Please see the video below:
Play in the embedded player or follow this link to watch
Here’s a link to the blog post with the resource I was talking about: (follow this link)
Please see the video below:
Play in the embedded player or follow this link to watch
Here’s a link to the blog post with the resource I was talking about: (follow this link)
I am in a teaching mode at the moment, so I made a small group resource revolving around critical reflection, this would make a good leadership training resource and also something to help you think when people who aren’t Christians ask you hard questions. There is one with answers on and one blank that you can download and just discuss and write down your thoughts.
This graphic is designed to make you think about your faith and the world around you. What happens and what is the impact on people when we mix certain things in society. It is designed to make you critically reflect upon yourself, the world around you and your faith and faith practices.
P.S. This is best for adults not young children!!!
HERE’S THE THEORY BEHIND CRITICAL REFLECTION, THIS IS IN THE RESOURCE BUT I’M PUTTING IT HERE FOR YOU TO EASILY ACCESS.
What is critical reflection?
Critical Reflection has been given many different definitions throughout the years. Some of these definitions include one from John Dewey (1933) which says that critical reflection is an:
“…active, persistent, and careful consideration of any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the grounds that support it and the further conclusions to which it includes a conscious and voluntary effort to establish belief upon a firm basis of evidence and rationality”.
Another definition has been given by Jack Mezirow (1990) in which he says that critical reflection is:
“…a process of testing the justification or validity of taken-for-granted premises”.
Although there are many definitions they seem to have some things in common. They seem to all say something about a process of questioning our beliefs, values, and behaviours in order to justify why we do these things the way we do, and what other views or behaviours contrary to our own might be (Colorado Mountain College 2019).
Critical reflection on our Christian practice is more than just ‘thinking about’ or ‘thoughtful’ practice. It is a way of ‘critiquing’ our Christian practice in a systematic and rigorous way – helping us to carefully consider what is good and what could be improved.
Why is critical reflection important?
If we are to create cultures that are more caring, this might require changes in individuals and teams.
A number of models and frameworks are available that can help you to reflect on your experiences. This can be things that have gone well, helping you to understand how you can make this happen more often; or things that haven’t gone so well, helping you to think about how things could be different in the future.
Critical reflection on our Christian practice is a key activity in creating caring cultures because it can enable individuals to develop greater self-awareness by helping them to:
There is also:
There are 12 pages.
Page 2 –
* The Graphic
*Q.1) “Critically reflect upon what happens when we mix these things? THINK
THEN WRITE THE POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE THINGS!”
To critically reflect you must see both the positive and the negative things
*Q.2) “Extension Question Can you give any Biblical & non-biblical references to
justify your answers?”
The second question is harder. The idea behind Q.2 is to make you think about wider society, understand that as Christians you live in the world and things have you observed in the world also inform how you think. As a Christian you have to be able to reason and navigate worldly things as well as spiritual matters.
*Q.3.)Why are these things happening?
Q.4.) Discuss: What can we do to change the negatives and grow the positives?
Page 3 – This has the key to help you understand what the different sections mean
Page 4 – 7 – Explanation of Critical Reflection
Page 8 – 11 – Blank worksheets for you to write on. One for what generally happens
Pg. 3 – “What do you think generally happens when we mix these things?”
Pg. 4 – “What is the specific impact on WOMEN/GIRLS when we mix these things?”
Pg. 5. – “What is the specific impact on MEN/BOYS when we mix these things?”
Page 11 – Some suggestions (not exhaustive in the slightest)
Page 12 – Bibliography
Anyway below is the resource you can Follow this link to download) Money Sex Power Christianity Critical Reflection Small Group Resource enjoy 😉
Let me know your thoughts in the comments section on what YOU THINK happens when we mix certain things, what do YOU THINK happens when Christianity intersects with Money, Sex and or Power?
