fundamental differences


EmPulse for the week of June 20, 2011

fundamental differences

Sooner or later, in the course of human interaction, we conclude that we have fundamental differences with certain other people, religious beliefs, corporate policies, or societal mores. In a pluralistic society the ideal is that we will all learn to get along in one big happy family; in the real world it doesn’t quite work out that way. Some of us form enclaves, huddling with our own kind. Others form protective cocoons about themselves as they move through evil society. In the marketplace of business all types of people are thrown together to achieve a common goal, to produce a particular produce, to contribute to the needs of people and to make a buck or two while doing so. The rub comes when people find they have fundamental differences about how to get things done. One person’s plans are dismissed while another’s are adopted: feelings are hurt, people are fired. Not always a pretty picture.

It is true—basic differences exist among people; religious beliefs, cultural traditions, leadership styles, and, of course, personality types. The trick is to, (a) not kill one another, (b) not to start with condemnation of what we do not understand, or (c) not to deny those basic differences. [… and the list goes on, of course.] As I have crisscrossed this blue marble suspended in space I have gained a wide-ranging perspective on life through other people’s vantage points, feeling their hopes, anger, disappointment, and loss.

In the grand scheme of things (read metanarrative) it comes down to the nature of Truth. Is Truth relative to time, era, and individual experience, as our postmodernist friends postulate?  Do we create our own truth within our own frame of reference? Or do we dare suggest that Truth resides outside-yet-alongside-of human experience and perception? We hold these truths to be self-evident… . Are they? Do we?

If we hold that Truth is relative, that is, relative to a particular situation, or era, or culture, or religious belief, then we have dragged down deep heaven upon us and made ourselves the arbiters of truth. This is a human arrogance of highest degradation.

It has been noted that we are all inhabitants of this lonely blue marble in the grand cosmic expanse. We will not always be able to push move our fundamental differences and learn to get along. To raise our voice and decree that we determine what is truth and what is not, that we, de facto, are the Creators of Truth, is an egotism that will push whatever fundamental differences exist among us to the point-of-conflict. We will be at war with ourselves and with God. Forgive us, Lord. Our task is to discover the Truth that already exists, whether in science or faith, and to live by it in humility. So help us God.

Have a nice week,


2 thoughts on “fundamental differences

  1. …”is an egotism that will push … us to the point of conflict. We will be at war with ourselves and God.” Gary, that is very true. As I have come to peace with this fundamental law of the human condition, I have been able to have more peace, and patience, as I allow God to to be the last word on what is true. I end up looking at myself first, an reserving judgement till much later (if at all). Ultimately, it keeps me from doing things that hurt me (and others) and facilitates God’s work in the other person (and me!). God sees, and He knows what the other person needs. He is able to speak, when I am not distracting them with my bad behavior. Chris

    1. Chris, living in hostile territory can inform anyone’s behavior to be more gracious, more cautious, and less judgmental. Thanks for your comments. Gary

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