link) at left will display it's title.
February 24, 2008
Do We Conform Too Easily?
There was an essay in the America Magazine this past week which was very pertinent to our modern day experience. The essay began by telling a story of a fine, upstanding young man who went to a tailor to have a suit made. As the story progressed it was clear to see that the tailor was not worth his salt. He made some serious mistakes both in sizing and in the cutting of the cloth. The poor young man was presented with a suit that was tight and disproportionate to his body with one sleeve too long and one pant leg shorter than the other. When the young man asked about these problems he was told that there was no problem. All the young man had to do was to adjust himself to the situation. Since he didn’t want to cause any problem he agreed to do this and went on his way looking as though he was a cripple
Unfortunately there are many instances in our lives when similar things happen to us. Usually the problems affect our physical and emotional health and very often it affects our spiritual health. The major problem is that we do not have the courage or perhaps the energy to confront the problem head on. We do not want to rock the boat. We allow the people or the situation to control us.
Margaret Silf, the author of the essay mentioned above, tells of a woman who suffered from spine malformation and rather than take the road less traveled she chose to ignore her physical problem and concentrated on the intellectual and the spiritual. Finally she reached a point where she could no longer ignore the problem. By that time her work of rectifying the situation was much harder and a great deal more painful. However, she decided that it had to be done and she did it.
Silf uses the story of the tailor and her friend with the deformed spine to lead us to the idea that we live in a world with a “crooked spine”. Over the centuries we have seen the world become more and more deformed. Our tendencies toward greed, materialism, prestige and power have shaped the world into a monster we would rather not live with. However, we do not know what to do to rectify the problem.
Obviously we are not all personally or totally responsible for the distortion in the world we nevertheless have the power to make choices in our lives. It is sad to say but we have adjusted all to easily to the distortion. Rather than struggle to fix the situation we prefer to take the easy way out. We have malfunctions in every area of our lives including our government, our workplace our family relationships and yes, our religious systems.
Perhaps the season of Lent would be a great time to ask ourselves some questions that would lead us toward a healing world. Am I feeling uncomfortable with the way things are in me and around me? Could it be because I am struggling to make myself conform to something that is not true either to myself or to God? If so, am I going to keep on forcing myself into this bad suit, until I cannot walk straight any more? Or will I fire the tailor?(M.Silf)
Lorette P. Nault