My dad would often say to me, “De gustibus non est disputandum.” This Latin maxim roughly means that we cannot dispute a person’s taste. In other words, in matters of taste, each person is her own expert. Who we find beautiful, what we find yummy, or where we think is the best scenery: they all are matters of taste.
I wonder how many times I have branded another person’s taste as “wrong” or elevated my tastes as absolute, indisputable truths. I am sure, too often.
As a child, my world (just post World War II) was one of “we are all in this together.” I was taught to be a good member of the group. The group trumped the individual. Individuals were often lost.
Our current era is one marked with a radical individuality. Choices not only abound but are demanded. There can be so many as to confuse us. Rights are spoken of often. The individual trumps the community.
Both of these poles are dangerous. Living in the tension of Me-We is hard. We will never get it right.
Never, that is unless we embrace an intermediary. That intermediary is the Holy Spirit. When the Spirit is in, with, under and though our relationships, all are honored. All God’s Spirit needs is an invitation.
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of the faithful and kindle in us the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and we shall be created. And you shall renew the face of the earth. Amen.