Changing ourselves

  Newsletter 03 August 2021  
  Dear Friends,

Welcome to the Winter MeetPrayLove Newsletter

"Why can't a woman... be more like a man?" Henry Higgins asks in My Fair Lady. "One man in a million may shout a bit. Now and then there's one with slight defects. One, perhaps, whose truthfulness you doubt a bit. But by and large we are a marvellous sex!" At which point we women catch each other's eye and our eyebrows arch an inch or so higher. Yet I have to admit that often enough I think I am rather marvellous and it is, quite definitely, my partner who is in the wrong. As we journey through the year, inspired by the life of Nelson Mandela, we reflect this month on his challenge to change ourselves first.

"One of the most difficult things is not to change society... but to change yourself," Mandela said in 1999 at a tribute to billionaire businessman Douw Steyn, who had made his Johannesburg residence available to Mandela as a retreat after his prison release in 1990. While Mandela clearly fought for change in the world he lived in, he also changed himself. While imprisoned, he reflected on his "wild man" behaviours. He also said he neglected to show any gratitude do those who had helped him when he was poor, after he experienced some success as a lawyer. Anthony Lemieux, an associate professor of communication at Georgia State University in Atlanta, points out that Mandela's change from violence to peace was profound. Despite the violence and chaos, he says, ultimately "it wasn't the violent conflict that led to social change".

Holding a looking glass up to what's inside us isn't that easy. It's much easier to pluck the speck of dust from our neighbour's eye than pull the plank out of our own. Perhaps our small groups can provide a safe place to hold up that looking glass and encourage us to change ourselves rather than expecting everyone to be, in the words of the song, ".... more like me!"

Practical Idea: Choose a piece of plain coloured material that feels like it 'is you' in some way – then add to it, to change it is some way – to represent a change you would like to make.

Buttons / sequins / coloured embroidery threads

Choose a piece of cloth that represents you (the examples below have used fabric cushions)
cushion2Have a look at the choice of buttons, sequins and coloured embroidery threads before you gather a selection that for you represent peace, joy or some change you notice in yourself or wish for.
Spend time decorating your cloth.
Place your finished article somewhere you can see it to remind you of the change you want to make.

Charity of the Month: Christian Aid
In 2015 Christian Aid reaches its 70th Anniversary. To mark this milestone on the journey to overcoming poverty, they are inviting us to join their 70 Munros Challenge. Join Christian Aid in believing that the mountain of poverty can be moved!

All best wishes

Sally Robertson

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