(This painting is in my files under “Father Anthony’s Garden” by Kathleen Norris. But I have no idea what that means…Except this painting suggests humility and devotion to me.)
I was much struck with this thought, or perhaps especially with the last sentence of it, today:
‘There is another choice: To admit that the best of any religious tradition depends on the choices its adherents make on how to live despite what their holy books “say,” not because of them. “But where would that leave me?” my former self would have asked. “I’d be adrift in an ocean of uncertainty.” Yes, and perhaps that’s the only honest place to be. Another name for uncertainty is humility. No one ever blew up a mosque, church, or abortion clinic after yelling, “I could be wrong.”’
– Frank Schaeffer
It’s not especially deep or surprising when you’ve lived almost 70 years on this beautiful planet, but it is one of those things that one needs to remind oneself about over and over again. To not let go of the humility of “I could be wrong”.
One can keep on working toward relieving human suffering with that thought in mind, but it should prevent a lot of the evil we seem to be seeing and hearing about these days.
I admire all the sane and stable people who are not provoked by crazed rhetoric into committing acts of horror. Yet too many seem to be so provoked. Or is it just a consequence of rising populations? Globalization? Well, I’m not really in such a dark place as this all sounds. But I hope more and more people will feel safe enough to reflect on the concept that, “I could be wrong”. Perhaps we would not have such wild polarity, enmity, and arrogance in public life. Perhaps.