POEM: Somewhat Religious

Priscilla was born into a very home
She was conceived in a somewhat less car

This very short, little poem gets at several aspects of religiosity.  First, sometimes people who are “ex” anything are the most harsh and self-righteous — whether it be ex-smokers, ex-drinkers, ex-sinners, or what have you.  Of course, ex-sinners often specialize in recovery (or penance) from a particular sin or type of sin.  Unfortunately, a zealous focus on one area of shortcoming can foster a blindness to other areas of shortcoming.  This imbalance or is often much more obvious to others than the person experiencing it.  One interesting saying regarding the difference between and is this: people want to avoid ; people have been to and don’t want to go back.  This poem points to another aspect, that is, religiosity can become particularly dangerous when it’s zeal to help others avoid a that they have already experienced overshadows their own growth and concerning their own shortcomings in other areas.  This blindness and lack of to another’s current , even though it’s part of one’s past , typically doesn’t well to someone currently experiencing what may or may not be perceived as a problem.

This poem specifically addresses a parent-child relationship.  Parents often paint a prettier picture of their own past behavior to their .  This poem directly addresses this thorny issue.  I suspect that fostering a certain confidence in a child’s positive view of their parents is commendable.  Nonetheless, at some point in a child’s development, they need to see that their parents sometimes dealt with issues in less than ideal ways and still turned out OK, or perhaps have to deal with enduring harm.   Keeping it real, or , is an important characteristic to model for (and others).  While there may be developmental issues that warrant avoiding too much information, are rather adept at detecting phoniness.  What child has traversed through adolescence without having to seriously confront the of adults, parents included?

Hopefully, our pasts, with all of their shortcomings, provide valuable raw material to practice with ourselves and others.

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