I consider myself to be an independent thinker. At the same time, G.K.Chesterton made it clear to me that I am a traditionalist. Not that I fit neatly into any particular tradition, but my viewpoints have been cobbled together from the speeches and writings of others, even more than from my experience. In this sense, we all are traditionalists, however much the traditions we trust may vary.
My focal tradition is Christianity. But even Christians don’t all think the same way. Christendom is made up of thousands of denominations, which is proof of how opinionated we are. But being opinionated is a normal human attribute, not especially a Christian one. Sometimes being opinionated impedes learning; sometimes it helps us hold our ground against idiotic ideas (which in our world are legion). Someone once complained to me, “You always think you’re right.” To which I quickly replied, “Why would I hold to any perspective I thought was wrong?” I don’t know anyone who does that. I suppose some people are more forthright. Perhaps some are more convinced about their opinions than others, but, in the end, we all bet our lives on our opinions. So, we’re all opinionated. At any rate, my snappy reply helped not a whit in the argument (whatever it was.)
I remember sitting at a dinner once with a sibling or two, and several other relatives. The conversation meandered, until we hit on a subject that raised some hackles. A peacemaker intervened, “We’ve made it a rule in our house that whenever we are with relatives we never discuss, religion, sex, or politics.” (Chuckles all ‘round.) I bit my tongue as my mind retorted, “Well, those are the only subjects I want to talk about!” (Can you argue when argument has been condemned?)
When did sensitivity come to mean subject avoidance? How can there be any sensitivity between people who know nothing about each other other than their hobbies and eating habits?
Maybe we should give some thought to the importance of maturity. We ought to be able to speak plainly and listen carefully, even when viewpoints are profoundly different. If a difference exists, somebody, if not both somebodies, is off the mark. Even if we can’t come to agree on an issue, we ought to be curious enough to want to understand our opponents’ foundation points. We should always put our beliefs to the test. If we’re not soul searchers, we are sheep.
My plan for this blog is to assemble, over time, a catalog of essays on different subjects. I hope to add one new essay each week. I also intend to provide a favorite quote or a brief reflection each week, since six days of silence seems to long.
I don’t intend to dedicate large amounts of time interacting with others at this blog site. Nevertheless, I do welcome input from anyone who contribute thoughts to this site. I do ask that everyone strives to be thoughtful and helpful. Share your experiences. Demonstrate your reasoning power. Make your best argument from whatever perspective you like. “All discussion, all debate, all dissidence tends to question, and in consequence to upset existing convictions; That is precisely its purpose and its justification”. – Learned Hand
Please avoid crude language. Generally speaking, crude language conveys the passion of the speaker, but it utterly fails to explain the passion. If you are passionate, you ought to know why. Passion is good for motivating mobs; reason is for the benefit of society. Avoid insult. Insult is a confession; it reveals the inability to make an argument. On the other hand, put on your thick skin before you read. Those easily offended tend to have difficulty listening. Those who cannot listen will not learn. Those who will not learn are bound to ignorance. Here’s a hard fact: long-lasting controversies endure because there is some truth on both sides of the issue.
I reserve the right to remove any comments that seem mean-spirited, foul, threatening, or slanderous.
Thanks for reading. Thanks for your input. I hope this site will be interesting and/or helpful to you. What we think hugely impacts what we say and do in our lives. May our thoughts be full of wisdom and respect.