Wisdom cries out in the street;
in the squares she raises her voice. (Prov 1:20)
Like me, you might feel that Wisdom will need to be pretty loud to get attention at the moment. Sadly, Fear & Ignorance seem to be dominant voices in the public arena. If we pursue the metaphor, ‘What is Wisdom saying?’ and ‘Who is listening?’ In the tradition, Wisdom is another name for the Holy Spirit, who according to the Gospel of John will guide us ‘into all the truth’ (John 16:13). This truth is about the fullness of life, love and community to which God calls us all. Listening would need to be attentive, prayerful and shut out the voices that lead us away from our full lives in community.
A principal role we can play with young people is to talk about current events from a faith viewpoint. We need to resist the urge to talk politics. Rather, we need to explore right and wrong, as well as compassion, mercy and forgiveness. And, importantly, what decisions will lead our community to a fullness of life and love. Not easy, but important!
Have a great week!
Hear, my child, your father’s instruction,
and do not reject your mother’s teaching; (Prov 1:8)
This quote from the Jewish wisdom literature is really another way of expressing the commandment ‘honour your father and mother’. For this to be written, it meant that it was not always practiced! As such, it shows we parents that there is ‘nothing new under the sun’. It also indicates that despite any rejection we may receive, we have a duty to share the wisdom born of our experience. How it is received is another matter, since there will always be a difference in worldview between the young and not-so-young.
As teachers and parents, we need to remind the young people in our care that those who have lived more years than them may well have something to share with and help them. We also need to remember not to be too pushy or insistent for fear of pushing them away. Also to remember that this dialogue happens in the context of ’the dance’ – the struggle of young people to assert their individuality. Finally, we must not fall into the trap of ‘being right’ – rather to share our wisdom in love.
Have a great week!