We live in a bubble and fail to see life in its true state. Here’s how to get a much-need reality check.

This was the subject of the Deanery Training program, for SCC’s of the Bandra Deanery, conducted by Fr. Reuben Tellis.

The session was an eye opener, which highlighted pertinent issues in our Deanery, so I thought it was well worth sharing it with you.

Do you wear Spectacles? Many of us would probably reply, ‘No, I am blessed with good vision’, but we are not referring to the numbered ones or physical vision, but rather the ‘specs’ that all of us wear through which we see a rosy picture or a distorted one.

Some people, it is said often, look at life through ‘Rose’ coloured specs, but unfortunately a large number look through lenses, which give a distorted vision and live their lives thinking that these are the Realities. We wear these specs perched on the bridge of the nose and refuse to part with them. These very specs over a period, colour our vision.

This coloured Vision is none other than our Perceptions, Prejudices and Preconceived notions, which are embedded in our minds that we believe them to be true. For example, adults may view the youth as fun loving, pleasure seeking, irresponsible and even go so far as to consider them parasites of society.  Youth, on the other hand consider adults useless, unproductive, and more. The poor have a very low opinion of the rich, they think that they are exploiters, and the rich think that the poor are lazy and good for nothing.

Then there are gender biases. Most men think women are inferior, incapable of anything except housework and women think men are selfish brutes, chauvinist pigs and so on and so forth.

[True or false is debatable]

Does this shock you? Do you think this is all balderdash? Do you think it may have been so in the past, but times have changed, and people today are highly educated? This is so not true; statistics prove otherwise.

What is the solution? Answer His call. We are called to be Different, we are by our faith expected to discard the Spectacles and look at ourselves and others as Jesus would want us to.

What are we guilty of?

1] A distorted vision of ourselves. ‘I am not capable of being an animator, I am not committed enough, I am not qualified’.

When Jesus picked His Apostles did He ask for resumes?  They were ordinary people who responded and eventually went on to imitate Him in doing extraordinary feats.

2] A distorted vision of people of other Faiths. Are Catholics the only ones going to inherit the kingdom of Heaven?

3] Another common failing is the unhealthy habit of Stereotyping people. We tend to be judgemental, drawing conclusions from appearances.

4] Rumours is one deadly sin, Fr. Reuben Tellis advised us to verify information before passing it on by word of mouth, e-mail or the dreadful WhatsApp.

We were urged to discard the specs and attempt to see things more clearly. An important criteria to living Christian lives is the virtue of Respect.

Respect oneself and the respect for others will follow.

The session closed with an important lesson: the ABCDE of life.

  • ACCEPT all as equals, recognise the presence of God in each one.
  • BELIEVE in everyone, have faith in all.
  • CHANNELISE energy of people young or old; get them involved.
  • DEVELOP strengths and talents of the community.
  • ENERGISE, EMPOWER, ENTHUSE people you come in contact.

By Suzie Mascarenhas