Catherine Waithe-Arnold BA (Hons), MMus, PhD Candidate
Colorado Mountain College, ‘Critical reflection’ Colorado Mountain College Web site, at: <http://faculty.coloradomtn.edu/orl/critical_reflection.htm> 7th February 2019
Dewey, J. (1933). How We Think: A Restatement of the Relation of Reflective Thinking to the Educative Process. Lexington, MA: Heath.
Foundation of Nursing Studies, 2015. ‘Learning Through Critical Reflection’ Fons Web site, at: <https://www.fons.org/resources/documents/Creating-Caring-Cultures/Critical-Reflection.pdf> 7th February 2019
Nottingham University, 2019. ‘Student Self Assessment’ Nottingham University Web site, at: <https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/nmp/sonet/rlos/placs/critical_reflection/pdf/ladybird_selfassess.pdf> 7th February 2019
MEZIROW J (1990) Fostering Critical Reflection in Adulthood San Francisco: Jossey-Bass
So! The other day I was watching one of those trashy reality TV shows about plastic surgery gone wrong… Anyhoo, I was pleasantly unsurprised by the stupidness I saw.
One thing did stand out however, an African-American transsexual woman (so a man who decided to get plastic surgery and hormones to make himself look like a woman) went to the plastic surgeons with his actual woman friend, something had gone wrong with his plastic surgery and the doctors fixed it. Anyway, we know what the Bible says about homosexuality, that’s not what this blog post is about…
The surgery was a classy place and the surgeons were professionals but they both looked like drag queens even though only one was but that’s not what this blog post is about…
They then proceeded to wiggle their behinds at the surgeons in a manner that I have seen many African-American’s incl, Beyonce do. Beyonce claimed this was African cultural dance… One was loving it and the other was totally unimpressed, well what can you expect from a trashy reality tv show but that’s not what this blog post is about…
The show does a background bit on each patient and their background bit showed them at a burlesque dance club and they were dancing like strippers, the drag queen was especially good at it.. :-S I’m sure there’s more to their lives than that but that’s still not what this blog post is about…
What bothered me and what this blog post is about is how those two people the drag queen and his friend (who was also African-American) misrepresented African-Caribbean people, particularly African-Caribbean women. When people see that kind of stuff they tend to think that that’s what we are all like and it’s just not true, one moment of stupidness can set our whole ethnicity back to the 1700’s.
No offence but sometimes I see African-American’s (not all, I repeat NOT ALL), doing and saying some very stupid things and claiming it as their culture but it’s not their original African culture it’s, a culture that has been shaped by slavery and it is not their original culture. Let me give you a little lesson, come children and let me teach you….
African-American culture is comprised mainly of the scraps of African culture that the White slavers allowed them to keep. The music, food, suspicions of education, lack of community cohesiveness and the hyper-sexualization of the African-Caribbean female. Why did the slavers allow them to keep certain parts of their culture and stamped out others?
The music placated and pacified the enslaved Africans, making it easier for them to accept their slavery. Had a holistic effect on the enslaved peoples, offsetting the horrors of slavery, providing temporary relief, making it more manageable and gave them a sense of community and belonging. It pacified the enslaved African’s and gave them the illusion of choice and freedom,
How it benefited White people: The holistic effects made them less resistant to White rule.
How it still benefits White people: The enhanced psycho-social realities of stardom and seeing African-Carribbean people as “stars” gives the hope that “anyone can live the American dream” and “look we’re equal see Beyonce is rich etc…” This distracts them from the fact that they are still being ruled by White people. Give them a few famous people to make them think that all is well when it is not.
(N.B. I was going to say “How it benefited racist White people” but then I thought, the things that racist White people did benefited ALL White people in some way so I’ll just say White people in general. Think about it, not everyone was a slaver in the late 1700’s early 1800’s, some were abolitionists like William Wilberforce BUT THEY ALL STILL TOOK SUGAR IN THEIR TEA…..(which would have been farmed by slaves)
The food, highly seasoned to this day and unhealthy levels of salt. Why? This is because slave food was made up of the scraps of what White people didn’t want to eat, so it was highly seasoned to make it more palatable to hide what they were actually eating.
