Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas
Honesty is often very hard. The truth is often painful. But the freedom it can bring is worth the trying. Fred Rogers
Life is about growth, which means as long as we are living we are continuing to grow. Not all growth is good, cancer is growing. I’m wondering as I write this if ideas are sometimes good like normal growth and sometimes bad like cancer. We don’t all agree on what are good ideas and what ideas we might consider cancer.
I was listening to Joyce Meyer and she looked at her audience and said, “There’s two of us.” Then went on to explain the two sides of ourselves constantly fighting for supremacy. One is selfish, short-sighted, mean-spirited, and out for ourselves. The other is kind, generous, open-hearted, and good.
Where does self-interest come into this? What if we put someone else’s self-interest first to the detriment of our own, is that still good? What if we are trying to make amends for the past by putting someone else’s children’s interests ahead of our own children? What if we build up resentment in our children by trying to atone for sins they never committed? Are we still building a better society?
Fair seems to be a double-edged sword, because what is fair? How do we make it fair for people who never had the advantages other people have had? Is this even something we should try and do? People have risen from very humble beginnings and others have fallen from great heights. When we set up competitions we can try and make them as fair as possible but we can never make up for the advantages or disadvantages people got at birth, and sometimes people turn what looked like a disadvantage into an advantage, and what looks like advantages sometimes don’t end up to be advantageous at all.
The truth is rarely pure and never simple. Oscar Wilde
When I look at my beautiful grandson I envision a future for him, but I don’t know what that future will be. I have to be careful I don’t look only at the negative or only at the positive of what can be. What would make our society better for our children than what we have built? Are we so sure we know how to make it better?
We do have to take steps into the unknown as we deal with the challenges we face. We should try and make the world better but let’s not think that isn’t what our ancestors were trying to do, and what they built is an accomplishment, even if it isn’t perfect. No one will look back on our time and think we were perfect either. Most people are doing the best they know how to do, when they know better they will do better. Getting better at anything is a forward-and-back struggle that will look like a stock market chart over time, moving ever upward but with deep downturns in its midst.
Unintended consequences come out of our good intentions and good sometimes comes out of what was meant for evil. Mom repeats James Truslow Adams’ quote often, “There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that it ill behooves any of us to find fault with the rest of us.”
It is easy to say but not easy to live. How can others not see what we see, it’s so obvious, and they are looking at us thinking the same thing, how are we not seeing what they are seeing? We can fight almost to the death to make our point and still never see the other person’s point of view. How do we see someone else’s point of view when ours is so right?
I say to my husband all the time, “The truth is the truth, but his truth and my truth aren’t the same.” I think we have some inconvenient truths we have to deal with, but others think that is only your opinion, and your opinion is not better than my opinion. Even truths that seem incontrovertible to some are up for dispute. We live in interesting times, and I sometimes wonder what historians will make of this.
In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act. Unknown
Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. Buddha
People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe. Andy Rooney
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