Monday, September 19, 2011


I just posted the following status to my facebook -

"Filling out clergy self-assessment forms. For the uninitiated this is how it goes
Q How awesome were you last year?
A Super awesome.
Q How awesome are you now?
A Double super awesome.
Q How awesome are you gunna be?
A Triple super awesome, plus plus plus.
Consider me self-assessed. ;-p"

(Dear Person Reading This Blog in a Couple Decades Time,
back at the turn of the 21st Century we had this thing called 'facebook'.
It was kind of like that thing you use now to kill time and irritate people... only less amazing.)

I struggle with self-assessment - and I don't only mean the forms I fill out every year for the UMC. I find it difficult to walk the line between being unfairly critical and unrealistically flattering. Plus I have my Aussie culture hat on, which tells me that it's boastful to talk good about yourself - better to say less and let everyone around you (hopefully) chime in.

But I think one area where we all fail at self-assessment is when reporting back in answer to that Dreaded Question - 'How Are You?'

I reckon that's why facebook ask you 'What's On Your Mind?', and twitter* ask 'What's Happening?' It's pretty easy to report back on the intellectual stuff, and even more so on recounting current events. But, 'how are you?'... urgh!

That requires actual soul searching. And evaluating how much is too much or too little information - in the context of whichever cultural situation the question occurs.

It might even require VULNERABILITY.

We might need to one day decide to be honest with people and say -
"You know what? What's on my mind is pain. What's happening is all bad. And how I am is a work very much in progress."

But maybe if we could self-evaluate to that level it could change the grading curve for the people around us when they do their own self-evaluations.

So I'm gonna stop procrastinating (by updating a blog I haven't bothered to go near since November LAST YEAR - wait till you see how faithfully I blog when End of Year Reporting comes around!) and go fill out the forms. Because I have to. And because self-evaluation is a useful skill. And mostly because it's less frightening than the alternative... being evaluated by OTHERS!!!

But since I have to spend my afternoon at this activity, how about you join in too. So...

How are YOU?

(*We also had this thing called 'twitter'. It was like that thing you have now for communicating in short bursts... but you know, minus the dolphins.)