Thursday, August 13, 2009

Rachel Hedman: So I listened to a man who reminded me of Spiderman's uncle one day. . .

There is a moment in the first Spiderman movie when Uncle Ben tells Clark Parker, "Remember, with great power comes great responsibility."

Somehow this resonated to how Elder Windham spoke while at the Johnson City, TN Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Sunday, July 19, 2009 towards 1:15pm.

He exclaimed, "All of you must have some story--too close to tell."

He added, "What stories are we living?"

Parker's Uncle Ben asked those same type of questions. Uncle Ben wondered about the strange experiments he conducted in his room as well as the fight started at school. He reminded Parker that he faced the years when he decided the man he would become.

When Elder Windham spoke of the image of a story, he seemed to indicate that the narrator could choose many avenues in which to take their story in life.

In Ancient Civilizations, many of the stories are epicentric. This type involves stories within a story and where one starts at one place of the story until it evolves into to allow other possibilities as paths. Some examples of these stories: King Midas, Hercules, Lord Krishna, Ra, Abraham, Shang-Ti, etc.

Common Qualities of Epicentric Stories:
  1. Highly Interactive Due to Multi-Layers (provides mystery and encourages creativity)
  2. Non-Linear Sequence of Events (builds memory)
  3. Contradictions and/or Repetitions (allows teller--and even listeners--to make choices of most logical path)

Our own lives are complicated.

We choose how we live our stories every day.

We are the ultimate epicentric stories.

We even have contradictions.

Haven't you told a story that a family member or friend said, "It didn't happen that way! I remember. . ."

Sometimes we pull close to our hearts certain memories that we do not wish to share. We may be afraid to know what a family member or friend would think.

When Elder Windham said "some story--too close to tell", he did not have to explain that he meant in our hearts. We, as human beings, often connect emotions to our hearts much like we link the brain to intellect or the stomach to physical desires.

Continuing with his talk, Elder Windham stated, "I unscientifically noted some things." He referenced faith-based decisions that do not require a visual to provide proof. Again, he had a heart/emotion theme without actually saying the word "heart". By the way he spoke, it was obvious that he placed greater importance on feelings of the heart than of the mind.

To be "scientific" about something usually implies to dissect or look at the small pieces rather than looking at the whole picture. This could be the reason that sometimes science has a negative connotation when shared with religion.

Ironically, there have been times when both scientists and religious people have accused each other as being "closed-minded".

Is it not interesting that we also have the phrase "open-hearted"? Hmmm. I think there is a connection. Follow that with "open-minded". I sure hope the science and the spiritual get along.

Whenever we speak--verbally or nonverbally--we reveal where we are on that spectrum.

There is a power to speaking. Of such, Elder Windham said towards the end of his talk, "Speaking is just one of those things that means accepting responsibility."

Can you hear the echo of Uncle Ben from Spiderman?

Whether good or ill from our mouths, we accept the consequences.

If in any doubt, then there is always the etymology of the word "responsibility" which comes from the 1599 French "responsible" to mean "answerable (to another, for something)". Then, the Latin "responsus" or "respondere" both mean "to respond". Since 1836, this has come to mean a "sense of obligation", which was inferred by the Latin roots.

Seems like a lot of science and spiritual to me. How about you?

I think Uncle Ben would be proud.

Until we tell again,

Rachel Hedman
(801) 870-5799

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