Just Life

Choose | July 2021.

This month’s check-in with my OLW might seem like a bit of a sharp turn from previous months. (it did to me at first.) I honestly didn’t even see the connection with Choose when I listened to the first season of this podcast last October. but Season 2 started this month and the connection seems clear … in an unexpected way.

Here’s the “jacket copy” for the podcast:

“How do we transform and transcend our biases? From judgments made unconsciously to complacency in systemic evil, we must learn how to see if we are to learn how to transform. Center for Action and Contemplation faculty member Brian McLaren hosts the podcast series Learning How to See. Listen and discover how seeing is social, political, and contemplative.”

(links added by me, all to the cac.org website)

When I listened to the first season, last October – oh my goodness (I’m actually surprised I can’t find any reference to it here on the blog because it was a big “thing” for me that month when I discovered it and I’ve been thinking about it ever since) – so many things fell into place. I found space for grace (not just “and”) through the conversations in those six episodes. I also had a crash course in Biases. Some of what I learned wasn’t new, but the framing in a contemplative context was. It felt fresh, and oh-so-very-relevant.

Season 2 is airing now. and it’s the super practical application piece to the first season’s theory. Brian McLaren sets it up like this:

“In this season, we want to turn our desire to see into prayer, into something we feel in our bones and bodies, something we desire so deeply that our hearts are stretched and deepened.”

and he has three new co-hosts, who are all (I’d guess) 20-30-something, with much different life stories than his … or mine.

I listened to the first four episodes (all that are out as of today) in the past week and it was on episode 2 that it clicked for me.

Bias is when I make choices (actual choices, or maybe just judgments, or worse) that I didn’t consciously choose.

and that realization rocked me. to the core.

As the podcast team explores each bias, they offer a prayer. These lines from that second episode, talking about community bias, are what made me decide to this would be my reflection for the month:

“Inspirer of holy boldness and humble bravery-
… give me the humility to learn from my community-
… along with the courage to differ graciously from my community …”

May it be so.

With much gratitude to Carolyn to hosting our monthly meet-up and to all of you for being part of my community. Thank you!

10 Comments

  • Sarah

    Wow, that’s a way of thinking of bias that would never have occurred to me! It’s interesting to think of choice as something that can be unconscious.

  • Kat

    What a lovely, lovely update on your word, Mary! I did not know about this podcast… thank you so much for sharing.

  • Carole

    I’m not familiar with this podcast and I’m also not sure I have time to add another one to my life, but it definitely sounds excellent.

  • Katie @ The Cozy Burrow

    This podcast is new to me but it sounds powerful. Those unconscious choices are the really hard ones to catch… and it’s paralyzing to think about how many choices we have in a day! It’s especially eye-opening to think about our core beliefs and values as choices.

    Thank you for this post — I’ll be thinking about it for quite a while!

  • Jane

    “The courage to differ graciously with my community.” Such wisdom. I struggle mightily with this action. In fact, I was just discussing this with a good friend. How do I differ with an opinion or statement without putting down the person who made the statement?