Catechize v.

1. To question closely 2. To question with reference to belief 3. To instruct orally by means of questions and answers, especially in Christian doctrine.

I was a very fortunate high school student: I was instructed on how to think critically, to take things apart, deconstruct them, ask questions, and analyze freely. This skill served me well in college, as I researched identity development for ethnic minorities, the questions of sexual orientation, and linguistic differences. Somewhere along the line, I was swept up in the opinions of others, and being a natural introvert, I spent a lot of time listening and absorbing, but not speaking. What I didn’t realize was that I was internalizing the opinions of others. And for many years I endured having my opinions criticized, to the point where I internalized these criticisms. I chose not to have a voice, for fear of being told I was wrong.

This has now changed, and I see the distinction between thinking critically, and criticizing. For too many years I saw these two concepts as one and the same. This new word is very important to me; I am learning how to question closely, to instruct myself in the question and answer interplay, to ponder my beliefs (which are not Christian in any sense of the word). In short, I am learning to catechize the world around me, and it feels remarkable to make sense of the world around me, as I search fro my own version of truth and authenticity.

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This entry was published on March 27, 2012 at 9:04 pm. It’s filed under 30 New Words and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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