September 11-B, 2022

Footbridge 02 09/27/2011 Oil Paint Rendered — Peaks of Otter, Blue Ridge Parkway, Bedford Virginia
The freedom to do what needs to be done
establishes individuals
in the right to their own perceptions
and convictions
by making the individual 
the responsible party
answering the question,
"Who says so?"

Who says what is right in each situation
as it arises?
"I DO!", shouts everybody participating
in the situation.

And, there is a catch.
They all have to be right about it.

But, there is a qualification to the catch:
There is no penalty for being wrong.
The only stipulation 
is that each individual in the situation
has to use the experience gleaned from the situation
in being right about the next situation.

We are all growing up here,
one situation at a time,
in the work to be right about what is called for
and needs to be done
in each situation as it arises.

It is crucial that each individual
lives with integrity and sincerity,
transparent to themselves,
situation by situation
all their life long.

Cheating, pretending, lying,
collapses the social contract
among all people
at every point
in their life together,
and creates complexity,
confusion and chaios
where cooperation and collaboration
should be.

We all bear the burden
of being sincere and transparent--
primarily to ourselves--
in all of our dealings with one another.

Deceit, deception and duplicity
destroy the bonds of society
and throw everything into 
the "might makes right,"
and "everybody for themselves,"
scramble for personal gain
at everyone else's expense,
ending all hope for the mutual
care and concern
that is the foundation
of the human experiment,
and throws us into a situation
in which everyone 
has to look out for themselves
instead of one in which everyone
has to be responsible for themselves.

Mutual responsibility
to oneself
and one's peers
has to be the familial responsibility
borne equally by every family
in every generation.

Where that is absent,
we have what we have,
with no one to blame
but ourselves.


Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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