How it benefited White people: Again, this helped to pacify them and stop them rising up, helping them to cope better with their disenfranchisement.
How it still benefits White people: It’s unhealthy and gives hundreds of African-American people lifestyle diseases every year, they then have to go to White people go to “Massa” and willingly hand over their money to help cure them. White people are capitalising off African-American’s still using slave coping mechanisms with their food.
Lack of interest in education
The lack of interest in education and the cannibalistic (metaphorically) way some African-American’s and other people from the African diaspora who live outside of Africa can behave is appalling. We really do have a problem in our communities when someone wants to better themselves they are sometimes rejected by the community as trying to be “uppity” or “lazy and don’t want to work”. Rubbish.
How it benefited White people: Stopped the enslaved African’s and the eventually emancipated African’s from educating themselves and getting ahead in life. It kept them perpetually subordinated even after slavery. It also gave them reason to assume that African-American’s were feeble minded, not possible of educating and happy for a lower position in life.
How it still benefits White people: It splits the communities making them disorganized and means they have to constantly look to the White man to help them and they are never able to rise to a position to be able to help themselves. It stops them from sorting out their communities fully and gives any White people who still believe in Eugenics or are just racist for racist sake reason to assume that African-American’s are feeble minded, not possible of educating and happy for a lower position in life. Keeps the whole community subjugated and reluctant to improve.
Lack of Community Cohesion
This cultural phenomenon is particular to people from the African diaspora. Not necessarily a problem initially created by White people but it has been worsened and exploited by them. The hierarchy according to skin colour THAT WAS CREATED BY WHITE PEOPLE -_-
How it benefited White people: It stopped the African’s caring for each regardless of colour other and fixing their communities and rising up
How it still benefits White people: It stops the African diaspora caring for each regardless of colour other and fixing our communities and rising up, voting as a cohesive ground en mass and making sure someone like Donald Trump never gets into the Whitehouse again!
The Hyper-Sexualisation of the African-American female
This plays into the hands of the imperialist agenda of White patriarchy. The idea that the African-Amerian woman is somehow overly or overtly sexual, whereas White women are pure and virginal. We see this in modern times when we look at the overtly sexual way some female musicians, models, you name it anyone African-American in the public eye is viewed/presented, some of them don’t even realise what they are doing.
How it benefited White people: For years during slave times this trope was used t legitimise African-American women being seen as nothing more than sexual animals and good for nothing else. This trope has been also been used to justify the abuse, disenfranchisement and rape of African-American women because if they are hyper-sexual animals they were asking for it right?
How it still benefits White people: Gives them leave to still treat our women with suspicion like animals and continue to use us sexually and discard us cruelly when they are done. This also is off-putting for White men who maybe do not want to associate with us because of it and stops White women wanting to be us further separating the ethnic groups, lifting the White women over the African diaspora women, keeping both the White women and the African diaspora women subject to White men’s ideas of womanhood and keeping the African diaspora women subject to African diaspora men. (African diaspora is just another term for someone with African heritage).
I’ve got nothing against White people, I’m into my vanilla in a big way. All of my boyfriends were White despite my first crush being Jamaican. I can’t help it if I keep on bumping into White guys who like Brown women but understand what is going on and don’t set your people back to the 18th Century with your behaviour.
There is nothing inherently wrong with art, food, not wanting to go to university and sex. However, just understand that these things can be distractions from your purpose. Watch the kinds of cultural traditions that racist White people encourage you to do. These things can be distractions that help to debase you and your people.
Be weary of these tropes and make sure that your behaviour is your own and not the outworking of patriarchal White man’s imperialistic vision designed to debase and make money off you. We (African-Caribbean people) have a rich heritage that has been stripped of all of it’s colour, it’s community and dignity by slavery. Do not misappropriate it. When you see other people wiggling their bums and gyrating claiming that as culture don’t emulate it, it’s not our culture, it is an imperialistic reading of what a “Black person” is. Such behaviour is encouraged because it dehumanizes us and that makes us easier to exploit and make money off us.
