Monday, November 24, 2014

Errare Humanum Est

Don't you just hate that moment? You know, where you realize you might be wrong? When after so long of believing a matter one way, you learn reality to be different. When something or someone you love so much, may not be quite as deserving as the pedestal you've placed them on. It's like when you first discover that adults don't actually have it all together and are not free from mistakes. Or when an opposing viewpoint actually makes sense. Or when you discover that one of your favorite authors may not have deserved all the credit for his genius work. That's the category I'm in now.

Everything becomes blurry. You resist, and deny it. But eventually, you start to have doubts. You begin to question your own subjective judgement on so many other areas of life. Guys, this hurts. Not just disappointing as in when the restaurant is out of onion rings after you've been anticipating the taste. This is painfully disappointing as in when you catch a family member or close friend in a huge lie. You feel betrayed. Confused. I know I'm not getting to my point, but I suppose that's because I'm still in the denial stage.

What do you do? On one hand, you want to seek the truth, right? Or at least you feel you should want to. But that means possibly opening yourself up to more heartbreak. This means admitting you were wrong. This means having to face and perhaps even speak unfavorable words regarding this ideal or person that you've loved, and with which you maybe even identified yourself. Wouldn't it be better just to not know? But do you really want to look up to or identify yourself with something false? (Or at least not entirely what it appears.)

However, what if you're only wrong right now? What if your source of unpleasing information is faulty? What if you made assumptions too hastily? What if you find that the situation was a misunderstanding, and your ideal or person actually had a valid reason for his actions? Other people could be making the same negative assumptions. There is no question. It is your duty to find the truth. Not only for your own knowledge or reputation, but possibly for your loved one's honor.

Okay, now that I have convinced myself to investigate this further, I may share what has stopped me in my tracks and sent me to a blank blog page. Or I'll wait until I've collected more information and confidently feel that my conclusion is as close to the truth as possible.

That will be a future post, I promise. (To be honest, you may find it something so small and hard to believe that it has affected me this way.) Right now, I just want to focus on this fork in the road that splits our hearts like this.

This whole situation emphasizes a point. You cannot idealize or put all your trust in any one person or idea, because they will let you down. It's inevitable. I'm not being pessimistic, I'm just saying that errare humanum est. To err is human. Actually, the less-famous second half of that Latin phrase completely sums up what I'm trying to say.

“Errare humanum est, sed perseverare diabolicum: 'to err is human, but to persist (in the mistake) is diabolical.” - Lucius Annaeus Seneca

This goes both ways. You'll make mistakes on whom you see worthy of dignifying. Likewise, that person will make mistakes, because after all- he or she is human. But after learning of these mistakes, to persist in aggrandizing this person is simply diabolical.

There is only one exception.

Imagine how the disciples of Jesus felt when the man that they had left everything (and I mean everything) to follow is ridiculed, tortured, and put to death. His promises of everlasting life and his professing of being the Son of God...all seemed to be false at that point. Their Rabbi, Leader, and Lord was just made a spectacle, nailed to a cross as some criminal, and killed. Their own judgement seemed to have been very wrong at that point. But three days later, when His body was found missing from the tomb, their faith would be confirmed and their Messiah triumphant.

Jesus is the only person in whom we can put all our faith and the only person who will never fail us. Not even the leaders or people of the church can have our full trust and faith. While we should look to them for guidance, we must also understand that they are human too, and not free from error. We cannot abandon our belief and faith in Christ when a human makes a mistake.

This goes back to idol worship, which often days come in the form of celebrities, money, status, sports, hobbies, and other materialistic and worldly things which distract us from Him.

People and things let us down, but He never will. All those we follow on twitter and instagram or friend on facebook...will inevitably disappoint us. So follow and friend Him.

(Btw, in case you were wondering what spurred all of this, I found out that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle did not entirely come up with the concept of Sherlock Holmes on his own. There was much influence and inspiration from Poe's Dupin. But that spirals into the concept of what is truly "original" and whether or not everything is simply some form of a "copy"...which I'll save for another post.)

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