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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

East vs. West!

Before I get started I want all of you to know that this isn't another plug for the glories, the joys, and the benefits of being brought up in Berlin's east side. With that out of the way, for the past few weeks I have been listening to NHPR at the store. We have all kind of got hooked into this by the quirky programs that they put on. 

Yesterday I was listening and they had a topic about the eastern and western cultures. One of the issues they discussed was about the way intelligence was viewed. They talked to a college professor who once taught in a public school. He mentioned that he once sent a student to the blackboard to work out a math problem. The student was not the top of his class and was struggling with the problem. He asked the other students repeatedly if the answer was correct and the answer was no. He worried about the pressure that was placed upon the child. In time the young man got it right, and the class confirmed that he was in fact correct. The class applauded the young man who left the board beaming.

The next discussion centered upon an exercise with eastern children vs. western children given an almost impossible math problem to solve. They were both given one hour to try to solve the problem. The western children gave up after about 5 minutes, while the eastern children were told that time was up! 

So what's my point. Well, as Catholics we need to realize that struggling and persevering is a tremendous part of the journey. It's not always about knowing more, it's how we deal with issues and work to resolve them. 

I really didn't think this was just an eastern culture issue. I remember growing up hearing stories how our ancestors would grow in faith and maturity through their own challenges in life. Maybe it's more that we have not embraced the crosses in our lives that makes being a Catholic so challenging. 

Either way, I thought that this radio segment tied into my journey in faith and discernment very well.

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis!


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