7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. – KJV Bible, Gospel of John, Chapter 8
I think for me, one of the more difficult things to face, is the idea that I will be “found out.” That people will look at me and say to themselves—and maybe out loud and in the hearing of others—“He’s a fraud! He says he supports this or that, but if you look at what he does, you’ll see here and here and here, that he obviously didn’t do that!” The sad reality is, most particularly if you look to my past, but really at pretty much any time in my life (including the future, in all likelihood), they would be correct in their assertion(s).
I fail. It’s that simple. Oh, I can make the excuse that everybody does that, but even so, I have to accept the reality that I am at times, a failure.
I’ve already mentioned that this “translates to” others, so I really don’t need to say it again, but I shall, nobody is perfectly successful—I make the exception for Jesus, called Christ, Who as far as I get it, never failed, and never will. For the rest of us though, we aren’t perfect; certainly not in our pasts, and often not in the present moment either, to say nothing of the future.
The result of this reality is that, we’re all subject to character assassination. Before you go there, the fact that we’re not running for, or ensconced in public office is not what makes that significant. We should have no expectation that a candidate or public official, will be any more perfect than are we.
Further, if we look to the past of other individuals (and maybe ourselves as well), we’re likely to see that they (we) were reprobate in their (our) lives.
Perhaps at this point, you’re beginning to lose faith in humanity on the basis of what I’ve said. If you’re a Christian, I should point out that mankind ought not to have been an object of your faith in the first place. For others, short of your becoming believers, forgive me, but you’re on your own.
Even assuming you’re in a place of loss with regard to such faith, the clock ticks on and you need to deal with the World as it is. In my mind—flawed though this Earth may be—the question you should probably be asking yourself is, “What now?”
The answer is, to me at least, an easy one. That’s not to say it is easy as in, “easy to implement,” rather, it’s an easy answer to give.
You need a “set of core beliefs!”
That sounds simple enough, but it’s really a very complex thing. One learns, as one becomes more mature, that what we thought to be solid ways of looking at the world, were perhaps more sinking sand than we had initially believed.
I’ve said before that I was a “raging liberal” as a younger man. That’s because at that point in my life, that seemed reasonable and correct. I attribute my former lunacy—you may not consider it such, I assuredly do—to the perspective summed up in the statement I’ve heard put a variety of ways (not sure its origins); that would be, “Young people must be heartless to be conservative, old folks must be brainless to be liberals.”
The point is, because of our lack of knowledge, experience and resultant wisdom as young people, liberalism (being careful to note, the definition changes from place to place—I intend to use the meaning currently considered more or less “normal” in the United States at the present moment) seems to be the “better answer.”
As we grow in age and discernment, we come to understand that the liberal approach is not all it’s cracked up to be. We begin to see that many of those “selling” liberalism where politics are concerned (read here, “professional liberal politicians”), are folks who don’t have the best interests of their constituents at heart.
At this point, many turn to hard-line Conservatism. As they grow older, a large number of such people, tend to gravitate towards compassionate Conservatism—that is to say, they come to understand that folks need to see them as willing to realize others (and maybe they themselves) will come into times of need by absolutely no fault of their own.
The compassionate Conservative says to him or her self and others, “We need to help those in need, but not expect politicians to manage or do that for us. It must be something we willingly take on as a burden, being careful to not act as enablers in the process. Even so, we must help others in need in the best possible ways.”
To be fair, there are those who either start in such a place, or adopt it much earlier than many of us.
The point of all of this though, is that my perspective has changed along more or less these very lines as I’ve grown and matured. Put simply, it’s complicated.
Thing is, once you’ve adopted a set of central tenets, it becomes easier not to look at the whole of a person and draw conclusions, but to look at his or her individual ideas and statements and decide whether or not they’re beneficial.
In case you hadn’t yet decided, “That’s already complicated enough.” Allow me to throw in a wrinkle.
As you may’ve concluded, I’m of a mind character assassination is bad. Even so, the statements and actions of myself and others must be taken “in context with” my “present person.”
That is to say, looking at things I utter and do without looking at the whole of who I presently am—other things I impart and support with action—is equally bad. This too, can be said to be assassination of my character. And if that applies to me, it applies to others as well.
Final thought? To know how to respond to me, you must know who I am (not who I was). From there, you can take what I say “in context with” the person you believe me to be. In doing that, you can decide whether what I support has merit. Pretty much any other approach of which I’m aware is—intentionally or not—disingenuous.
Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.