About this blogger:
Ronda Chervin received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University and an MA in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. A widow, mother, and grandmother, she currently teaches philosophy at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Write to her at chervinronda@gmail.com.
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“…I started down the road of the liturgy, and this became a continuous process of growth into a grand reality transcending all particular individuals and generations, a reality that became an occasion for me of ever-new amazement and discovery. The incredible reality of the Catholic liturgy has accompanied me through all phases of life, and so I shall have to speak of it time and again.”
— Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

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Stay on the Common Ground
published 4 March 2011 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

I happen to be an unidentical girl twin who had identical twin girls. If you are not familiar with twins you might think a twin is a clone! An interesting psychological study of twins is entitled: “We’re Twins. Who am I?” Each of the twins is different from the other in many ways even if physical traits are identical.

Typically, they say, since twins shared the same womb, we are inclined to seek close, close relationships with others. Some twins live together all their lives; others marry others who are twins; some live close by their twins.

Trying to find someone else to substitute for ones twin is a pattern fraught with difficulty and can be seen as an extreme of a general problem. We naturally seek people as spouses and friends with whom we have a lot in common. And, we often resent that the this seeming “clone” in fact has glaring differences from us! Martin Buber called this the spectre of otherness rising up in the midst of seeming identity.

I find a better image of closeness is not the “clone” but an overlapping of circles with many others. The circle which is me has a segment called philosophy. This overlaps with the segment of the circle of someone else who loves to philosophize. But I have overlapping circles with someone else who hates analyzing life but who has common ground with me on love of beauty.

When I bemoan the otherness of those in my family or my friends and then try to drag them into an overlap into my segment of some interest or value, I feel miserable. It’s much better to try to stay mostly in the overlapping segment.

If you are very analytic you might enjoy making circles with the names of each of those close to you and then make each one’s circle overlap with yours on that trait.

Then praise God for the joy of the common ground.

Dr. Ronda has many free e-books and audios on her website rondachervin.com. If you go to her website and read or listen and then want to correspond with her she will be available. Her schedule does not permit, however, responding to comments on the Blog, though she enjoys reading them. Dr. Ronda’s newest project is spiritualityrunningtogod.com.