What the Hell

What the Hell

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Black and White in a Gray World

Trying to ignore the fact that besides the few of you out there who are following this blog, there's no way to know who else is looking thanks to this spammy internet world we live in.  Oh well, maybe it's better not to know.  I don't like it but I can't stop it.  Life is mysterious, is it not?

Been musing as of late about the difference between CONDONING something you find abhorrent and realizing that you have little to no control to STOP it.  This has got to be the beginning of wisdom and a less stressed existence on this planet.  We can and often do say that we have reached a point where we "don't care" about something in the world that is upsetting to us, whether it is something that affects us directly or more global in nature.  But is that ever really true?  Can we STOP caring?  Especially if the issue at hand strikes at the very heart of one of our deepest held values?  No, I don't think we can.  We say that we have, but it's just not true.  If we had stopped caring, we would be severely depressed.  And those of us who have been there know that is no way to exist.

So what to do?  One's principles and values are trampled on daily, repeatedly and heartlessly.  We most want for things to change, but if we can't have that, we would be encouraged if others would simply respect our views.  This is the hardest thing to realize; and years of therapy later I still have immense trouble practicing it...that is, we have to allow others to have their views as well, even those we find most despicable, or else we are demanding something FROM others that we will not give TO them.  This falls under the category of realizing, like the trite cliched old serenity prayer says, that there are things in this life over which we have no control.  Others' thoughts and actions are two of these.  I'm not advocating letting others break the law, or even having no laws at all, but when something is legal, as long as we find it morally reprehensible, we cannot do anything about those who choose to practice it.  And unfortunately in the world we live in, things will continue to be made legal that we find unethical, if not dead wrong.  I'm also not saying there are no absolutes, no right and wrong.  I AM saying that no one can seem to agree on what those absolutes are.  Even the atheist believes that there are absolutely no absolutes.  That's a paradox.  Example:  there are several things that are quite legal in the state where I live, and to others besides myself are quite right, but I don't agree.  However, I can't force them to change their beliefs.  It just doesn't work.  That said, I wish that those others could not blast me continually for mine. Often times, it becomes an argument about bigotry, religious freedom and that some things are just fundamental, not subject to interpretation.  I disagree.  Things are fundamental to you; things are fundamental to me, but we won't agree on what those things are.  Sad but true.  Everything is subject o interpretation.  That's why the church is in the state it is.  I don't like what the KKK believes, and when they break the law I think they should be prosecuted, but I can't change what they believe.  This is so hard to swallow, but truth in THIS world isn't black and white. And who is wise enough to judge others?  You?  Me? 

We have trouble letting others have their own reality because we still have (somewhere, no matter how tiny) an expectation that they will change.  It's not impossible that they will; people do change.  But not very often, and not because someone is breathing down their neck to get them to.  And there is nothing more crazy-making than concentrating all your thoughts and actions toward that happening and it often never does.  Meanwhile you suffer all kinds of stress and frustration and even resentment toward the person who doesn't see any reason to change how they think or act.  I believe, and many others do as well, that for a human being to change in a major way it takes years of experience, a humble heart, and very often an act of Divine Power.  We just don't have the strength.  

It's really hard living in a world like this.  We go back and forth between intense passionate bouts of hyper-involvement with causes and groups and completely retreating from everyone and everything for a time, a season, possibly a lifetime. Such radical acceptance as allowing others to believe what they want doesn't come easy.  It takes time, lots of it, and many, many disappointments along the way.  Or at least have the respect to just listen to others, and OBSERVE, not jump in with both feet and all our emotions, drawing conclusions every step of the way.  It's a higher way of living, and not for the fainthearted.  Let's try it, can we?