"Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Confessions of a truth seeker

Have you ever noticed that while the truth is simple, it is not always an easy process to arrive at it? It seems that preconceived ideas, emotions and misinformation frequently gunk up our mental channels, thereby delaying the process. I am daily bombarded with my own thoughts. Ideas and questions constantly flood my mind, and sometimes I just want to get them out. I have noticed a metamorphosis happening within me in my perception of politics and government. I have come to believe that the media has us all so busy debating lies and half truths, that the truth about many things remains largely undiscovered (probably in ancient history books.) And it isn't just the state of our country that fills my mind with questions and a sincere desire for the truth; all things "mom" occupy my daily thoughts. Here are a few of the many, many questions I ask myself of late:

How does the international banking system really work? I have a feeling they control world governments far more than we know. How can we take almost all of the power currently vested in the federal government and return it to the states? How can we stop the tide of global redistribution of wealth? Is that even what is really happening? Are the mosques being built in the US teaching and encouraging Sharia law? Is stealth jihad a real threat?

Really, the list could go on and on and on and on.

What I understand and know to be true on a philosophical level - or in theory - so often conflicts with something else I believe when it comes to practical application. Therefore, arriving at the correct and wise solution to most problems is, well, problematic! For example, I believe in loving my fellow man and know that each person born on this earth is a child of God. I know that the way I treat His children is a direct reflection of my attitude and love for Him. I believe in helping people out, giving them a chance, and treating them with kindness. On an individual basis, this is not difficult... the problem arises when I begin to apply this truth to a large societal problem, such as illegal immigration. I served my mission among illegal immigrants living in New Jersey. I grew to appreciate and love Hispanic people for a million different reasons. I grew to love the individuals that I had the privilege of knowing and serving. Yet I know also that it is wrong to violate the laws of the land. I believe that things are to be done in wisdom and order - and clearly, immigration of the illegal variety is nothing but chaos. I remember women -some very young - telling me that they were raped along the long and dangerous route from their country to the U.S., but that it was to be expected. The drug cartels and violence associated with them often go hand-in-hand with illegal border-crossing. Many innocent Americans are being horribly impacted by the violence. The Christian in me cries out to care for these people that are willing to risk their life in hopes of a better life. But when I contemplate the endless myriad of societal problems created by this mass intrusion, I am left to believe that illegal immigration is also a colossal disaster that must be stopped.

What brought about all these thoughts most recently is a documentary on Thomas Jefferson. Like all of us, Jefferson grappled with the collision between true ideals and correct real-life application. I find the horrible dilemma that faced our nation at its inception with regard to slavery almost unfathomable. The Dutch had brought slaves into the country for many years. A good many American slave-owners (such as Jefferson) inherited their slaves. In Jefferson's case, he also inherited an enormous debt. He had a moral obligation to pay the debt, and was unusually upright in matters of finance. He could not pay the debt without his slaves, and he knew that he would treat his slaves with far more civility and kindness than anyone else would. He traded slaves in order to keep families together. He worked to pass legislation that would end the importation of slaves. Certainly it is abhorrent that slavery was ever tolerated. Yet, as I contemplate the writings of this remarkably brilliant man, it is clear that he felt bound by a system that he could not simply change. He felt that he would be doing his slaves (who he always referred to as family) a grave injustice by letting them go free, as they would have nowhere to go and no means of taking care of themselves. Interestingly, he advocated for the education of slaves so they could one day become free. It is a long and complicated issue, and I'm sure enough books have been written on the topic to fill an entire library!
My only point is this: life is filled with contradiction. What we often see as the obvious truth becomes far more complex in its application to real life. I wish it were not so. It makes wise decision making all the more difficult, particularly in matters of civil debate. I also find it ironic that there are some things we absolutely know are true, and yet find almost impossible to live. I have always been an idealist, but I think the somewhat unfortunate reality of our human condition is starting to settle in on me as I grapple in my own mind with the issues that face our country today.


The Kammeyers said...

Great post, Michelle! Very insightful. I always love it when people post blogs that make you do some introspective thinking. Way to be! :)

Angie Larkin said...

I hear you Michelle. I'm tired of all my information coming from crazies on the left or the right. I'm lazy. I'd rather dilly around on facebook and hang with my kids than dig in politically. That's sad, but true. You are such a go getter. You go girl. We need firecrackers like you to sizzle our apathetic hineys!

Unknown said...

Michelle, I love your eloquence. You've put so beautifully many of the thoughts that have been harrowing me as well, some from the same persepective and some from others. Thanks!