I refuse to take on collective guilt for other peoples stupidity but that does not mean that people outside of the African diaspora don’t have a collective understanding of us either.
That drag queen who was African-American and his friend lived up to the stereotypes put in place way back in the Antebellum south. The White man who he was giving his money to, to help fix his self inflicted problem was encouraging him and his female friend to do the things that kept him wrapped up in the predicament he was in, in the first place, which rendered him no choice but to willingly give his money to a White man. (He got implants so he could look bootylicious and act like a whore and he was being bootylicious and acting like a whore in the surgeons office and the surgeon encouraged him and his friend to carry on but wanting to be that way is why he ended up in the surgery giving the man money do you see the cycle?). There’s nothing wrong with being sexy, we are all sexual beings because we’re human but be sexual and sensual not debauched and contextualise it properly. Right place right time, in a way that doesn’t compromise you:
e.g. bikini on the beach, great idea! bikini at a funeral… maybe not lol.
Certain cultural activities are also used to pacify ethnic groups, acting as cultural opiates, making you happy to accept your lot and not fight for progress because you’re having too much of a good time, whilst giving the ruling class reason not to allow you too. Take Britain for example. In the late 1950’s there were race riots, the African-Caribbean population wanted better treatment and there were racial tensions. So what did the British government do to appease them and make them quiet down.? They let them have a big party that they still do annually known today as the Notting Hill Carnival…
Sorry my blog posts have been a bit sparse for the last two weeks, as you know I’m self employed so I, like every other self employed individual in the country, have been frantically trying to finish my Tax Return (and gathering money to pay my taxes lol) before the deadline to avoid the £100 fine! Blogging came second to that I’m sorry lol. Anyway, it’s submitted now and I can get back to blogging.
I’ve been meditating on something someone said to me a while back. “Why don’t you just find a nice guy from church?”
Well….. that’s making some pretty big assumptions, like the idea that they are all “nice” for a start:
They are only men
Christian men are just that… they are men. They have the same stupidness festering at the back of their minds that other men do, it’s just the way they deal with it is different. Or at least it’s supposed to be. Don’t expect too much from them hah hah! They have the same struggles. Any Christian guys reading this, well… whatever naughty thoughts they were ever going to have about me, trust me, they have already had them as soon as they saw I posted something on FB/Twitter/LinkedIn… In fact, it’s probably the reason why they even read my blog in the first place… regardless of whether they are in a relationship or not.
A guy could be one thing leading worship on stage and then behind closed doors he’s a gimp! Women have literally died, literally, when they just assumed that a guy was one thing because he said he was.
I’ve always said that the only difference between a Christian guy and a guy who isn’t a Christian is thus – they both want to have sex with you in the back of their car it’s just you expect the Christian guy to have the decency to marry you first… and that’s it!
The moment some exegete find any scrap of evidence that you CAN in fact have sex before marriage, they are all going to be at it like no body’s business… Do not be under any illusions, that nice church boy wants to put his penis in your daughters vagina. Yeah he’s waiting but with the end game of penetration.
The problem with being a woman is that a man who just wants a place to park his penis for the night wants to have sex with you and a man who is attracted to you, utterly loves the very ground you walk on and is completely dedicated to your personal and spiritual development is also a man who wants to have sex with you. When both kinds of men are expressing the same kind of desire towards you it can be difficult to tell which man you should be with! Some Christian guys are just getting married JUST so they can have sex with the young woman they like. I’ve heard these horror stories and they all ended in divorce unfortunately because they slept with each other, then immediately realised that all they had in their relationship was the anticipation of sex, they had sex and then relationship was done literally within a few hours of marriage. It’s sad but this is happening in the church, right now because there are guys whose motivation is not what it should be.
