At a recent group conscience meeting, I found myself disturbed by the contributions from my fellow members. Instinctively, I wanted to jump into the conversation and try to control the outcome. Clearly, everyone has a right to contribute to the group conscience, so long as it doesn't contradict what I 'need' the meeting to be.
Instead of jumping into the fray, I chose to stay silent and listen. I chose to let it play out. In the end, it was ok. I didn't need to put on my God hat and take charge of the universe to make the meeting fit my desires....In that moment, I had labeled that person, put them in a bin and disposed of their dignity. Instant resentment.
As I reflected on that meeting throughout the day, I observed that this person was there because they were sick. They were expressing their pain and distrust, they were being honest about a topic that we don't usually talk about in our meetings. And I noticed that this was a person.
Can I see people as people first? I tend to see labels parading around as people. People are messy. People are often wrong. People are all to some extent emotionally ill. BUT, people are people. I think I get scared when I stop to think how difficult it might be to treat everyone as a person. What if they need something from me? What if I fail to help them? What if I can't accept their differing opinion as one possible solution among many? What if....?
I am beginning to see that group conscience in a different light. It was not about changing the meeting format or creating new rules. It was not about a treasurer's report or a book order. It was about people and about trusting our Higher Power in all our affairs, including our group conscience.