Thanks to the wonders of the blogosphere, I stumbled upon Malinda Essex’s blog about a month ago. I liked it so much, I added it to my blogroll. Today I thought I’d take a peek over there and I was pleasantly surprised to find the 30-Day Challenge to Play Well With Others. Offered by her church’s pastor as a follow-up to a sermon series, it’s a really great place to start when you’ve been feeling bad about some of the people in your life, or if you just want to go a little deeper in your personal understanding of all the “love your neighbor” stuff that Jesus talked about.
I love how it dovetails with my Forgiveness Project! One of the objectives is to help people move from a sense of otherness to a sense of togetherness, unity and compassion. When we begin to consider someone else’s thoughts, feelings, circumstances, it can lead us to a better understanding of who they are and why they do what they do; that opens the door to compassion and when we are compassionate towards each other we can put their needs above our own and develop true unity and and that much longed for sense of community.
When we have community, we can have her sister to dinner, literally we can have communion. If we take apart the word communion we find com– from Latin ‘cum’ meaning ‘with’ or ‘together’, un or unus from Latin meaning ‘one’, and -ion, also Latin denoting the action or condition of being. The state of being with or (coming) together as one. Don’t you just love etymology? Yeah, I’m a Latin geek.
And while I’m at it, how about compassion? It starts again with com- from Latin meaning ‘with’ or ‘together’, pass- derived from Latin passio-/passus/pati– from the verb meaning ‘to suffer or submit’, and -ion, the action or condition of being. So compassion is the act or state of suffering together. It’s the idea of feeling pity or sympathy. (And here we can go on about sympathy sharing a root in pathos- from Greek for ‘suffer’ or ‘feel’ and sym– which is Greek for ‘together’. Sympathy is to suffer or to feel, usually pain, together.)
So there you have it! And may I highly recommend clicking on over to Malinda’s blog, Dendrochronology. (Oooo, another yummy word to pick apart!)