Joe Paprocki opens his latest book, 7 Keys to Spiritual Wellness, with this crucial question:
Who’s your court jester?
Everyone needs a court jester. And I’m not just talking about someone who can make you laugh. I mean someone who can make you laugh at yourself. In medieval monarchies, the court jester was more than a mere buffoon; he was a voice of common sense, insight, and honesty — often brutal honesty, as in “the truth hurts.”
Who is my jester? I have several. At least one is official.
Every Jesuit Superior has an Admonitor, a fellow Jesuit appointed by the Provincial whose job it is to tell him uncomfortable things that he or other members of the community have noticed about him. Speaking of Provincials, mine have never hesitated to give me tough feedback when they believed I needed it. A fellow Jesuit challenged me on something last year which was difficult to hear, but I was glad that he was prepared to tell me out of his love and concern for me.
My colleague Terry often startles me with the directness of her comments. I know she holds me in high regard, but she is also unflinchingly honest with me. And, to be fair, I am the same towards her.
My sisters, of course, are ready to be frank with me. Sheesh – I have too many court jesters!
Who is/are yours?
Incidentally, I only learned as I finished this that Joe is offering a free webinar on 7 Keys to Spiritual Wellness on Tuesday, April 24, 2012, from 7 to 8:00 p.m. (CDT). For more details and sign up information, click here.