Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Through the Fire

In response to my post regarding tolerance, intolerance and how exclusivism and pluralism (the latter moreso) misses the mark, my aunt k-po remarked: "i am intolerant of idiot behavior. just don't have time for it. to much to do in life. does this make me a bad person? at least your mom gets me." Being tolerant of idiot behavior, so far as I have learned, isn't wrong. But (and this is my view; there are certainly others) it can easily turn into the wrong thing to be if it results in any of the following:

1) X doesn't like Y's idiot behavior, and X makes the assumption that Y is totally capable of knowing their behavior is idiotic, and proceeds to correct Y as if Y knew what Y was doing, while in reality Y might not actually know what's up.
2) X doesn't like Y's idiot behavior and corrects it in such a way that it is unneccesarily hurtful to Y.

It's that whole idea that whatever one does should be motivated by love. As soon as we have hurt someone more than is neccessary for instruction, we have done something wrong--in a sense, while they need to be mindful of their behavior, we then become people who also have something to be sorry about. Note that this doesn't mean nothing we say should ever be hurtful. Sometimes people need to be told things that are hurtful. But when they do not need to be said, hurtful things shouldn't, ideally, be said. I don't know if you'll agree with that idea, but that's my take on things. It's a very difficult issue to deal with and I certainly don't expect I've got it right, or at least quite right, just yet. That goes for most every other issue mentioned in this blog--I'm pretty sure I'm right about stuff as it is now, but my views certainly need refining, and some of them will probably need to change. Not so much my general theology, even the One Way aspect--I don't think I'll abandon that anytime soon. I am noting that during college my worldview will be, in a sense, going "through the fire," in such a way that what is in it that is unproductive, detrimental and truly intolerant will begin to melt away.

Goodness, I've learned so much the last four years. And I'm going to learn so much these next four. Thinking about how much blood, sweat and tears I've been through getting my education (moral, spiritual, and academic) these last four years makes me almost dread the next four. But things will be better. Every time you stumble, that's one less stumble to worry about. That might not make sense, but think about it this way:

If I am going to stumble X amont of times more in my life before I finally go to my rest and go to be with God, then whenever I stumble, that amount goes from X to (X - 1). So I then have one less stumble to worry about--one more hurdle that's been climbed. Or something. Perhaps that makes things more complex. I guess it doesn't make too much sense, because I'm still as worried as possible about how college will work out. Oh well. University of Portland is going to be a positive experience. I hope that the readers of this blog are looking forward to hearing kokosmasher and I discuss our adventures at University, as well as our discussions of random things.


nana said...

i hear you loud and clear. in my opionion you are right on the mark. words in the form of correction certainly have the power to hurt and when they come at me in anger (just from a personal point of view) i totally freeze and can't think or speak. only try to figure out how to defend myself. i confess to being a total idiot in more ways that i care to think about, but it's not because i want to be an idiot. i just find that my mind (and my overactive mouth) work way different than a lot of people. i understand your concern about how you and your worldview might change as you go through UP. However, again, in my opinion, there is such a basic, foundational, God-given compass point built into you that even if you think you have gotten lost in the tangle of it all, that "north star" will always bring you back to your spiritual, ethical, moral home. i believe in you.

k-po said...


tolerance is an ideal we would all like to strive for. however, even Jesus was intolerant of idiot behavior i.e. sellers in the temple on Sunday - He didn't hold back telling them what He thought. while we do need to be kind there are times when cutting through the crap is the best approach - ala dr laura when you only have 3 minutes. this is the approach i have taken most often in my life - (for reasons i will not share on this blog but will tell you in person if you care to know) - good, bad or ugly it's me and i am clay being molded just like you.

llgp said...

I really don't understand all this talk about taller ants. And how does one get in taller ants, anyway? I suppose I can imagine how it might hurt one to be in taller ant... unless it was a very tall ant, it would be uncomfortable to say the least. Still, I truly don't know how it would hurt anyone else if I was in taller ant. Maybe there's just something I'm not getting here. One thing I definitely hope I never get is in taller ants. The whole idea just creeps me out.

k-po said...

danocrates - i am glad we got on the same page today. you are such a stud ! llgp you're funny

L-Po said...

Well, D-Lo, having been your mother all your life, there have been times I have had to tell you things that I know will be hurtful. However, they were usually things that I thought were necessary for correction. We can use the old, tired analogy of surgery. It hurts but it's for your ultimate good. Because of the kind of brain/mind you have, you live in a world of words and some things I might have communicated with an facial expression or a hand gesture, I have had to say out loud--sometimes to your chagrin and sometimes to mine as well. That's just the way it is. Vive la taller ants!