Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Hopeful Thinking - Saturday, August 20, 2022 - Actually, It’s Called the Interweb

What if words like wrong and failure were actually value-neutral? What if they were just regular old adjectives just like red, or tall, or smooth? 

When you look at the origin and history of the word wrong it doesn’t exactly imply that wrong is bad. That use of the word didn’t happen until later. Wrong merely means crooked in the directional sense. Off the expected course. 

The word right comes from the Latin rectus, meaning straight. The opposite of crooked. Wrong means it is off the expected path. It is on a path of its own. Right means I am going straight ahead on course. 

We could assume that one is better than the other, but why? Do either of these truly require a judgement about whether meeting expectations is always the best possible outcome? Not all wrong things are bad. We should be careful to note the difference. Some are merely different than expected, or anticipated, or perhaps even desired. By the same token, ‘failure’ is only a word describing the exact same thing: a deviation from expectations.

But we have loaded these words with self-judgement. We have been polluted by old ideas and emotional abuses that clip our wings with lingering beliefs that no longer serve us. Choose to disrupt them. Declare your intent to break the cycles of thought inside which bind you to a belief that you are unworthy, unforgivable, unsuitable. No one is wrong for existing.

There are deeds, however, which are, by definition, wrong. My defense of things which are off the intended course does not include crimes against our neighbor. I’m not saying that bad things are actually good. This is a look at the bigger picture. A look at the society of the world and its progress toward inevitable peace. And the reason why I think it’s inevitable.

To have faith, regardless of any one religion or none, is to believe to one degree or another that there is a purpose to it all things both crooked and straight, even if we can’t see it. Not a predestination, but a point. Faith really is the maintenance of a belief that life itself has purpose, and that all its twists and turns might also have meaning and appropriateness on some level. It is an ongoing hope that there is a reason for suffering, and for challenge, and even joy.  

Where does our own inner sense of purpose as humans come from? What is it that protects us from ourselves, at least far more often thant not? It’s our inherent connection with one another. And I believe that’s the reason we will one day succeed at truly loving our neighbor.

What becomes an interdependent world most?  One that has known both the pain of loneliness as well as the blessing of relationship. One that has learned, and is learning, the consequences of its actions, and the turns it has made, for good or bad, along the intended routes. One also that is spurred on by our inherent communal and connected nature.

For the record, being a staunch advocate for hope and optimism does not negate the reality of suffering. We are not fools for believing in the inevitability of a better future. Hope is not a mistake. Hope is, in fact, the only environment in which any good solution is ever conceived. Give thanks for us hopefuls. We’re keeping our eyes peeled for you too. 

Let go of your expectations about the often crooked route we take toward a more peaceful future. It’s not always wrong to carve a better path. Consider taking a wrong turn yourself sometime, on purpose. Just to see what happens. Shake things up. The web of all existence is listening. Be at ease with things that give the appearance of being bad when they might only be behaving differently than you expected. Your loving reaction sets an example, and plucks the web on behalf of others. 

Take heart in the existence of our great web of interconnectedness. Speak to it words of ease and encouragement. Every single atom in the universe exists in relationship with its neighbor. You are a direct conduit into all of existence. Use that to comfort and empower yourself. Use it to send positivity into the matrix of all reality. It is far better served by your ease and faith in things which cannot be destroyed anyway. Love, among them.

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