Tuesday, 2 January 2007

Top Ten skills for the New Year

What are the top ten human skills which we should all have? Please send in your ideas.

(This is inspired by Declan's Workshop on the Spiritual Life at the Youth2000 New Year Festival.)

  • Being able to speak well
  • Being able to write well
  • Cooking
  • Lighting a fire
  • Swimming
  • First aid
  • Being able to grow vegetables
  • Sewing
  • Living without a television
  • Map reading

What are the top ten spiritual skills we should all have?

  • Prayer
  • Being grateful to God
  • Honesty
  • Being able to make decisions
  • Dependability
  • Cultivating friendships
  • Hospitality
  • Patience
  • Openess to other people's advice
  • Listening


brog said...

I'd replace being able to speak and write with being able to reason and being able to put forward an argument.

Fr Richard Aladics said...

Speaking and writing well, as against just speaking and writing, can mean just that and more (politeness, confidence, charity, understanding etc).

Fr Julian Green said...

I'd keep speaking and writing - and add reason. I think that the command of St Peter to be able to give an account of the hope that is in you depends on these three human qualities - each of which we may find deficient in our nature, but which grace can work upon. For myself, as a child I was very shy and was never able to stand up and speak really. That's certainly changed. Just ask anyone who knows me!

Anonymous said...

The 10 top human skills I believe we should all have are:

The abiltiy to accept ourselves
Learning to love ourselves.
Realise that love is spelt L O V E, not S E X.
Recognise that no-one is perfect, in appearance or personality.
Be compassionate towards hard hearted people.
To be able to look in the mirror and see that we are created in the image and likeness of God who is Love.
To be able to enjoy this very momment and not long to be somewhere else.
To be able to face fear and step out in faith.
To be able to hold up my hand and say 'you were right and I was wrong'.
To lead a person to Christ without having to say a word.

(John Hesketh)

Fr Julian Green said...

One of the things I often preach on when the text "Love the Lord your God... Love your neighbour" is the last part "as yourself". Our contemporary culture - and I think advertising and pop entertainment culture are the worst examples - impose an ideal of what a person should be based upon what they wear, what they drive, what cosmetics they use, what programmes on the television they watch, what washing powder they use...etc. Young people either get caught up in the "I must have the latest thing" mentality, which leads to a sense of emptiness because you can never have all those things, and they are all passing material things. Otherwise, they opt out and just decide that they are not really up to it. Either way, there is no encouragement to love themselves. This however conflicts with what children are actually taught. Our Pelagian (look it up!) educational system will not admit that people are sinners or that they can change and become better with the help of grace. The net result is a generation which thinks that they are not that good and nothing can ever be better. So to love yourself as God loves you, requires first of all to become reconciled to God - and then to ourselves - as sinners. This is the first stage is to recognise our inadequacy. That's not in order to stay there and suffer lifelong guilt, but to push us into receiving grace - that is, the friendship of Christ. It is only in the light of that friendship that we are able to love ourselves truly, and in turn love God and our neighbour. So I like these 10 qualities John!

Fr Julian Green said...

I just found this interesting thought on speaking and writing for Christ on a Catholic writers' website:

"We are told by St. James that, "every kind of beast and bird, and of serpents and the rest is tamed and has been tamed by mankind; but the tongue no man can tame — a restless evil and full of deadly poison" (James 3:7-8).

The apostle does not mean we cannot tame the tongue. What he means is that we cannot tame it by ourselves. We need the constant help of God. And God will give us the grace to tame this wild creature if we do our part. A most valuable part is to write down our thoughts while saying a prayer before we start writing, as we write, and after we have written — to obtain the divine light we need to see what God wants us to say and the divine help to say it.

People who do this will go a long way to using their tongues as God wants us to. The effort and grace required to write down our thoughts are a major contribution to mastering our speech.

Too often we speak without first thinking. But we cannot write without thinking. The practice of writing, therefore, will develop the art of speaking according to God's will. The reward? "If anyone does not offend in word," we are assured, "he is a perfect man" (James 3:2)."

Fr Richard Aladics said...

Thanks John H for your tremendous top ten skills which could be called: "Theology of the Body Top Ten skills".
Your inspiration here may stimulate other thematic TTSs.