Reality has a way of shifting when you get rid of all the mental chatter.
That's a lot easier once you retire and can sit and look out over a calm ocean at 2 a.m. on a clear, star-lit night.
Enough silence, enough solitude, and you start to realize some things.
But, some realizations will set you apart from normal views.
For example, when you get down to it, much, if not most of the problems in the world can be traced back to people — groups, nationalities, religions, etc., insisting that others accept their views of things.
And, as history shows, if you won't come around, they'll try to convince you...
...one way or another
Totalitarian governments — and some that don't consider themselves totalitarian — regularly throw people in jail, or worse, if they don't conform.
And religious groups excommunicate (in one way or another) nonconformists....
...and try to convince you that God will send you to hell unless you believe as they do.
Of course, with more than 10,000 different Christian church viewpoints today, this represents a bit of a problem for even the most ardent of seekers.
Interesting thing though; most of the people we call "great" have been those who have challenged the norm.
Some of these misfits lived to see their ideas accepted...
...some were helped out of this life prematurely.
Someone once said that all stellar ideas are at first considered heresy
Even so, inducing some sort of change is a prerequisite for greatness.
But, at the same time we tend to oppose those who want to do things differently, who don't believe, act, or look "the right" way...
...which can become a bit awkward if you recall that history has clearly shown...
...that what's right or acceptable has varied dramatically with times and places.
Even our venerated laws vary with time and place; not to mention juries.
So, do I have a better answer to all this?
Fact is, I do.
It's pretty simple—and pretty radical.
"Judge not that ye not be judged."
Or simply, "Judge not."
Maybe it's not our place to judge at all.
Today, I think you are wrong; but tomorrow maybe I'll understand more, see things differently...
...or it simply won't matter any more.
How much energy, grief, and frustration would we save ourselves and others by just — not judging.
Think about it.
Such a concept seems anti-religious, or at the very least, irresponsible...
...not to condemn what in our opinion is "wrong."
That God hasn't somehow lost control, or given it all over to something else.
It also suggests that "bad" and "wrong" have a place; a purpose.
Speaking personally, as a result of the "mistakes" in my life, I've spent considerable time wringing my hands, feeling guilty, or otherwise cursing my stupidity and insensitivity.
But eventually I learned...and went onto more sophisticated mistakes.
So, did these "mistakes" not serve a good purpose?
Were they not in a sense necessary?
Could it, or should it have been any other way?
Maybe at a level we can't yet understand or accept, things are as they should be; just as they need to be; just as they have to be.
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© 2006, Frederick Horne