If you wish to be good, first believe that you are bad Epictetus (50-138 A.D.). My life was founded in the belief that all was either decent or terrible. It goes with all is black or white, straight or gay, male or female. The twenty-first century is adding gray blend the dark and colorless into a sliding sort of scale. We continuously search for more characteristics to divide us. Each year, the characteristics gain their equality or opinion of equality. No matter how we make all things the same, it does not make them equal.
The highest goodness is like water.
Water benefits all things and does not compete.
It stays in the lowly places, which others despise.
Therefore, it is near The Everlasting. Lao-Tzu (B.C. 600)
This passage tells me the highest goodness is, water, which does not compete, nevertheless, benefits all things. Fighting to divide a group into an equal entity produces the opposite result. The need to be identical pulls the group into the middle path, which neither rises nor falls. Jesus taught, about 600 years after Lao-Tzu that he who humbles himself shall be exalted. What happens to he who exalts himself? Jesus taught the greatest must be the servant and for the highest to sit in the back, and if he is truly the ultimate, his host will call for him to come forward, and unfortunately send the self-glorifying attendant to be directed to the back. This all-embracing truism did not solely begin in 600 B.C. and reemerge on the opposite corner of Asia 600 years later. This is part of our universal truism and is just as valid today as it was; it was in the days of Methuselah. This reveals that if a group truly wishes to be the greatest, they must become the least, or like water go to the low places that are shunned. An argument could be advance the struggle to be equivalent does not produce equality, unless it is gained through a natural process. I found that trying to sit in the back and keep a low profile gave me the most peace and least stress. During my college days, I routinely found, comfort by sitting in the backseats. I discovered that those in the back could be viewed with suspicion. To combat this, I would strive to prove an academic desire by answering as many questions in the first few classes. I found the instructors began to ignore me, as I once more slid into my blissful state of seclusion. Additionally, I realized that by answering the initial questions I was creating an illusion of seeking to exalt myself, and within this premise, the behavior became acceptable or in compliance with current human values. I simply wanted to be ignored.
Being ignored has its advantages. I learned this early in my military career. We were informed, through the grapevine not to volunteer for anything. The trick was to graduate and have the instructors shake their head asking, “Who is he?” My excitable high-strung nervous personality prevented this, and I suffered accordingly. Fortunately, this defect was survivable. A hearing test, later in my life revealed my hearing was not good, which accounted for the high volume of my voice. I was loud, which sometimes made those around me feel uneasy and even at times threatened. I had to accept an act that I intended to go for good, was potentially perceived as bad. Accordingly, I had to add this to the instability of my existence, and those who I share this Earth. I knew a day would arrive where some questions needed asked. Nothing seemed to matter until November 27, 2014. I tried to keep my focus and survive each day not caring much about others surrounding me; except a basic desire, they were not suffering or in terrible health. Bad health is something that can shake off any feelings of persecution or being harassed. The news of a friend suffering from a serious car accident, or dying of cancer almost makes me feel fortunate that such a curse has passed my door. I watched the Pride of the Yankees, which once again brought tears to my eyes. Lou Gehrig did everything by the book, played every day if it were possible. He set a high standard and at no time lowered it. Babe Ruth was so opposite, never caring for his health, and instead living each day as if it was his last. Sometimes there is no logic answer for why. We simply shake our heads and wonder. The actual idea of life confuses me. One aspect is that of man and animals. Our animals have similar organs that function such as ours. They have hearts, blood, brains, can see, make noise, and smell. I often wonder about taste as I try to conceive the joy in eating hay and grass. Many of our pets understand us, such as sit, and definitely shut up, among others. My question is why animals cannot talk, or better yet, how we can talk. Anyone who has stared into the milky brown eyes of a pet dog or horse, just to name a few, should have wondered about this. This is one of so many questions that plaque my mind, such how there can be so many heavenly bodies without life in this universe. These are questions to feed my curiously until science or something adds some more information, causing us as a public to form a new consensus.
This opens the question as to what we use to form our consensus. What do we trust? How we are so easily programmed continues to amaze me? I even find myself being somewhat puzzled over why I believe what my world tells me, after all, are not we, the good guys and everything against us bad? My children seem to flow naturally with the new social held values; therefore, if they do, then why should not I flow as well? These are simply too many questions. Maybe it is time for me to reexamine who I am and what we are. The black-white issue never troubled me