Had the following (in bold) commented on one of my status’ and thought it appropriate to respond here. The original status was, “If you care more about your football team winning than your freedom, you deserve to get it taken away.”
Freedom from fill-in-the-blank again.
Oppression, ignorance, your own self-demise, tyranny, failure …
An awful lot of people seem sure of what a lot of other people are bound by and who is responsible.
I know myself and my journey. I like asking questions. Not because I know the right answers, but because I wonder if others know their own answers. I don’t know what other people are bound by, but I wonder if they know themselves.
If I’m sure of what my shackles are made of, if I spend real time and energy working for that understanding, how much credence should I give someone else’s interpretation?
None. But then those people would appreciate other people’s interpretations knowing that they can correctly identify their own shackles and possibly hope that it helps others identify theirs.
The right-left idiocy we’re living through right now is pretty unprecedented.
Agreed. But I try not to classify myself as right or left. It gets hard because of how I’ve been raised, but then we’re back to knowing our own shackles.
History is being interpreted and re-interpreted, but a whole lot of the work is put into aggregating others inferences/interpretations as “evidence.” You are being lied to!” Yeah, I know! I’ve been a person for a while. It’s a pity most of us think we’re telling the truth when we’re all wrong often enough to preclude our rights to a sense of authority on this earth.
Life is a journey and I admit when I’m wrong and take comfort when my assumptions are verified.
Don’t forget– there are still objective truths. It isn’t all open to interpretation. The trouble is that when we miss truth and act on something similar (or way different, for that matter), the reality of how we respond becomes a reality to be dealt with just like it would if we were dead-on correct.
“The more I know, the more I know I don’t know.” I tread extremely carefully when making statements. I like things to be verified and I can certainly understand how hard it is to change your way of thinking. Thus, the original post may have been over-zealous, but I still believe it’s true.
A big chunk of what’s missing in the conversation is a matter of genuine humility and grace.
Although we haven’t seen each other in a while (which is a pity and I would love to get together soon if you’re still in the Grand Junction area), I doubt any of my friends (even Rick) would tell you that I lack genuine humility and grace. Facebook is a tough determiner of that.
Does the broken wheel know it’s a broken wheel?
Only when it sees so many other wheels that work better. What really helps is when a perfect wheel fixes him and shows him how to fix others that are striving for the same thing.
It could be one guy, the other, or both– but each will be held responsible for how he treated the other.
I accept full responsibility. If my actions have been observed to be without love, grace, or humility, then I am a clanging gong. However, if my actions are observed in love, taken to heart, and possibly realized that a change needs to take place, then the glory goes to God for his love and patience with me.
The truth matters; I believe that.
We have an obligation to get outside the feedback loops that confirm our assumptions, to reconsider old ideas with new facts, to chuck what can’t fit the facts with integrity.
We have an obligation to confront genuine evils with force equivalent or even superior to the threat. We’d best be sure of what degree of threat is actually posed, especially in the abstract world of ideas, before we forfeit our obligation to be good to each other in favor of concrete action we can’t take back.
A threat to freedom has always been posed.
A question I don’t hear asked anymore is whether we ought to err on the side of basic survival needs or the fulfillment of a certain model of humility and grace. It’s every man for himself– personal responsibility trumps our obligation to one another, according to one narrative. If you don’t have what you need, it’s your fault, and we generalize from the success of outliers “evidence” of personal failure or plain old leaching en masse.
Err on humility and grace. But, I’ll be honest, I struggle with wondering if humility and grace isn’t “earned” (for lack of a better word) Matt. 18: 21-35. Do NOT misinterpret me here. I would gladly give to others out of my own poverty, and have done so in the past, to help others. But there comes a point at which our obligation to keep helping others who don’t have grace and humility themselves, becomes wasted.
How do we learn?
Can you learn to do anything by being ridiculed into compliance?
Depends on the source and my relationship with them.
How do we know what we don’t know, and how do we learn that?
We don’t. We learn best from those we know have the truth or have a vested interest in our own well-being.
If we’re sure we’re right beyond a point of considering conflicting perspectives, we’re stagnant, we’re dying on the vine.
How many, if they really understood how to achieve what they wanted, would opt to steal? On the flip side, how many, even if they don’t know how to have a life that matches their desire, would steal it?
Huh? Why would someone steal what they knew how to achieve? Unless you consider them lazy.
The primary trick of the devil (whatever you want to believe that means) is to convince us of a half-truth about our gift of free will– and that trick goes both ways: overestimation and underestimation.
Sorry, but what’s broken isn’t the world, and it isn’t any one government.
This would be a hell of a lot easier for everyone if it was so abstract, but it’s us.
What do we give ourselves to, and to whom?
Truth and Jesus Christ. This becomes easy because he claimed to be truth, anyway.
I’m weary of the blame game– the rich blamed for the poor, the poor blamed for dragging down and draining the “successful.” In both cases, if anybody is satisfied with himself, if he has time to consider his relative position on the scale of “right,” he doesn’t have enough real work to do– and that goes for jackasses who write really long posts on friends’ status updates especially
You’re always welcome to.
— but I gotta’ tell you Lee, I think too highly of you to take seriously the idea of you as a guy who thinks he really deserves to tell others what freedom is or whether they value it as much as he does.
If you’ll remember, I used the word freedom. I let others decide what that does or doesn’t mean. I honestly hope that you aren’t suggesting that on a scale of importance that a winner of a football game is higher than your freedom. Judging from your content and knowing you (assuming you haven’t changed too much in the past … 9 years!!! Has it really been that long?) I would also assume that you place (your definition of) freedom higher than a winner of a football game.
We have to be as gentle as we can afford to be.
In response to all that, I agree. Gentleness is a virtue. Not to be placed above love and truth, but I do believe that they all coincide together. Perhaps others read your response and agree with you and think that I’m not gentle enough. Perhaps others read my post and had a moment of reflection. Rick even eloquently replied, “Soooo, watching football on Sunday causes me to lose my rights?” To which my reply is “No.” Of course not! You can watch football on Sunday. You can go to concerts. You can watch TV. You can play video games. However, that wasn’t the point of the post. The original intent was to help people think, “How do I prioritize my activities?” or even “How should I prioritize my activities?” If you place more of a priority on football, then you are OK with freedoms being taken away. If you told me that I was signed up for fantasy football and if I didn’t pay close attention to it, then I deserve to lose, you’d be right.
The concept of freedom is important to me. I am a newb at this, too. I have very few answers for you if you asked me questions. However, it is in my top priority. And not just political. Spiritual freedom is my main focus. I have been freed by a savior who loves me. I probably couldn’t articulate what that actually means, but this is what I know. I have my own standards of living and I don’t even live up to those. Thus, I realize my brokenness. Then I measure myself against the standards of the one who made me and I am left undone. Knowing that it is he who calls me to put down my own selfishness and to treat others the way he has treated me, is easy … and hard at the same time. But, I know that it’s the way I want to live my life. Each day I strive to be more like Christ and each day I am glad for the grace he shows me.
Going forth, I enjoy the dialogue. Feel free to comment, send me an email, etc.