"Essential to the work of reconciliation is a nonjudgmental presence. We are not sent to the world to judge, to condemn, to evaluate, to classify, or to label. When we walk around as if we have to make up our mind about people and tell them what is wrong with them and how they should change, we will only create more division.
In a world that constantly asks us to make up our minds about other people, a nonjudgmental presence seems nearly impossible. But it is one of the most beautiful fruits of a deep spiritual life and will be easily recognized by those who long for reconciliation."
I copied this Nouwen quote from a larger excerpt posted by a Fb friend because it so wonderfully fit with my thoughts this day concerning the chaos of the environment I found myself in this morning surrounded by 5 teenage girls (two of my own and three others) and their conflicts.
They were violating everything Nouwen is describing and if we adults were to really pay close attention to ourselves...even when trying to help others, even chaotic teenagers/young adults, we might be surprised at how much our attempts to help are violations of these same things also.
Unless we are freed from the old familiar dysfunctional stuff, we will remain ourselves functioning on auto pilot unaware of the reality that we are just a part of the same mess...regardless as to how noble we might think our intentions are.