Jean Vanier and the Fear Sharks, part ii

Last week, I introduced you to three Fear Sharks, embodiments of possible negative reactions to Jean Vanier’s seven aspects of love as laid out in his book Becoming Human. There are probably other reactions, with their corresponding sharks, but these are the ones I’m most familiar with. Kinda like the way some people prefer Golden Retrievers and others prefer Pugs or Poodles or Pinschers.

Anyway, here are two more hapless pets from my shark tank.

These two react against M Vanier’s fourth and fifth aspects of love:

4. Celebration: manifesting joy in being with another. Whenever we add a “but” in response to another’s happiness, we are feeding the fix-it urge. “Wonderful! But don’t you think you should use a clearer font / tone down the eye shadow / not get your hopes too high?” It’s really hard not to want what we think is the best for another.

5. Empowerment: encouraging another in their growth and self-acceptance. Fear Sharks 4 and 5 drink in the same bar together, but they behave differently. While 4 is always trying to help, 5 is the boss. Period. Self-control is 5’s greatest value, and anything that threatens it riles him. He either stops a loved one’s experiments, or pointedly ignores them.

Eat that foreign fish, or check out the neighbouring lagoon? Count 5 out. He just sits and nurses his pint, and lets 4 do all the talking.

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