Not very long after I had started my journey as a church accompanist, I was invited to a seminar held by the church’s sound operators. The issue brought out was our church’s poor acoustic condition and how to deal with it. One of the speakers said that in most churches, the big problem concerning audio is not caused by the technical issues , it is the non-technical issues that get in the way. These days, the latter seems to be the cause of many damages done , in churches and other places as well.
One of the most crucial non-technical issues of living in a community is ethics . Ethics are shown in one’s etiquette. To be clear, Oxford Dictionary explains ethics as “moral principles that govern a person’s behaviour or the conducting of an activity” while etiquette as “the customary code of polite behaviour in society or among members of a particular profession or group”
There is an assumption that these days people’s rules of etiquette is diminishing. Not only in children , but sadly in adults too . Even more sadly, this also happens in community where people’s ethics are supposed to be ameliorated because that place was built for religious services. Yes, I’m talking about none other than the church, and the servants, specifically. Contrary to the fact that ethics are being held high by business executives, ironically.
Ever seen these behaviours? Accusing another person for a mistake rather than giving an advice, shouting to another fellow in anger (which is unnecessary), discrediting another person solely on personal judgement rather than fact, and so on. These behaviour resulting in people got hurt and not a few chose to leave and thus we lost another member of the fellowship. Leaving another soul broken and damaged relationship. There are just too much arrogance and self-centeredness inside everyone of us.
H.B. London presents an argument on the fact that people these days are losing ethics , beside the influences of postmodernity and media . ” In my work as a pastor to pastors, I see ethical mistakes, financial integrity mistakes, and men and women disregarding one another and their families because success is so important to them. Sometimes I think we use God as J.B. Phillips describes in Your God Is Too Small. When we put God in a box and only pull Him out whenever we need Him, it presents ethical problems. When we speak, teach, and think for God, it is really not for God at all. It is for our convenience. We are simply using God as a crutch.”
Churc h is meant not only to facilitate worship services, but also to build fellowship. There should be a strong bond between the members so there is no need to blurt out ego and being unethical instead. There are indeed a lot of challenges for church servants, but that should not be the reason to be sarcastic. Problems should not be a reason to justify our unethical behaviour, even though we could argue that we did it to make things “better”.
I am glad to quote Tina Seelig on how to execute the right thing: “There is a significant difference between doing the right thing and rationalizing a decision that’s best for you. Your actions always affect how others see you, and, as mentioned innumerable times now, you will likely bump into these same people again. If nothing else, you can be sure they will remember how you handled yourself” See, impressions are indeed matter .
Another cause for unethical behaviour is lack of communication. This is a classic, devil’s circle problem that always appear anywhere. We tend to get to a certain goal fast, without including other people’s interest and capability in achieving it whereas the goal itself is mutual rather than personal. We need to take a little time to approach our partners in a friendly way to help us reach the shared goal. Although this is not an easy task, time spent being friendly is clearly not wasted, it is an investment for the sake of the healthy community.
For all the people who felt uncomfortable in the place where they should feel most welcome, for those who endured at the place where they have been personally discredited, let’s be ethical rather than a self-centered person. It is not too late.
I am not a risk taker, to be honest. Lately I was trapped in a project with very big goal but limited resources. It is not that i don’t want to help, aside from the fact that this project is unfortunately a kind of merely personal ambition, but rather to the fact that I don’t believe in belief-driven goal.
Some of my acquaintances are risk takers. Hard core. They are people who willing to do even everything just to achieve a certain goal. They believe in their dreams . They don’t even bother if they do not have the resources yet, they believe they will obtain them eventually. Even in a short time. I should say these people are driven by belief.
Unlike me , I do not take many risks though I do dream big . I am very resource-driven. Living in the music school business for the past 3 years makes me realize that resources (e.g musical skills) are indeed important. Unless you are a very good performer or teacher or scholars, you wouldn’t survive there .
Sadly , most people think that living there could be supported by just an ordinary level of music performing. This phenomenon is explained by Cal Newport in his book So Good They Can’t Ignore You . Many people pursue their dream without realizing that they do not have sufficient resources. How could I achieve something big by only using the passion and belief itself? You need to be financially secured for that , at the very least.
It is not that I discredit successful people who used to dream big and eventually achieve it . It is the fact that I am concern about these people, will they get along well? I do think people need to dream big , just please don’t get blinded by the dream and passion. Sometimes you need to put a strap onto yourself while chasing dreams, and prepare everything well.
Cal Newport owns a blog dedicated to decode patterns of success , in studying and working. Go check it out :Study Hacks
There is no exact measurement of gratitude , but most of us expressing gratitude when things are good. When everything goes well, when it shines the brightest, when things go as planned, seeing discount banners at the mall, an exceptional grade on a difficult subject, a good plan executed flawlessly, you named it.
On the contrary ? Hang there, not so easy . A hard path walked alone , an argument unheard , being misunderstood, being hold responsible , and the list keep going way down, not even close to an end. What left there was grief , despair, cynicism, and so on .
After what happened to me in the last 3 years, I think I just figured out something. I was once given a task ,not so hard, but I made it worse by finding no reinforcement due to my lack of experience in persuading people. I had to manage things and people alone, for almost 3 years. It was depressing. Not only the task itself , but the responsibility to make sure everything goes well is soul-consuming. Trying to get some attention but few actually really cared. In the end finally nailed the tasks , week by week, month by month.
Now, another fellow who got the same job description got so many help and affection from another people. Looking back at what happened , I was surprised that I was actually able to nail the tasks alone , just because of His grace. I could have ended up in a worse mental state , thanks God He kept me sane enough to stay.
Bad experiences teach us to be grateful . Not only as comparison, but as a lesson as well as a milestone, how God has been with us through all the storms. I try to believe the saying that ” one day you will be grateful for the whole history that happened in your life” . Just started the journey to be there 😉