by The Augustan on 07/28/2014
I have a tremendous amount of respect for people of faith. Living in Georgia, a state that lies within the region commonly referred to as the “Bible Belt,” I have had the opportunity to see, firsthand, many different facets of the Christian lifestyle.
I can certainly appreciate a lot of them.
Though I have gradually become more skeptical of the supernatural aspects of religion, there are two principles that are integral to the Christian faith that I wholeheartedly agree with.
First, that every person has inherent, inalienable value. Second, that ordinary people possess the ability to do extraordinary things.
I suspect that these two principles are at the heart of all of the world’s major religions and philosophies. People’s failure to observe them is likely to be the source of the problems in today’s society. With polls that claim that up to 77 percent of Americans identify themselves as Christians, it is important to be reminded of these simple principles from time to time.
by The Augustan on 07/21/2014
Many people are rightfully apprehensive about entering into a marriage. After all, nearly half of the marriages in America end in divorce. Interestingly, most of the concerns that my single friends have about marriage seem to hover around the same question: Does marriage suck? My response is always the same.
Relationships are complex. Occasionally, they can be difficult. That said, I want to compare how we view the difficulties within a marriage to how we view other difficulties in life. I know people who have graduated from elite academic institutions, completed grueling triathlons, built successful businesses, and won political races.
Do you know what they all have in common?
They embraced their respective challenges, welcomed the opportunities that they presented, and delighted in overcoming them. In addition, they associated a certain level of prestige with being able to triumph over adversity. In other words, their difficulties became a source of pride.
What if we approached the problems within a marriage in the same way?
Granted, not all marriages are going to be successful, and those that end in divorce are not necessarily because of any one person’s shortcomings. Still, I am convinced that marriage, like any other meaningful endeavor, has the ability to summon something greater in us. That is, of course, if we choose to look at it that way.
by The Augustan on 07/14/2014
My Facebook news feed is full of articles about gang violence in Chicago, child deaths from heatstroke in Georgia, and other tragic events. These articles share something aside from the senseless loss of human life:
People are really angry about them.
Their outrage can be seen by reading the comments that they post below these articles. It does not take long before the entire comment section becomes a virtual mob.
Resisting the temptation to hurl insults at those that do not respect the law or the dignity of others is difficult. Granted, it does give us a means to vent our frustration, but ultimately it fails to address the problem in a meaningful way. Ridicule and condemnation alone will not deter people from committing deplorable acts.
Admittedly, some individuals are deeply disturbed and are not fit to live in a civilized society, but there are probably far more people than we realize that are troubled, misguided, or ignorant. Instead of reacting with anger to people that break the law, perhaps we should make an honest effort to understand some of the circumstances that influence their behavior.
If preventing unfortunate events from happening means keeping our anger in check long enough to address the problem, then shouldn’t we be willing to do that?