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Reflection Day 25: Rev'd Stephanie Jenkins

Reflect on your core values. Would you confront a friend if a core value of yours was compromised? If so, name the core value(s).

By Rev'd Stephanie Jenkins

There was a time in my life, I far from knew what to say if a core value of mine was compromised. I typically would find myself shocked into silence. I cannot say that this is still not the case at times, however a couple of decades of life has given me more practice and at times I’m not shocked into silence

One of my core values, “respect the dignity of every human being,” was compromised in my early twenties that left me speechless came in the form of a racial slur/name calling. Rather than have a conversation with my friend's husband, I just distanced myself. I’m not sure that the same thing wouldn’t have still happened if I had said something, but in not saying something I allowed the perpetuation of racism to continue unchecked and I failed to live into my Baptismal Covenant, of “respecting the dignity of every human being."

Today if I found myself in that situation, I would hope I have the presence of mind to respond something along the lines of, “Whoah! Maybe you didn’t mean it in this way, but that phrase/name you just used is incredibly disrespectful.”

There are certainly plenty of ways this comment could be responded to - one of which is the opening for the person to apologize and offer they didn’t realize it was disrespectful, perhaps opening a teaching/growth opportunity. Of course bringing the use of such a phrase to someone’s attention, could also not be received well, at which point I would have to agree to disagree. Prayer would follow on my part about what the relationship looked like going forward (assuming there was a mutual desire for friendship).

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