You cannot make assumptions about anyone’s Christianity
Not every person who says they are a Christian is a Christian. Only Jesus knows not who but WHAT is actually sitting in the pews. It says in the Bible:
(Matthew 7:21 NLT) “ “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.”
Some people are just IN the church but they are not OF the church. On more than one occasion I’ve had guys, church guys, who seem soo nice and sweet at church and good, call/fb message/etc me to ask to see me naked… I’m not even joking. I wish I was, this has happened people! I’ve just stopped taking certain peoples calls/whatsapp/fb friend requests now lol. We’re not supposed to have sex or do highly intimate and sexual things before marriage! I’ve blogged about this! (follow this link for more information). I’m not saying we can’t kiss but good gracious! Stop asking! It’s not going to happen! These people are not Christians, soo many guys I’ve met and I’ve realised that they are just there (as in at church) so as not to upset their mum or their grandmother but they don’t believe it and at the first opportunity they misbehave.
Some guys they just think that it’s ok to go up to the boundary but it’s not ok to cross the boundary. The boundary is a marker of where you should not be, it’s a warning sign that you are going to the outer limits and YOU NEED TO TURN BACK! So many times guys who I thought were Christian tried to encourage me to do things with them that I should not and I’m thinking “…what’s going on?!!?? I thought you and I went to church??…”.
You have got to be careful. Only Jesus knows what is really going on in a man’s mind.
Male headship and female submission theologies make Christian men mistreat women (this bit is in my PhD)
Christianity, like mainstream European/British/American culture is patriarchal (men leading follow this link for a dictionary explanation) this mixture of religion and male headship/female submission ideals have been proven to be dangerous for women, as religion and spirituality can overtly and covertly promote abuse (Yick 2008, p.1289) and the greatest predictors of violence against women are environments that support male control and male authority over female behaviour (Heise and Kotsadam 2015, e333). As a result, the Christian environment can be predicted (and proven) to be an abusive atmosphere for women, as it is already known that Christianity is patriarchal in nature and patriarchy fosters and cultivates environments where men seek to control or abuse women (Wall 2014). Furthermore, Christian teachings can be used to enforce patriarchal marital roles, e.g. male leadership/control and female submission (Aune & Barnes 2018, p.10).
The cocktail of sexist ideas towards women and faith have been proved to be unsafe for women in churches. In a study conducted in Christian homes in North America, it was found that physical abuse rates of Christian women are similar to societal rates (Annis and Rice 2001). This was found to translate in UK churches where a study conducted in Cumbria found that when all forms of domestic abuse are included, the evidence (e.g. Wang et al. 2009) suggests that there is not a significant difference in rates of abuse when churchgoers are compared with non-churchgoers. Conservative ideas on female submission and male headship and a culture of silence were found to blame in many of these cases (Aune & Barnes 2018). Shockingly, it was also found by S. Tracey (2008) that evangelical men who sporadically attend church are more likely than men of any other religious group, even more likely than secular men, to assault their wives (Tracey 2008, p.16). Knickmeyer et al. (2010) interviewed Christian women who said their husbands used conservative Christian theological ideas of male headship and female submission as sanction to abuse them (Knickmeyer, Levitt & Horne 2010, p.102), compelling their wives to submit to their authority because they said the Bible required it. Christian teachings can also be used to pressure women to forgive too quickly or to see abuse as their “cross to bear” (Nason-Clark 2004 p.304). Interestingly, mainline protestant churches have been quicker to respond to the issue of domestic abuse than evangelicals, the most conservative of whom continue to publish marriage advice literature that ignores the problem (Aune & Barnes 2018, p.12).
The Bible, when properly translated, is egalitarian but as men are often holders of knowledge and therefore… power, they are not forthcoming with this information. This is because if the women understood that they are equal as leaders to men they would rise up, become more independent and the men would loose their ability to control them. For further reading on this topic I suggest starting with “What Paul Really Said About Women” by John Temple Bristow. I say start here because it’s not super long but is still academically rigorous – here’s the link for the book on Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/What-Paul-Really-about-Women/dp/0060610638.
