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The Sound of Silence

leaf with rain droplets - Stock ImageI’ve found an inability to write many articles lately, not because I’ve lacked topics of which I’ve been passionate about, but because as soon as I begin to internalize such a topic, and my mind lists off the arguments that support the side of my favor, to my annoyance, I also think of counterarguments. I realize that I’m no longer content to let a limp, half-baked argument stand before the unchallenged approval of my tribal allies. On the contrary, if I have anything to say, it must be be able to stand on its own before the scrutinizing gazes of ideological rivals.

And so I go full circle and strengthen my initial arguments. But then, by the seventh sword of Gray Skull, my counterarguments speak out against my favoritism and demand equal treatment. The end result: my thoughts cancel themselves out, and I have nothing to say. Except this thought now, which both my arguments and counterarguments see perfectly eye-to-eye on: we waste a great deal of time trying to solve problems that don’t, in reality, affect us. At all. That is to say, while it’s probably a distortion to claim that society does not, in fact, exist, I believe the proper way to look at society is not as an entity in and of itself but as a replication of individuals and families. If, therefore, problems are solved on the individual and familial level, I believe that so-called societal problems will also vanish.

Thus, while the question of how to treat minority X may not be a bad one, a better question is, “What can I do for my neighbors?” While a decent question may be, “What is the ideal relationship between citizens and government?” A better question is, “How can I teach my children to govern themselves?” While it’s okay to ask whether or not women are being treated fairly in society, it’s certainly a better use of time to ask one’s self, “How can I make my wife happy today?”

Thus I’m content for now to put aside the large questions that can’t be answered and focus on a life that must be lived. To quote the Gospel of Thomas, “Jesus said, ‘If one who knows the all still feels a personal deficiency, he is completely deficient'” (67).

3 thoughts on “The Sound of Silence

  1. Some wise words.

  2. This is, I believe the pint my dad was trying to make with his letter to the brother in Mexico who asked him if Cain was still a live. Two pages of story telling of the Gospel in action, one sentence of “I do not know”

  3. Thanks for sharing your wisdom. You have enhanced my day again. I scrutinize what I admire. Therefore, I hope you will receive criticism as an affirmation that your voice has influence, and not let it drive you to silence. Having said that…

    There is a subtle difference between “First cleanse the inner vessel” and “Only cleanse the inner vessel”. I think this clarification may be needed to prevent an erroneous interpretation of your message. Corruption does not refrain from attacking families that hold family home evening, but family home evening may build the characters that will one day stand against corruption.

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