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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Monday, April 20, 2015

Mind The Gap

“Mind the Gap” is an expression of caution to alert someone to a possible hole in front of them so they do not fall. The person may be unaware it was there. There are many “gaps” of unawareness that we overlook throughout our daily lives without someone to caution us that they exist. Some gaps we know exist and we perhaps adjust our actions accordingly. Some gaps we just do not know how to deal with; others we intentionally ignore……kind of like an Indifference Gap.

As we in Community of Christ, strive to become a discerning people with empathy for those we daily encounter; we want to be more inclusive, mindful and relevant, and we begin to see gaps, lots of them. Of course there is the Generation Gap, the Technology Gap, the Global Economic Gap, a Language Gap, the Healthcare Gap and the Income Gap, but there are subtle gaps that unless we are mindful we completely miss them.  These might be an Ethics Gap, a Compassion Gap, a Dialogue Gap, a Validation Gap, a Kindness Gap, an Attentiveness Gap an Accountability Gap. I am pulling some of these out of thin air but if you think about it they exist and we are all short on awareness in many areas of human relationships, or our sense of community, locally and globally and gaps abound.

There also is a very real Equality Gap, Still; even though we think we have accommodated so many aspects already. Equality has many dimensions. Some inequities we are fully aware of and others that we are only beginning to comprehend. We strive to be inclusive, however; we are only beginning to understand how vast the spectrum of diversity is and the corresponding gaps. Those gaps beyond our knowing separate us from one another.

My theme these days is, Empathy lived out in our daily encounters, opens our minds to the viewpoint and life circumstances of others beyond our own experience. Our horizons are expanded and the gaps in our lives are lessened and our relationships with others become more valued, meaningful and reciprocal. This mutual engagement allows us to work together in our enhanced understanding of our humanness to take action borne out of kindred hopes and ideas emerging just from filling in the gaps.   

Our gaps are influenced by so many sources of bias, tradition, media and culture that we do not even know many inequalities we still participate in. The next step is, even if we were aware, there is still a Desirability Gap that holds us back from altering our choices to make change. Ultimately we face an Action Gap where our apathy weakens our resolve to do, to act, even when our knowledge informs us it is the right thing to do. Sometimes in our better moments, we bear burdens of guilt for the Failure Gap where we clearly recognize that our inaction is immoral and saddening. So, how do we do something about the Action Gap? My experience is that it takes partnerships to overcome the unintentional apathy that is a product of our busyness and multi-option lives.  We need to become Companions with another to share that which we want to accomplish. It comes down to practicalities. We know there are daily life tasks we would only do because someone was counting on us or we had promised to complete something for someone.

I propose the single most important means for you to make a difference, to do things differently than you do today; to bridge the gaps in your life and take action, is to find that 1 person who becomes your “Companion of Action" You do what you say you are going to do because the two of you covenanted with one another to make “it” happen. That happens through all the channels of connecting with the other person. Texting, phoning, emailing, IM, Facebook, in person but, make it a daily happening, or a quick morning, noon and night reminder, affirmation, validation of accountability. In essence we tell each other each time to “Mind The Gap,” because if we are not actively "doing", potholes reappear before us and we fall into the gap.

Allow Companioning to become part of your life. Consider it as a sacred calling. Community of Christ, the nurturing of a prophetic people, is perhaps best fulfilled by creating "Clusters of Companions" interacting together to fulfill their covenant actions, forming communities of communities. That one person who is your covenant companion is perhaps the most life changing gap you will ever close.

Submitted by Kerry Richards   

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