Choose an identity that has been alive for you recently...What has been good about that identity? What's been hard about it? What is something you'd like us to know/remember about that identity in your life?
Thanks to Toniann Read, the Director of Ministry with Children and Youth at UU Metro Atlanta North, for sharing the above questions, which they use as a check-in at their monthly RE Council meetings.
I have a hard time with such questions as check-ins--or any check-in process, really, if the participants are not prepared to delay the business of the meeting when something deep comes up in check-in. The business of being human is sometimes more important than getting through an agenda.
That said, I think Toniann's questions could be entrances into vital conversations.
Being a son has been good recently in that my parents email and call me regularly, and let me know they love me. It has been difficult recently in that my mother would like to retire sometime soon, but she cannot afford to do so. I worry about her future--and my inability to do much to help her. I know there are many adults in the same circumstance.
Being a white male was good this last weekend, when the police officer gave me a ticket for doing 60 in a 55 zone--and I was actually doing 70. Had I been a minority, I might have been given a more expensive sentence (or worse). It's been hard to see people who look like me spouting their intolerance and hate all over the TV and radio waves.
Being a fan of the Ohio State University football team has been good recently because they are living into their #2 ranking, and because it provided an entry into several nice conversations with other college football fans, while on vacation this last weekend. It has been hard because it has created a difference, a distinction between people, in several other conversations. Though in many ways it is a meaningless difference, it still demonstrates a difference, when it would have been preferable to underscore our common humanity. I want to remember to choose my head gear more carefully, even in the rain.