If there is a Christian guy who is interested in your daughter you should exercise the same level of caution and suspicion that you would with any man. Some Christian guy’s are in fact a larger more pressing threat, more dangerous than your normal man because he appears non-threatening and “safe” so you trust him more and scrutinize him less, then happily leave him alone with your daughter, not realising that she is actually just his prey. He knows you are more willing to look away and trust him because he’s a “good church boy” and you want your daughter to be with someone “nice” and “successful”. He uses this to his advantage. However, if it has a penis it will try and find a vagina to put it in so be careful how much freedom you have with him. Everyone has a point in which they will just give in.
Arm yourselves with knowledge and stop being so gosh darn naive.
P.S. some are really nice this is not true of every Christian man you just have to pray that you found the right one and use discernment.
Annis, W. and R. R. Rice. 2001. A Survey of Abuse Prevalence in the Christian Reformed Church. Journal of Religion and Abuse. 3:3-4, 7-40
Aune, K. & R Barnes. 2018. In Churches Too: Church Responses to Domestic Abuse – A case study of Cumbria. Coventry: Coventry University and Leicester: University of Leicester.
Heise, L. L. and A. Kotsadam. 2015. Cross-national and multilevel correlates of partner violence: an analysis of data from population-based surveys. The Lancet Global Health. 3, e332-340.
Knickmeyer, N., H. Levitt, & S. G. Horne. 2010. Putting on Sunday Best: The Silencing of Battered Women within Christian Faith Communities. Feminism & Psychology, 20:1, 94-113.
Nason-Clark, N. 2004. When Terror Strikes at Home: The Interface Between Religion and Domestic Violence. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 43:3, 303-310.
Tracey, S. R. 2008. What Does “Submit In Everything” Really Mean? The Nature And Scope Of Marital Submission. TRINJ. 29, 285-312
Wall, L. 2014. ‘Gender equality and violence against women: What’s the connection?’ Australian Government, Australian Institute of Family Studies Web site, at: <https://aifs.gov.au/sites/default/files/publication-documents/ressum7.pdf> 2 March 2018
Wang, M-C, S. G. Horne, H. M. Levitt & L. M. Klesges. 2009. Christian Women in IPV Relationships: An Exploratory Study of Religious Factors. Journal of Psychology and Christianity. 28:3, 224-235.
Yick, A. G. 2008. A Metasynthesis of Qualitative Findings on the Role of Spirituality and Religiosity Among Culturally Diverse Domestic Violence Survivors. Qualitative Health Research, 18:9, 1289-1306.
Did you know I have been published and or contributed to a published article 4 times? No? Then fear no more I shall educate you! Some are available online, follow the links to check out my work! Voila ma bibliography:
Prose – Degree Dissertation
Poetry – Haiku
Waithe-Arnold, C., ‘The Garden Through The Window’, in: D. Samworth (ed.) The Write Stuff – Southern Essex (Peterborough: Young Writers, 2003), p.5. Available online: (follow this link to read)
Prose – Short Story
Waithe-Arnold, C., ‘A Day In The Life Of Catherine Waithe-Arnold’, in: A. Dowse (ed.), A Day In The Life Of… Creative Writing ‘From East Anglia 2001’ (Peterborough: Young Writers, 2001), pp.102-103
As you have probably guessed I’m busy… lol
I thought the New Year would be a good time to draw your attention to me as a professional, so please see my C.V. below:
P.S. You can access this information at any time on my ‘Experience’ page: www.catherinewaithe-arnold.com/experience
If there is anything in my CV that interests you feel free to get in contact with me via email at: email@example.com.
