I am a news junkie: I read two papers online each day, listen to several podcasts each week, read
multiple articles on Twitter... you get the picture. Yet I have noticed that I found daily anger building as I continued to note the deep divides in our country, and recognize the abysmal ways we talk about and treat one another. Rohr has coached me in how to self-regulate and move in a healthier direction:
The Jewish scholar, Martin Buber (1878-1965, pictured here), said that the modern world has mostly entered into an I-it relationship with reality, when we were in fact created for a constant I-Thou relationship. The I-Thou relationship is an attitude of reverence and mutuality in which we encounter people, things, and events as subject to subject, knowing and being known, giving and receiving, taking insofar as we can also surrender. In this fully mature state, those in I-Thou relationships refuse to objectify anything or anyone, but always allow things and people to be a fellow subject—even those they might dislike.
I like this for a multitude of reasons, but especially because it captures the essence of what I want to spend the rest of my life doing: assisting people in understanding how to live transformationally, not transactionally.
HOW to do that requires far more than a blog post or twenty. If you want to explore this further, I would strongly recommend Rohr's book to you titled Falling Upward. I also really value a book by Parker Palmer titled Let Your Life Speak.
Can we all try to commit to pursuing I-Thou relationships, be they casual or deep, at work or at home and especially online? This is not a quick fix, I know. But I invite you to consider how you might slow down and engage, seeking to understand before being understood.
P.S. Perhaps this is an addendum, but I'm intrigued by an article I read today in the Washington Post regarding smartphone addiction and how there are actually new apps emerging to help us regulate our usage. That seems a bit ironic, but is probably the best way to address the problem!