6.12.05

Familiarity and contempt - Jesus Army Life, Day 144

Last night I was roundly told off by a friend for calling her by a particular name. No problem, it won't happen again. But it is a mistake I've made before with others. Fast learner I'm not.

So it's got me thinking about friendships and the things we value as individuals. Obviously I had crossed a line I should not have crossed. There are times when I've rebuked someone for a disrespectful use of a name with me too. The reasons are unimportant. We simply have to respect each other.

In community there are a multiplicity of relationships, all with their own rules and boundaries (and at this point I do want to say I'm sorry). When to call each other 'bro' or 'sis' and when not to. When to call someone by their 'virtue name' (spiritual names we often give each other). Why someone can call you a name in an affectionate social relationship that would never be used in wider society. Names you can use with the same sex but not with the other. And why there never seems to really be an appropriate colloquial term for women: girl, lady, lass, woman, when 'bloke' will usually do for a man? One would have to be an genius to write down all the rules, and I certainly put myself in the clueless category when perceiving a lot of this stuff.

The only conclusion I have is the advice of an older 'sister': "Err on the side of respecting others."