The end of this column holds an invitation for you - an opportunity for a good time that benefits a good cause.
But here at the beginning I want to talk about something called Praxis, because that is where this all began. The term “praxis” refers to applying a lesson or a skill. It is about action – doing something that you’ve learned how to do.
Every fall eight young adults come to Chapel Hill-Carrboro to live and serve for a year. Every spring these “Johnson Interns” are challenged to find or create a project to which to apply the lessons they’ve learned from the work and study they’ve done since their arrival.
Gifts come in different kinds of packaging and this one didn’t come in a box, but in bytes. The delivered present was the culmination of a few weeks of encouragement and cajoling.
“You can do it!” “This is the next step!” And, “If you’re ever going to do it, this is the one - it is all women, it is flat and it won’t be hot.”
With those words, and many more, our younger daughter, Amanda, convinced me to sign up for the “Run Like a Diva” Half-Marathon at the end of April.
At this stage in my life I am not around children very often, and when I am with Helena, age 9, her mom is usually around too. If you had asked me if I needed to participate in a workshop on child sexual abuse, I’d have said no. But I participated recently through my association with the Redwoods Group and the Johnson Intern Program. Now I realize someone like me can make a big difference in directly reducing the number of children that are sexually abused.
I learned how to knit at the knees of my friend’s great grandmother. I wasn’t yet 10 years old, and she was pushing 90. Her patience matched her decades, and perhaps my ability to focus exceeded my chronological age.
Sometimes failure can be enlightening. In the week following the presidential election I planned to interview two Republican friends and ask them questions that I thought would prove a theory I held — that behind our outward differences lay significant agreements that could heal the hurts of an election year and move us towards some real solutions for what ails us.