Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of October 16, 2000
Self-knowledge key to good ethics - Maddix
By ANH HOANG
WCR Staff Writer
"Who do you say that I am?" is not only something Jesus Christ asked his disciples. It's something we should ask ourselves everyday.
"It's hard, it's really hard," said Holy Cross Brother Tom Maddix. "Most of us would do anything but find ourselves.
"But if I'm going to make good ethical decisions, I have to know who I am."
Maddix's talk was part of the Ethics in Action conference, Oct. 5-6 at the Chateau Lacombe Crowne Plaza. The conference, hosted by Catholic Social Services, also commemorated its 40th anniversary and paid tribute to Msgr. Bill Irwin, the organization's founder.
Marc Barylo, an organizer of the event, referred to it as a means of inspiration and motivation for the staff and volunteers as well as a memorable look at the growth of the agency.
"We wanted to refocus people's energy to look at why they're doing what they're doing," Barylo said.
Speakers included Pallottine Father Erik Riechers, Paula Tyler, deputy minister of Alberta's Children Services, Mark Pickup, who has received the Governor General's medal for Community Service, and Rebecca Davis-Mathias, a local ethics professor.
Having a Christian focus is important in everyday life, said Maddix. And this Christian focus is also within the equation of becoming a whole person.
"Our wholeness, our authenticity is a choice. It's what we choose based on who we are and what we do."
This discovery of wholeness is determining what ethics we possess, how we incorporate our spirituality into it and how we can take the relationship to a more intimate level.
"Desire (intimacy) is only seen as erotic," Maddix said. "Sex shops, triple X movies, that's the downside.
But intimacy, he said, is the desire for connection.
Unlike countries throughout the world, North Americans have a habit of limiting our communication with our neighbours.
"That's the problem with our society today . . . we're kind of closed off," Maddix said.
Finding who we are will not only strengthen our relationships with others, but also our relationship with ourselves.
Finding oneself means jumping into everything you do with both feet because "if we stand on the edge," said Maddix, "we will never get there."