Credo Cafe is one of Urban Seed’s most special places. It’s where we share lunch with people from all walks of life and a place where we are all the same. Students often ask us questions about whether we feel safe in credo. Here is a response from Stephen Said.. but before that, here’s a little about Stephen (info from www.urbanseed.org)
Stephen Said, Residential & Community Engagement Co-ordinator
Stephen is a husband, a dad, and a foundation member of the Melbourne Heart Football Club. He works in the area of activism and social change as an educator, activist, speaker, writer and community development worker. Stephen is particularly interested in radical spirituality, incarnational community and the dynamics of personal and social transformation and you can read more about this on his blog. He has helped many think about the nexus between the issues of justice, poverty, consumerism and discipleship in the context of popular global culture.
Question: Do you ever feel scared or uncomfortable in Credo?
Stephen: I often feel uncomfortable and scared. Often when I am close to someone who might be suffering some kind of mental illness, I feel both. It’s hard because I think about all those reports on the news about people with mental illnesses hurting or harming members of the public.
However, the longer I spend in Credo, I realise that not only have I never been threatened, but I have never seen someone threatened by a person with a mental illness in Credo.
If I keep thinking about it, I realise that a lot of my fears are based upon media reports that really are not very accurate at all. So these days, when I find myself feeling uncomfortable or afraid, I try to ask myself “Is the source of my fear/discomfort real, or something the media/broader pop culture taught me?”
It’s a hard discipline to practice, but when I do, it really helps me to actually be more open to the people who are around me, rather than being frightened by culturally constructed stereotypes.
Thanks for sharing Stephen!!