Toxicity

Mark 6:1-5

1-2  On the Sabbath, Jesus gave a lecture in the meeting place. He made a real hit, impressing everyone. “We had no idea he was this good!” they said. “How did he get so wise all of a sudden, get such ability?”

3But in the next breath they were cutting him down: “He’s just a carpenter—Mary’s boy. We’ve known him since he was a kid. We know his brothers, James, Justus, Jude, and Simon, and his sisters. Who does he think he is?” They tripped over what little they knew about him and fell, sprawling. And they never got any further.

4-6Jesus told them, “A prophet has little honor in his hometown, among his relatives, on the streets he played in as a child.” Jesus wasn’t able to do much of anything there—he laid hands on a few sick people and healed them, that’s all. He couldn’t get over their stubbornness.

Matthew 13:58

And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.

 

 

I think Gabby Douglas might have lost on balance beam and the uneven bars anyway

… but …

the Fox-manufactured faux controversy about her pink uniform — not patriotic enough! — didn’t help. Her focus wasn’t improved by the Internet debate over her hair.

I was very sorry to hear Kellie Wells and Dawn Harper’s criticisms of Lolo Jones.  Yes, they were counted out then overlooked by some media. And clearly that has something to do with Ms. Jones being closer to a Eurocentric beauty standard. However, whether she takes advantage of it or not, Ms. Jones did not put that standard into place, nor can she control people’s responses to it. Ms. Wells and Ms. Harper have likely not changed anyone’s mind.  More importantly, the real issue: the devaluation of African American women continues cheerfully on, unchallenged.

All of this points to the significance of our environments.  Caustic, toxic environments have negative consequences.  Don’t believe it?  Consider the opposite number. Remember the Obama effect?

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/23/education/23gap.htmlShare

Jan 22, 2009 – A performance gap between African-Americans and whites on a test all but disappeared after the presidential election, researchers said.

***

If Jesus the Christ, himself, was constrained from doing miracles because of his community’s bad attitude, how do you think toxic environments affect us? Of course, those environments can and should be overcome.  But doing that exacts a tremendous price. So before you put someone else down, offer unsolicited advice, or present unwarranted criticism, think carefully about how what you say will impact your environment.  Remember you, and not just your target, have to live in it.

 

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About liftingasweclimb

Mildred Lewis writes and directs for theater, television, film and the web. She's also a full time professor, Christian, activist and troublemaker with a passion to save as much of the world as she can.
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