Seeing Ourselves In The Best Light

A few years ago I posted about the beginning of my first unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). Every now and then I get comments on older posts, such as my post concerning CPE. I received such a comment on this old CPE post. Since, I don’t want to encourage some of the internet wackos I have my blog setup where your first comment has to be approved by me before it will display on my blog. After you have one comment approved by me all your future comments will automatically display on the blog without me having to approve them. So this individual’s comment was put in the waiting to be approved category for me to look at the comment before I allowed it to be posted. I decided I wasn’t going to approve it but thought I would save it to blog about later.

Here’s the comment:

It’s very hard to get a unit of cpe because providers are so few and programs are limited to just a few students. It’s highly selective as well. I felt as if I was rejected for being too old & too Christian. Being over qualified is another possibility for being rejected. I’ve smelled pc & felt discrimination at 2 providers now. I’d be a fine chaplain but I can’t get in. Does all chaplaincy have to be ACPE?

When I was a workman’s compensation adjuster I was training to trust my gut when something seemed off and look into it until I was satisfied. This comment set my gut off. It’s tone just didn’t seem to reflect that the world (read CPE) was actually out to get him, rather than him being rejcted for CPE for possible legitimate reasons. So on a lark I decided I would find out what I could find about this commenter. Thankfully this commentor left some information by which I could track him down. I am also related to one of the best stalkers in the world (hi mom).

I searched around and quickly found some of his comments on other websites. I also found his twitter profile.  Here are the last two tweets from this commentor.

His other interactions, that I found, were similar to the tweets above. Maybe it is just me but I kind of feel like this commentor may have a little difficulty relating to people who are different from him. Perhaps that is why he wasn’t able to make it into two different CPE programs.

We do tend to see ourselves in the best light. I’m sure this commentor thinks he could be an instrument of comfort and hope to all sorts of people, and maybe he could be in real life interactions (after all, the only experience I have with him right now is through viewing his online interactions as a spectator – maybe he is completely different in real life). My democrat-loving commentor isn’t alone in this behavior. We all join him in this behavior (though hopefully for most of us not to the same extent). It is so much easier to just blame someone else, rather than consider our own possible faults.

The ancient Delphic maxim “know theyself” is hard work. Blaming someone else isn’t. Though one leads to continual improvement and the other just pacifies for a little while.

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