On top of commission work and performing I do instrumental tuition and have some spaces available for new students! I teach: Flute, Clarinet in Bb, Alto Saxophone, Recorder and Lever Harp as well as Songwriting and Orchestration/Arranging. I teach for exams or just for fun! You can come to my house or I can teach you over skype 🙂
See my website for further details: www.ridethefaderproductions.com.
Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in lessons or anything else related to my CV.
I would just like to say that I have only just recovered from New Years! We had a lovely service at church! Loads of food of course, a bring and share feast! I made some bread with cinnamon, medjool dates and honey so it was a sweet kind of bread 😀
I got home after 5am and got to bed after 6am, so I was quite tired for 48hrs afterwards lol. I only got around to looking at my phone around 7pm on New Years day to see I had a whole load of messages and such on my phone and I was just soo tired, I only answered them to say “Happy New Years” back just before the day was nearly out!
Hope you all had a lovely evening too!
Anyway, I have some musical nuggets for you! Here’s another “Remix” I changed up the drum rhythm and I added some FX to this mix, it’s subtle but I think it works better, follow this link for the back story blog post about this song? let me know what you think? Is it an improvement? Play in the embedded player below or follow this link:
I call this one the “Soundtrack Mix”.
Here’s the other versions including the Orchestral version (my favourite) and the one I did live! 🙂
So it was Christmas and now we are going on to the New Year! Hope everyone had a really great Christmas! I cooked Christmas dinner this year for everybody. Man I was on my feet for hours from around Midday to about 6pm! Christmas dinner takes a proper long time to cook!
My favourite gift this year was a handmade figurine of myself, made by one of my friends, he took quite a bit of time and effort making it and it was lovely!
What are you doing for the New Year? I will be attending church as usual seeing in the New Year with some praise and worship! I will be leading worship again and I am totally looking forward to it and the lovely food we will be having after the service!
An open letter to my friend
For my friend…
So it is with great sadness that I send this post. The older I get the more and more it has come to my attention that I have people and things in my life that I just don’t need because they are not contributing anything, they don’t even make me happy and they are just wasting space for people and things that could make me happy.
So I have taken a very long and very hard think and have decided that there are just some people in my life that I just don’t need any more. There are certain people in my life where I just feel like our relationship has just stagnated and has been for many years.
Have you ever known anyone where you’ve known them for years but you still feel just as awkward with them as you did nearly 20 years ago? Or you feel like your relationship with that person has never improved, grown or developed in any way? You feel like you have not grown as people together? They seem to be embarrassed by you in front of their friends? They don’t want their friends on facebook to know you know each other so they hide your posts? Or they ask you to delete them? You have no shared goals or values? You try and contact them and they hardly ever or never reply but when it’s some kind of activity that they are organising or they want you to go to for whatever reason they are always full of chat? They are happy when you are their secret and annoyed when other people want to drive you home and they tell them not to, to isolate you so that only they can drive you home? and when your life moves on they seem to be unhappy about it? I’m not even talking about romantic relationships, I’m just talking about ordinary friendships.
I like my friendships to grow, develop and move forward, circumstances permitting. When I say circumstances permitting I mean obviously when my friends get married or move or whatever, our friendship then takes on a new dimension, as they have children etc, you can’t be out all night with them all the time then etc. However, if circumstances permit a stronger bond with deeper dimensions, (again I’m not talking about romantic relationships I’m talking about just being decent friends) and this is not being exploited or properly utilised then there’s a problem and you’re not friends.
Time and time again guys fail to understand this. You want a girlfriend but you are not nice in a consistent way to all of the women around you. Women talk, so they will be spreading news of your bad behaviour to all the ladies you want to date. Additionally, how do you expect to wholeheartedly love someone when you don’t have the capacity to wholeheartedly love? You should be able to show love to anybody, I’m not talking about romantic love I’m talking about the kind of love that friendship should be. I admit I am talking to myself here as well, we all struggle to be nice. I absolutely despise guys who are only kind to women they are romantically interested in. I have no time for such people.
