1.2 The social other: Patterns of desire
In addition to the teacher, mentor or role model you identified as the one who inducted you into your habit, add the following details:
Teacher, mentor, leader, parent wise I can see four or five specific times within my development where either influenced of formed:
Maternial in such things as feeding, talking, walking
Paternal in such things as possessing, protecting and owning
Sibling in such things as modeling, judging and loving
Formal Instruction in such things as reading, questioning, etc
I suspect four or five is way short maybe it is more light hundreds and hundreds of representations that we learn to mimic and reflect.
When did you first notice the desire for your “beneficial practice”? Notice the desire, non-intellectually had most likely to do the first time you as an infant grasp the bottle in your own hand to control the flow of food. I saw yesterday while in the market a young girl (2-3) reach up and pull down her mothers dress top and place the breast in her mouth. The mother scolded the girl and the girls said, “MINE!”
How old were you? Intellectually I was most likely around 5-6 before I knew that mimic was part of being healthy and slowly that way of existing becomes apart of the essence of who I am. I still struggle at 50 to learn that.
Where were you living? Early on with my parent and siblings, later with fellow students, allow in Haiti, with a community in Nicaragua, in Seminary at Duke with Professors and with Philosophy and Religion students where I currently teach. It is an evolutionary process.
Name as many of the people who influenced your desire as you can.
Mom, Dad, Francis, Michelle, Melinda, Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Bill, Mark, Eric, Ms. Kerr, Mr Terry, Roger Hahn, Stanley Hauerwas, Daniel Berrigan, Gustavo Guiterrez, Rene Gerard, James Williams, D. Stephen Long, Grayson Lucky, Mark Heim, Peter Enns, Dwight Peterson, Patrick McPherson, Ronda Bartley, Alethia Garrett, Michaela Bartley, Abriana Bartley, Lex Smith, endless homeless children, Ched Myers, Gordon Crosby, Patti Wudel, Terry Flood, John Dear, Michael Baxter, Christopher and Philenna Huertz, Mother Teresa, Rowan Williams, Stanley Fish, Father Tomas Halik, Stillwater Gravel Grinders Biking Groups, The Atheist Collective with which I am an honorary forgiven believer because they like me, my Scotch Collective
How long did the process take before you were confident in your new practice? Still an evolutionary process
How did you sustain your desire over that time?
My student here me talk about my friends along the way. As a theologian teaching in a state university I am not surrounded by other theologically interested people. In fact, I am an oddity. Therefore, I have kept and keep contact with a wide variety of people from all over the world.
What people or circumstances helped sustain you?
My closest friends are “the atheist collective” they don’t let me off the hook easy. They want me to believe something worthy of belief– very much unlike my fellow Christians.
What other elements were involved that made your desire possible to sustain over time?
I am stubborn
Fill in the blanks of this sentence, “If it weren’t for __faith____________ and __hope____________ and __love______________ I would not have acquired this practice.”