We live in a time of turmoil and confusion.
Left is attacking right!
Right is attacking left!
Crazy Billy is attacking that box of donuts like there is no tomorrow!
These are real problems…and I don’t just mean crazy Billy and his unhealthy eating habits.
People are unhappy and angry about it.
The system has failed them.
If you ask people why the system has failed, the answer you get depends on whether the person you are asking is on the left or the right…or if they are the one sitting on the sidelines with a wicked smile, watching everybody scream it out.
The funny thing is, these people have more in common than they think…each side blames the other, using the same type of rhetoric…each side sends out sensational newsletters and press releases that strangely enough, all end in exactly the same way, asking for money to help them win the battle for right and truth.
The question is, what is truth?
Is truth simply something that I create and define in order to achieve my own objectives? If so, why should anybody else care? Everybody else has their own objectives and truths that they hold to…my truth is only one of many possible truths.
Or is it?
Could it be that truth is simply reality? [Truth = Reality.]
What really is.
Truth isn’t something that I can make up to suit my own agenda. I may wish to believe that I am a super hero and take a flying leap off a skyscraper…but the reality of gravity, the truth, will bring me back down to Earth very quickly.
Yep. Truth hurts sometimes. Sometimes it really hurts.
Still, can’t we all agree that truth [reality] is really what we all hunger for?
Pornography has it’s airbrushed promises of perfect pleasure…but it leaves us hungry for a real relationship. Imperfect as they are…
That sensational news story may say everything we want to believe…but it still leaves us wondering what really happened. As boring as the reality of a situation often is…
That exciting sermon may make us feel like we’re on top of the world…but during the week we are left wondering why bad things happen to good people. As hard as it is sometimes to wrestle through the deeper questions of life…
What we need to change the reality of a situation…is to face the reality of a situation.
We’ve screwed up as a society. We’ve allowed our determination for personal comfort, for personal glory…I’ll say it…our, pride, to blind us to the advantages that come with working for a greater good.
Yeah, it’s tough to sit down and listen to somebody who has a viewpoint than I do. However, if it helps in some small way to build connection, community, is it worth it?
But so and so did that horrible, terrible, bad thing! I know…I know…I’m not saying we overlook criminal behavior…where people are proven to have engaged in criminal behavior, they should be punished for that.
However, if we want to have civilization, we need to agree that everyone is equal before the law. Not make exceptions for those people we don’t like…or those people with different skin colors…or those evil people who foolishly don’t donate to this blog writing ministry. There must be one law for all the people…fair trials available for all people, innocent until proven guilty…not innocent until some dingbat at the coffee shop makes up a cool story.
Our civilization was built by people like Martin Luther King…people who were give their very lives so that truth and right could march forward. Countless others have also sacrificed in order for us to have a democratic system and a [mostly] free way of life in North America. [Yep, compared to the rest of the world, it’s still pretty free.]
Are we really willing to blow all this to pieces for the sake of some self-serving agenda? If so, what does that say about us?
Lets be honest, you don’t know everything…neither does that cool pastor…that amazing politician…or that wonderful pizza delivery boy.
Can we all agree to seek the truth…no matter how hard it may be to find it?
Do we have the courage to stop sharing those sensational stories we aren’t really sure they’re true…but you know, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were.
Let’s be honest, we’ve all had those days where we’ve finished a conversation and thought…oh my goodness, I said that!? That’s not what I meant at all!
Are we strong enough to give the other side the benefit of the doubt?
Can we all agree to reach across the party lines and listen…really, listen to what the other side is saying? [I didn’t say agree to it…I said, listen…and try understand why they are saying those kinds things.]
Are we willing to the do the hard things instead of the easy things…if we know that everyone will benefit from it?
Can we all agree to de-escalate the culture war and to instead, go to war for the benefit of the poor and homeless in our own communities? [Yeah, it’s easier to be passionate about stuff far away. I’m asking you to do the hard thing. Be passionate about the outrageous things right at home…stuff you can actually do something about.]
Yeah, yeah, it’s hard to be civilized. But being civil…you know…makes us civilized. Which has certain advantages to it too…for one, people won’t mistake us for baboons…for another, we can do our part to avoid unnecessary conflict.
As fun as violence and destruction is…I can’t help but wonder if there are more constructive things we could be doing with our time.