self-critical, but sometimes when I'm reading UU blogs, I get really tired of the seemingly endless litany of what Unitarian Universalist congregations and ministers and establishments and laity and officers and Boston and the hymnal and worship practices and general philosophy/theology are doing wrong.
As if the world weren't hard enough on us already, we pile on even more self-critique. We're pitifully small, we're confused about our message, we ministers need to be more careful about what we say and do and wear, we're elitist, classist, aging, not growing, you name it---we're guilty of it.
And much of this self-critique is true! But sometimes I just want to scream "People, we're human, we're not perfect, deal with it!"
It seems to me that all the self-critique we put out there, particularly in blogs where we are self-editing, is a kind of self-flagellation, where we beat our breasts and publicly apologize for being imperfect. It seems to me that we lack collective self-esteem and feel a need to beat ourselves up for not saving the world faster, more efficiently, more perfectly, and able to convert others to our way of doing things.
When I was working with middle school kids, the hardest one to work with was the kid who was constantly complaining about his/her own imperfections and apologizing for every mistake, as though it were a criminal offense. That kid needed me to help him/her see his/her strengths, take some pride in his/her skills and successes.
The next hardest was the one who complained constantly about others' imperfections, pointing out all the mistakes others made, even though his/her performance was not exactly stellar. That kid needed to focus on his/her own performance, not that of others.
Self-critique is a good thing but it can be more discouraging than encouraging. And it's really boring after awhile. So here I am, being one of those who critiques others rather than my own performance. There's such an aura of sanctimony about self-critique sometimes. I think that's why it bothers me so much.
And yet here I am, being sanctimonious about sanctimony elsewhere. Sorry---I am a worthless worm today. Tomorrow may be better.