Embracing Vulnerability

An interesting proposal

  • Let’s see the relationship between a parent and a child. Atleast till the child becomes an adult, parent has more power, makes the decisions etc. A parent really shows and accepts one’s vulnerability when they accept that the child’s intuition/idea about their future, which may not be the best according to the parents. When a conservative religious parent accepts the marriage of their child with a person from another religion/culture, they accepts their vulnerability.
  • You can think of your favourite teacher in the school. In most of the cases, they may or may not the brightest/the brilliant teacher, but the one who doesn’t have the answers to all our questions and had the courage to say “I don’t know”. They also had the courage to accept that ideas/methods of students may be better than their own. And they make connections with us.
  • I think any relationship, and especially between couples do show this willingness to be vulnerable before the other person. When we are moving to a more equitable maritable relationship (where both partners are equal), it invites men (specially as they were considered the powerful player in many cultures) and woman to become vulnerable in front of the other.
  • In the case of leaders, especially political, cultural or religious, this is very important. But interestingly, a few of them have the courage to say “sorry” when they made an error; a few have the courage to display their ignorace along with all their skills. I think one of the most beautiful expressions of showing the vulnerability is done by Pope Francis, when he says openly during and after the synod of Bishops (very important in church decision making) that he doesn’t have the answers to all complex questions. Some of the political leaders like Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand do display vulnerability and that courage have helped her to steer the country through difficult times.

Vulnerability is a way of being, a ground of our relationatlity and a mode of social engagement (Linda Hogan)

  • I don’t care. I heard it and I left it there. (Sometimes it does happen because I am too overwhelmed by what I heard, and I don’t know what to do. I just don’t want to enter there).
  • I break the trust and spoil the name (sadly this does happen).
  • An attitude of paternalising. My friend is in trouble, and I will tell him/her what to do, and I will direct their life.
  • I may give them some suggestions or share my opinions.
  • Can I help the person to enjoy the liberty of life? In a different context, Jesus said that you shall know the truth and truth shall set you free. The person shared a deep truth about his/her life with me. Can I be of any help that “the truth s/he shared” sets him/her free? This is much different from paternalising.



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arun simon

A Jesuit with all the crazyness… Loves Jesus…Loves church, but loves to challenge too… Loves post modern philosophy & Gilles Deleuze.. Loves deep conversations…