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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Friday, July 11, 2003
    A vigourous form of apathy
     
    A clergy conference I'm enjoying, that's a rare thing. Partly because the company's good; partly because it's on understanding and working within communities, using the approach of libertation educator Paulo Freire, who for some time I've admired and wanted to engage with.

    Tonight we got into the subject by discussing what makes us angry, and exploring why - what in our background and experience, our knowledge, our values and affiliations causes us to get angry about those particular things. The most entertaining and revealing set of responses came from a group who all felt that, actually, they don't get angry about anything very much at all... and made a case for that being the best approach to life. This, of course, was an introverts' charter, a celebration of introversion. And, most clergy being introverts (official - say Myers Briggs experts), most of us smiled self-conscious smiles as our colleague reporting-back on the group's behalf tried to fend off showing signs of enthusiasm about being laid-back, as he couldn't quite stop himself making a case for a vigourous form of apathy.

    Wonderful, I thought, as I walked out of the conference room, by now well into introvert mode myself, and opted out of an hour in the pub, driving home instead, thinking deeply about these things.