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.