Saturday, November 5, 2011

To Really Understand...

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.   James 3:1-6

     I never seem to have the time to read books for grownups these days.  Children’s literature isn’t void of meaning for me though.  As of late, the kids and I just finished a wonderful book entitled The Giver by Lois Lowry.  It’s about a world of the future where anything inconvenient or unpleasant has been annihilated from existence.  The people of this world no longer feel happy or sad, they just exist.  They don’t feel love or hatred or have the ability to do anything out of appreciation or spite.  They are given their role in life and on the surface, happily carry it out without purpose or meaning.
     The main character of the book is a twelve year old boy named Jonas.  At the ceremony of the twelves, he is given his life job.  He is to be the receiver, later the Giver.  This is a privileged position in the society and only certain types of people are called to do this.  In his calling he will receive memories from the current person who holds the position of the Giver.  These memories have been passed for generations from one Giver to the next.  They are the feelings and occurrences that no longer exist.  Things like pain, snow, love, sickness, rain, and numerous other things that got in the way in the past.  The Giver is the only one that knows these things and must carry the burden of them alone.  Once the current Giver shows the new one a memory or a feeling then it belongs to them and the former Giver no longer has it.  Understanding between the old Giver to the new one is as easy as that.
     One of these days we will reach a society where we will truly understand one another.  No conflict, no hurt feelings, just harmony and perfect peace.  Until that time we must do our best to love one another in spite of our different opinions and ways of life.  We can’t “give” our ideas to each other as we are limited by a tongue that doesn’t always get it right and a heart that isn’t always ready to receive.  While I wait, perhaps I could take the time to try to understand people who think differently than I do.  I can use this time to learn patience for others that do not.  I can work on loving like I want to be loved, and wrapping my head around a viewpoint other than my own.  Lastly, I could probably learn to sit quietly and listen for a change.