Saturday, November 22, 2008

Good Advice

I went to confession today and I got some good advice:

"People can live without truth, but they can't live without explanations."
— Fr. Ken Sedlak, C.Ss.R.

What the father meant by this is that our whole consciousness is wrapped up in making sense of our existence. We try to take simple facts (like, things always seem to fall down) and try to explain them into truths (like, the Law of Gravity). Mostly we do this in our everyday lives.

— Why is Pod-Man getting C's and D's in math? : Because he won't apply himself.

— Why is Erin's speech slurred? : Because he's been drinking.

— Why am I so unhappy? : Because of my mother/father/wife/husband/rotten kid ...

The problem with most explanations is that they are self-serving. (Surely I'm not the problem!) If we could be really honest with ourselves, then we could formulate explanations that closely approximate the truth. Until we can do this, we have to doubt ourselves, ask if it isn't really our fault, give others the benefit of the doubt, perhaps even accept blame we feel we don't deserve. Sometimes we need to defy the obvious explanation, suspend judgement, and simply extend ourselves to be charitable.

1 comment:

John Jansen said...

Reminds me of the time when Chesterton—along with a myriad of other prominent writers of his day—was asked by the London Times to write an essay on the theme, "What's Wrong with the World?"

In response, Chesterton wrote a letter:

Dear Sirs,

I am.

Sincerely yours,
G. K. Chesterton