Obviously I know there are degrees of friendship and not all friendships are close but some are distant when they should be close and the emotional distance is as a result of dysfunction, that’s the kind of friendship I am talking about here.
The Ancient Greeks were much more adept at explaining the various degrees or kinds of relationships and the different kinds of “love” that you encounter within them, they had several words for love:
Éros (ἔρως érōs) love, mostly of the sexual passion
Storge (στοργή storgē) tenderness, love, affection, especially of parents and children
Philia (φιλία philía) affectionate regard, friendship, usually between equals
Agápe (ἀγάπη agápē) love: esp. charity; the love of God for man and of man for God
Being nice isn’t a declaration of érōs (sexual passion) but without storgē (tenderness) how do yo expect to even get to érōs? Don’t you know if agápē (charity, the kind of love that exists despite changing circumstances) is not fully developed in your life there can be no philía (friendship) and without philía there will never be any érōs (well not with me anyway… Especially not before marriage as I am a Christian)? I’m not asking for sex no offence, I’m just asking for kindness lol.
What can I say, I like friendships to have as much depth as they ought to, no more and no less. That’s not to say that I would push a friendship more than it should go. You get a feel for certain people that makes you think “ok this is a distant friend” or “ok we can be closer”. However, what really grinds my gears is when you have someone wanting you close only when it’s convenient for them and you’re doing all the friending…
When I am in a friendship with someone, I want to be more to you and you be more to me as time goes on. I’m not talking in a romantic way, I’m just saying that any kind of relationship whether it’s a friendship, a business relationship, a family relationship or a romantic relationship needs to grow positively somehow in order for it to succeed and be useful in any way. You need to be adding something positive to each others lives as often as possible. You need to be fulfilling some kind of need for each other, even if it’s the need for an occasional laugh or some light conversation. We need to grow together, have shared experiences and somehow lift each other up. There also needs to be emotional connectedness and emotional investment, not always emotional strain. I need to know that I can rely on you and you need to know that you can rely on me. All these things need to be done to whatever degree the kind of relationship permits (due to distance, culture, etc). Again, I’m not even talking about romantic relationships I’m just talking about ordinary friendships.
I don’t like or enjoy time wasters. Anything outside of what I just mentioned is pointless, if your “friendship” does not display any of the virtues like I just mentioned above (obviously distance permitting etc.), in my eyes, you’re colleagues or peers, not friends. If you aren’t growing together somehow in a meaningful way (as I said, to the levels that the friendship will permit) or you’re the same place you were 20 years ago and that place is not a good place (in some instances, being in the same place for 2 decades can be a positive thing) but when it’s a stagnant place, it might be time to call it a day at one point. That point is now. We are stagnant, the friendship is one sided and I’m taking out the trash.
Now I understand how Jesus feels about us sometimes.
I really need to give people more notice for these things lol.
So I am really tired for a number of reasons, firstly, you know when I did those two gig’s last month? Sorry the footage from the other one is coming. Well. I made a whole load of new friends from that and I’ve been busy hanging out with them LOL. Basically I’ve seen them at least once every week since we met lol and just got a phone call asking if I want to hang out this week with another bunch of people I met then as well. So that’s what I’m doing instead of gigging at the moment lol.
I will get back to gigging maybe end of the year or sometime next year lol. The other reason why I’m tired is just PhD related lol. Which is also another reason why I haven’t done anymore gigs for now.
Anyway, hope everyone is having a good week. I have an alternative gig tonight! I will be here, giving a seminar on my PhD research at 6pm tonight. Be there if you want to hear me talk about my research and ask me hard questions lol
Time – 18.00 – 20.30
Venue – B29 Malet Street which is basement of Birkbeck college main building
Birkbeck, University of London
Malet Street, Bloomsbury
London WC1E 7HX
Fee – £0.00
For more info – http://www.bbk.ac.uk/maps/
If you need help getting there comment on this post and I’ll try and help direct you, well try at least lol!