a life of clear “yes” and “no”


Color works in reverse.  This smooth-cut emerald is green because it absorbs other colors and rejects the color we see.  Black absorbs all color which is one of the reasons why it is so often associated with death. When an emerald rejects blue and yellow we see green, and so with this emerald we see color in reverse of that which it absorbs.

Similarly, in my life, my work is to do the discernment in which I accept some things with my “yes” and let go of other things with my “no.” Discernment, in medieval times, came from a latin word “descretio” which enclosed both the word “discernment” and the word “discretion.” The former word describes the act of making a choice within the context of an awareness of God and God’s hopes for us.  The later word, “discretion” describes the way of being in the world in which we allow silence to rule when speech or action would be a more harmful choice.

In my life, I want the yellow of discernment and the blue of discretion to be a constant presence in the emerald green of my life so that my “yes” is a real “yes” and my “no” a real and careful “no.”  Not choosing those two words well has caused too much harm in human lives and on the planet.

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