Monday, August 4, 2008

Live in the World and be not of the World

I have been contemplating this phrase recently.  It seems that we are to avoid the influences of the world while still maintaining standard interactions with the world.  Here is my question:  What is the line between being in the world and not being of the world.  The predicament:  I have been a member of the military for a couple years now.  I am therefore required to interact with people that don't share any of the standards that I do.  It can be extremely degrading sometimes.  We are often told to be examples to others as well.  When I try to be a positive force and encourage others to hold higher standards it often comes across that I'm being a prude and that I'm treating them as less-thans.  This is not very conducive to being a positive example and often backfires in my face.  On the other hand I don't want to participate in many of their conversations because of the negative things they talk about.  So I am often stuck wondering what I should do.  Another example is going to bars with them on deployments.  When I refuse to go and try to encourage others to not drink too much they think I consider myself better.  I have been to several bars with them to be the designated driver and have had some positive conversations with these people that I would consider my friends.  Am I doing wrong by going to the bar?  Should I be more forceful in asking people not to talk about things I don't want to talk about when I am around.  I am asking for suggestions, because I don't feel that I have all the answers.  I hope I get some good feedback on this.


dan said...

I hate how all of the "happy hours" and after work activities where I work involve bars and/or drinking.

I also oscillate between the two - not going and going but not drinking.

Sometimes I compare it to asking a Jew to "hang out" in a pork slaughterhouse, but I am not really sure the analogy fits...

Barch said...

My Grandpa sent this to me:

I remember hearing the statement "The best sermon I ever heard was the good example of the man who lived his religion". In my experience in the work field I was able to get support and approval of my lifestyle by example. No one really wanted to be told that their lifestyle was not correct, so I went where they went, was silent or moved away when stories were not good, made sure to order clearly 7 up or sprite, so that my associates knew what I was drinking. In time I found that they made sure that those items were available when I was with them. Not much was said about it, they just made sure it was there. I found out that when a teaching moment was needed, they came to me in private and then we could talk. Even after talking about a subject it took time for it to sink in, and then, and only then were they willing to make change. Even heavenly father doesn't try to be too pushy, and clearly states that freedom of choice is an eternal principal. See D&C 121:41-46. Be patient with your associates, Heavenly Father will open doors when a person is ready to hear.
Love, Grandpa

Mom/Grandma/Kathy said...

Your Grandpa is a very wise man! I'm not sure that I could add anything else to what he has said. When we lived in Cleveland, we were the youngest couple in the neighborhood. Their were a couple of other people with young kids but not that many. Anyway - when we got ready to move, I told our immediate next door neighbor (whom we hadn't had a lot of interaction with) and she said that she was sorry to hear that. They had liked having us for neighbors because I had been very modest and the kids were so well behaved. The missionaries had been going door to door in that neighborhood and met with someone and they said "Oh yeah, we have Mormon neighbors". I'm not sure how they knew that because we really hadn't told anyone. Example works, I guess.