Saturday, January 10, 2009

The stuffed attic

The more i read the more i realize i don't know. Sometimes i feel like i have pulled down the attic ladder found on the second floor only to find myself trampled by thousands of books, i.e., knowledge. Books on history, philosophy, religion, psychology, political economy, ethics, trade, profession, animals, and name a few. Not only are there an endless amount of topics but there are an endless amount of perspectives that are imposed upon these topics. My take on non-Marxist socialism in a modern setting might be different than Jurgen Moltmann's interpretation, although they are somewhat connected. Each of us are pulled in different directions by knowledge, be it your job, education or relationships. How do we function as if we hold some level of understanding when it sometimes feels as if we don't know much about anything?

I would assert the conclusion that 'knowing nothing' is a constructive concept to internalize if we are to move towards trusting relationships that bring purpose and depth to life. Tempting as it is to hold a certain perspective high above the rest, it is counter productive, even in light of possible truth. Dependent on our socio-cultural exposures, every single individual brings 'truth' to the interaction. The range of global exposure colors the contours of information with such precision and difference that it causes someone to step back from a particular vantage point and listen to someone who might see the same thing very differently. Why is this important? Globalization.

Globalization refers not just to leaving a specific continent, it also refers to each of our home towns. Think of the amount of friends you have and how each of them is different from the other. Cross-cultural relationships stress the point of globalization, i.e., Korean-American, Urban/Rural, Muslim, Straight, Gay and Lesbian, Atheist, Factory Worker, Iranian, Student, get the point. Not to affirm and accept the differences within our relationships is to not respect them, furthermore to discredit them. Is this loving? Is this building trust? Is this unconditional? For me, coming from a Christian persuasion, I am convinced of the joy in affirming my acceptance of the 'other' whoever it may be. This acceptance is not conditional upon their interpretational approach to 'truth' as if it should be like mine, rather this affirmation comes out of my interaction with God as I am transformed by such. Just as God sees each person with their created beauty, so do I. Whether an individual believes this to be true or not does not limit my capacity to love.

Love one another. Listen to one another.

"My heart is not proud, O LORD,
my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters
or things too wonderful for me.

But I have stilled and quieted my soul;
like a weaned child with its mother,
like a weaned child is my soul within me.

O Israel, put your hope in the LORD
both now and forever more."
-Psalm 131
Song of Ascents

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