Beatitudes… being the ‘tude…

We had a staff retreat today and I have to admit I always look forward to them. I honestly think the people I work with are fantastic and it’s a great chance to not only catch up but to strengthen our little collegial community. This year the theme for the day was dedicated to gaining a better understanding of the “beatitudes”.  The Beatitudes focus on humility and love rather than force and exaction. I found that I easily identified with most of them as one of our colleagues explained each one in turn, and that even though I don’t truly identify as a Christian I still felt that these 8 teachings are both relevant and important in today’s world.

So let’s have a look at them…

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

This is a challenging line… it doesn’t mean someone who is lacking in spirit, rather it means someone who is capable of living without possession (like the poor often do) and yet still finding peace and happiness. I’m thinking of this line as I look around the room I’m in and I’m only too aware of just how many possessions I do have… and not only that, but how many of them are dispensable… trinkets and toys and just random items I’ve accumulated over time with no real extrinsic (and in some cases intrinsic) worth. Possessions aside I think I’m fairly giving in nature and I truly believe in the paradox of giving. That is… that if you give unconditionally without expecting something in return, then you will in time get something in return (let’s call it good karma).

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

When this was being discussed I thought to myself that this one is probably most prominent in the world these days. We’re in mourning for so many things these days… the famine in Somalia, the riots in London, the plight of refugees across the developing world, the war in Afghanistan and let’s not forget the financial world teetering towards another collapse to name just a few.

Personal mourning didn’t just relate to the loss of a loved one, it includes the loss of anything of intrinsic value, along with any mistakes we may have made. I thought that mentioning mistakes was important. Too often do we make mistakes as adults and then mourn the results… or worse… we pretend it wasn’t a mistake to begin with. I think as teachers it’s important to accept any mistakes we make at face value and be genuine with our reactions.

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Whether it be meek or geek, it’s still the same, those who are humble and accepting of who they are… are often marginalised by those who wish to conform for conformity’s sake… or just want to tell you how you should live your life. In this tech-happy world that we now live in I find that people are pushing more and more to conform to the ever present media’s ideal of what is acceptable… and in the process widening the gap between meek and brazen. Remember this though, meek does not mean weak. The world thinks in terms of strength and power, of ability, self-assurance and aggressiveness… to be a conquer of worlds then surely one must be brazen and bold… however this also means one will be constantly challenged. The meek are those who have a quiet solid resolve and an understanding of how the world works and they just keep on keeping on.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

To fight, even when there is no clear end in sight, but to continue on because you know that what you fight for is right and just for all. To do so with conviction is powerful, it results in an energy that builds and builds like a wave sweeping more and more people up as it goes. Some people create small waves that help a few… others create tsunami’s. Dr King was a tsunami for sure.

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

The merciful are special people, they understand the joy of giving, sharing and above all sacrificing. To me I see this as my mother, willing to sacrifice her own pursuit of happiness for mine and my brother’s, to assist us in becoming responsible and caring adults and instilling in us the importance of why we should care for others.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

If I had to pick a beatitude that best represented me, I’d probably pick this one. Open, honest and happy with a side of fun is how I like to be and someone who is pure in heart. This means no hidden agendas, we do what we do for the love of life and the joy that it holds.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

To hold the peace, whether it be between two people in disagreement, or two towns, what a challenge. Peacemakers are not to be confused with pacemakers, though both often end up dealing with matters of the heart. Conflict management these days is becoming increasingly difficult, especially when participants in conflict often get their online life involved as well.

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Persecution is a terrible thing, and I find often that it is attributed by people in the developed world to people they consider uneducated. Only uneducated, in-bred people or people who don’t know better will continue to ridicule and persecute someone for the colour of their skin, their sexuality or their religious choice. To me, I find that offensive. To brush it off and say “we’ll I don’t persecute these poor people, only those people over there do it” is the equivalent of the indifferent bystander at an accident scene. We live in this world together and true peace cannot be found in a place where people are indifferent to the suffering of others. We have the means at our disposal to make a difference, however this can only ever be achieved with the removal of greed and indifference for others.

It probably seems odd to type up something I’ve spent the better part of the day being engaged in, but I do believe in the usefulness of reflection and the sharing of powerful thoughts (at least they are to me).

So peace out to all my readers! 🙂


One Response to “Beatitudes… being the ‘tude…”

  1. pam ogilvie Says:

    Wow linda i really liked your review of the day.


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