I was mindlessly googling last week, looking around for something silly my daughter and I were discussing, when I stumbled across something very profound. It was on a website called "hebrew4christians" on a page entitled "Clear Thinking." The first line of the page reads, "Many of the problems we experience in our lives, both individually and corporately, result from lack of clarity in our thinking about what is real, true, and essential." That line hit me like a ton of bricks.
I have written here before about my desire to simplify various things, my home and possessions in particular. I have been trying to embrace William Morris’ philosophy, " Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." As a result, I have been doing a lot of donating, selling and throwing away in the past few months.
When I read that sentence on that web page, I realized the importance of having the same clean-and-simple philosophy and practice inside my head as well as in my external environment. I only wish I could convince the rest of the world to do the same. Instead, our culture seems to be running as fast as possible in the opposite direction. The examples I could think of just off the top of my head would fill a book!
Here is an example for you to contemplate from the latest series of commercials for a certain golden arches fast-food restaurant. One of these commercials shows a young couple having breakfast and conversing about whether Sundays should be for watching football. The gist of the commercial is that the man thinks fast and "saves" himself by saying that whoever suggested that Sundays are for football is an idiot. I have a problem with this because he is clearly lying about his true intentions. This fictitious couple will marry and, when the fall comes, he will be sitting on the couch every Sunday afternoon watching football. His wife will be upset because she was led to believe his Sunday afternoons would be open for other activities. Everyone will think she is controlling and overly sensitive for being mad at him for watching football. In truth, she was not provided with the proper information for making an informed decision about their compatibility. Look at all the angst that could have been saved by just being honest.
This commercial is just one example. Look around and it seems that most of our interactions now are a part of a huge strategy game of some type. People spend an enormous amount of time and energy trying to come up with ways to dodge around rules or wriggle out consequences of their own choices and behaviors. Time and energy are spent on trying to manipulate people and situations, rather than approaching things honestly. I wonder what we could all become if we spent more of our talents and energy on constructive, positive pursuits rather than all this strategizing and manipulation. I wonder what would happen if we all started living life as if it were real and not a game. What if we all lived and thought and acted in the truth? SpringCreekArtsGuild@gmail.com