This past Sunday, Rev. Jan referenced “Everly’s Self-Care Pyramid.” Most of us are familiar with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and this has that immediate feel. At the bottom of Everly’s self-care pyramid, though, is the foundation of faith. I was immediately fascinated by this because in Maslow’s hierarchy, basic things HAVE to be in place before more abstract things can be considered. Isn’t faith an abstract thing?
Everly defines faith as “that which helps you understand your place in the scheme of things.” This may or may not be some higher source. It may be science. It may be a set of principles. It might be a therapeutic process. It may be a combination of things.
When I take that understanding of faith and reflect on myself and others in my community of relationships, it changes the angle of my perspective. There are people whose views I simply don’t share, and some I find troubling or even objectionable. Now, I am trying to imagine how those views help them understand their place in the scheme of things.
Let me be clear to say that this understanding of faith does not suddenly make all views on all things okay. I have friends who, via their Christian faith, believe that all Muslims are dangerous. I have friends who believe that its each man for himself and that those who are poor are just lazy. I have white friends who think that People of Color are racist with no real understanding of what the word racist means.
Everly’s definition is about how one holds onto life and makes sense of it. It’s not enough to argue. My own sense of reasoning is grounded in how I see myself in the scheme of things.