I agree that "The focus shifts to the product rather than the person" in most occasions. An exception is the Saint Nicolas celebration we have in the Netherlands. Or at least the way we do it in my family: every year we make something with our hands and write a poem to accompany the gift. The poem reflects on the year that passed by, and preferably also involves some satire or joke about the person, but also appreciation. I really love this celebration and am sorry it's going to be the second year next week that I will miss it due to living abroad. Maybe I can write a poem any way. I think it could be nice if more families celebrate their Christmas in a similar way, to "connects us to [each other's] inner world".
Interestingly I was really wanting guidance on this subject! And I feel comfort in knowing I am not the only one having difficulty facing people who you disagree with. Especially this contradiction here between fighting against war, but kind of going to war with others or having war inside oneself is striking. If a person is a symbol of violence, how to encounter that person with compassion? If a person has a very narrow view, how can I expand it?
I know it takes patience, so it's a very good reminder! I wish I could be more Zen when facing "the other". It's right, in the end we cannot expect to all agree...even if I think that agreeing (of the other with me) would be better for everyone :-). (How would it be if everyone is against killing, and by that i mean not accepting any justifications, for exampele?) So yeah, good to read this! I will keep trying!
I totally dislike the tone of this piece. Who is he to say that the person with the question was doing it with the "wrong" intention, without self-knowledge? And why would social work become empty from having schools who teach it? I praise this development, the institutionalization symbolizes the appreciation (although it's still under-appreciated in my opinion) of social work and professionalizes it. Is there really social work that creates misery? I don't believe so! Where did he get this idea? I have never seen any one doing a social job just because others told him/her so or to escape... There are easier ways to escape. That I haven't seen it doesn't mean it doesn't happen at all, but must be very rare, so why to focus on this?? What kind of answer is that to the question? He could have left out the negativity of this speech and simply say the he/she should first inquire what his/her intentions are and that self-knowledge will contribute to her social work. Also, I don't like it at all that you should be "religious" what ever broad interpretation he may have for it. As an atheist I'm also a good social worker...has nothing to do with religion!