Once a priest psychologist told us during an awareness seminar; we should be able to distinguish between a person and his actions. This is very easily said, but practiced with much difficulty. When my friend does something that I don’t like, I get angry with him. We equate the actions/behavior with the person. But Person is much more than one or two actions/ideas. Once we are able to make this distinction, we could be friends with people we disagree. It also gives the freedom to challenge others and to be challenged by others.

Person is much more than one or two ideas. I can disagree with a few of his/her views, and still be a friend…

We discussed the case when we have two individuals. It becomes much more problematic when the issue is between an institution and an individual (who is a follower/citizen/member of that institution). I hinted about this dynamics in the last article too. When I critique one aspect of that institution, it is often equated as being the enemy of that institution. If that is the case, where we will include the prophets, activists, dissenting voices and other such thinkers? As enemies….it is quite problematic. I surely agree this is not an easy judgement to make.

Many do give labels like anti-national, anti-church, anti-religion and so on. If I criticize one aspect of the constitution, do I become anti-constitution? I don’t think; constitutional amendments happen after people starting to think in dissenting voices with the aspects of constitution. If I criticize one aspect of the church, do I become anti-church? Definitely no, because church is a pilgrim (and not a finished product). When we miss the dynamism of any institution (even with all constitution and rules), we equate one rule with the institution and opposing single or multiple rules of the institution makes the other anti-institution.

nstitution/Nation is much more than few rules/dogmas. I can still be part of it even when I challenge few of those rules (not the cardinal ones… then you are out).

This willingness to accept the challenging thoughts/views makes a person/country/institution relevant and thriving in the contemporary world.

A Jesuit interested to think and write; Loves philosophy, spirituality, politics…. Believes in God & well-being of all humans… Open to difference & newness..

A Jesuit interested to think and write; Loves philosophy, spirituality, politics…. Believes in God & well-being of all humans… Open to difference & newness..