In my work with people with disabilities I found often as a consequence of a grievous loss, disfigurement, or mental illness people lost much of their first communities. To recover those losses they invariably seemed to form either formal or informal associations of people who shared in some way their experience. In witnessing those dynamics I came to understand Bishop Tutu’s admonition regarding the need to become persons through other persons. It was only then I understood the second Pause in this model and how important it is to us to have a sense of our own community and what our decisions mean for that community. Every decision we make sends impact down the invisible lines that connect us to our family, friends, neighbors and nation. Never in building The Good Decision did I stray far from the Bishop’s fundamental truth expressed in his quote in the Overview of of Your Sense of Community. All kinds of things are going horribly wrong right now in the time we live. I am convinced we can only repair the damage one decision at a time while constantly acknowledging the truth of our interdependence.
Morality is a communal word. Implied in the word is individual agency and the impact of that agency on community. Religious codes and precepts of behavior support certain kinds of behavior and prohibit others. Cultures also provide another layer of varying support and prohibition under the umbrella of morality. Throw in the local gang, book club, sports fan clubs, and support associations and life at this level and the second Pause becomes complicated.
If you are in a trade or profession you are likely additionally bound by an ethical code. At the community level, our morality may be the first consideration, but ethics quickly becomes the second if you belong to and are supported by a trade/professional group. Running your Pause I enthusiasm, ambiguity, or reticence through the filters of morality and ethics can quickly change the Pause I feeling and words associated with your first ‘impression/gut feeling’. Re-grounding yourself as you take in information is critical in The Good Decision.
Conflict and Tolerance
The Good Decision starts you with Pause I where you are encouraged to treat that Pause as a private refuge and cautioned not to prematurely introduce the complexities and conflicts inherent in Pause II. The sense of refuge in Pause I is necessary because your private Sense of Good will inevitably run into conflict as you move into the family, community, and religious considerations of Pause II. Your Pause I Sense of Good is uniquely your own. No one else on the planet has precisely your Sense of Good. That Sense will express itself through you as gift and vocation as it grows and matures through the tensions of Pause II. Never forget your Sense of Good does not necessarily on its own make you a good or bad person. In Pause II you will see that your family and community will likely both support and welcome your Sense of Good and at the same time resist aspects of that sense. The balancing act of private gift and community tolerance is the subject of the Next Level of this Pause II. I recommend you go to the menu and click on Pause II and then select the Expanded Guidance option. You may also go directly to the Worksheet option if you feel you have it and want to move on.