I’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).