Friday, August 9, 2019


It's easy to think that if I have such firm ideas about how I should live, then even if I'm not a bigot, I'm probably something far worse - I'm probably arrogant. I probably think I know everything and have everything right and that if the whole world would just live like I'm living, it would be a better place. 

But that wouldn't be true of me, either.

It doesn't do any good to try to tell someone else how to act if he or she doesn't have a fundamental belief that drives that behavior. You have to know why you're doing what you're doing, and it has to be something more than "That's what everyone expects of me." If you don't believe in it, it's easy to do something else entirely.

What I'm all about, what hallmarks my own journey and what I long for for others, is consistency. Live what you claim to believe. Live like it's true. Live every day, every moment, by the principles that you espouse. If you say you're something, be that. Whatever it is. 

We live in a world that says one thing and lives something else, that claims a truth and then lives in opposition to it. We think it's idealism - that what we believe is just beyond reasonable, that we'd like to live as though it's true but in the real world, it's just not. That there's too much crime, brokenness, entitlement, mental illness, whatever around us to live like we want to live; we have to be smart about it and know what's safe. Sure, we believe in bigger things, but we're surrounded by lesser. 

This world, we insist, is dragging us down. We have no choice but to be hypocrites. 

It's a justification, and for a lot of us, it's enough. But put it to the test, and it doesn't really work. The real problem with a lot of our ideas isn't that they don't work in this world; it's that they don't work, period. We say, for example, that what's true for you is true for you and what's true for me is true for me, but the reality of that is that if we disagree, you'll call me a moron and a bigot and a hater and much worse. Because what's true for you is so true for you that you can't fathom that it might not be true for me. Unless, of course, I am actually a moron. 

We see this all the time. Everyone wants us to let them believe what they want to believe, but then they get upset if we don't believe the same thing. So we're stuck in this place where even what we claim to believe about believing is put to the test...and fails. We just can't do it. And if what we believe about believing doesn't work, what hope is there for the things we actually believe? 

I really don't care what you believe. I don't. I'm not someone who is out to convince you to believe what I believe or to cause you to question what you believe. I don't think that I'm right and you're wrong; in fact, I know that there are a lot of things that I'm wrong about. I haven't ruled out the possibility that this is one of them.  

But consistency gets us around this. Because when you choose to live like you actually believe what you claim to believe, you discover whether or not it really works. If it works, great. That's something that might be worth believing. But if it doesn't work, you have to re-examine it. You have to take another look. You have to tweak it and see how it goes. 

And now, we all get closer to better things. We are able to throw away what doesn't work. We are able to modify it. To reconsider it. To improve upon it. To get closer and closer to a place where what we believe is actually livable, and if it's livable, then maybe it's valuable and meaningful. If it wasn't, you wouldn't want to live it; it wouldn't be working. I don't have to tell you what to believe or not to believe; if you live it out and it doesn't give you the life that you think that it should, then you shouldn't believe it any more. Plain and simple. 

If you can't live it, you shouldn't claim to live by it. It's killing you. 

So believe what you believe. Try it on. Live it out. Believe something different. Give it a go. Keep trying, keep believing, keep living until you've got something you can be consistent with - something you can say and live that makes the world a better place, that makes your life something worth living. 

Truth rises to the top and anything less is cast aside by its own failures, its inability to live up to its promises.

Do this, and what we'll likely discover is that we're closer to one another than we ever thought we were. There are some fundamental things we do just agree on...they just may not be the things that we think they are. 

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