Monthly Archives: May 2012

Being Positive – Isn’t Enough

“I’m Positive” OR “I Believe”

I’ll take the latter

 

By Valerie McIntyre

 

So many of us today are encouraged to be positive. ‘Stay positive.’ ‘Put on that positive attitude!’ I come from the land of positive: America. We are taught that if you stay positive, and positively move forward you can do anything. It’s a really nice thought, but unfortunately, it’s not true. Everyone, just by staying positive and working hard, even working REALLY hard, can’t always, if ever, get what they want. Life doesn’t work that way, sadly.

 

This morning on my walk along the River Thames in London, I started thinking about BELIEVING. Sometimes I have to ask myself, Valerie do you believe? Do you believe in God? Do you believe He’s good? Do you believe He loves you? Do you believe, Valerie? Being positive generally has a carrot attached. We can see something good in front of us—we are going to stay positive and go for it. Believing also provides a carrot, if we believe perhaps this “thing” will come to pass. But believing has something going for it that staying positive doesn’t have: believing can also be a bridge that can deliver us from the land of unbelief. See, the thing about believing is that if you can believe in spite of your circumstance, in spite of what you can SEE, in spite of general logic, your belief has the power to set you free. Staying positive in the face of disaster and major disappointment is a much harder task. Believing asks us to suspend disbelief.  Basically, it asks us to take a step of faith. And what can we expect if we do? Peace. Maybe not at first, maybe not all the time, but believing in the One who made us, the One who has told us He loves us, the One whose ongoing desire is to draw us near, will give us peace – no matter what is going on in our world.

 

The cool thing about having been single until I was 47, putting myself through all kinds of trouble, missing out on having children and having lived with very little for a good portion of my life is that when someone says to me “you don’t understand” I can sigh and say, ah but I do. What got me through? Dogged belief. What’s getting me through? Dogged belief. Remember the woman in the crowd who had spent all her life’s savings on trying to find healing. She was at the end of herself. Her circumstances told her there was no help for her, that her life was dwindling away. Yes, she believed, not perfectly, and perhaps desperately, but she believed, and her belief saved her and set her free. Positive thinking couldn’t have delivered her. Belief in Jesus did.

 

 

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Bring Back the Blindfold

ME OR US

 

Justice is blindfolded.  She is not blind, just ‘blindfolded.’  And for good reason.

She is also impartial, because she is blindfolded.  She weighs cases according to law, and she carries the sword of judicial ‘execution’ should it be required.

But we have taken her blindfold off, tampered with the scales (what is ‘truth’ anyway), and broken the sword – or replaced it with a wooden spoon (and even that is contentious).

In divesting her of the blindfold we have blinded her, so that justice becomes judgment based on extenuating circumstances, fuelled by behavioral irresponsibility and the toxic notion of sentimentality, in which people are all victims and not perpetrators, and certainly never responsible.

Justice can no longer ‘see.’  She can no longer stand back, and look past an individual, and look towards the community. And it is for the community that law exists to foster cohesion and parameter.  The law effects me, guides me, and protects me but it wasn’t written just for me – it is a community consideration crafted by greater minds than those who happily dismantle it in a sympathetic attempt at ‘understanding.’

She, justice, is ‘press ganged’ into feeling an empathy with a litigant as though the litigant is to set the tone for the law rather than the law set the tone for the litigant – for all of us.

I posit the reason is that the drift into individuality with its attendant ‘rights’ has hamstrung an instrument that was created for a community’s wellbeing.  I now matter rather than us.

The law simply won’t be her self unless we replace the blindfold and allow impartiality (a philosophically impossible task we know but not for this reason jettisoned) to weigh a case.

And my feelings are not good arbiters, neither are a person’s feelings the hand that should guide justice in her pursuit of, of … justice.  Ah, I had all but forgotten that word.  So has everyone else – until, of course, they are aggrieved and need the law or are carpeted by the law.  It is then that the blindfold is indeed welcomed.


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