Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Life's under no obligation to give us what we expect

This, of course, is why Jesus doesn't actually love you (that, and the fact that he is stone cold dead). But I digress.

The above quote, attributable to Margaret Mitchell, is soooo true, until you read the next line, for it is undeniable that life owes us nothing. What we expect of it often disappoints, but we do have the choice whether to suffer those unexpected outcomes, or to understand that what preceded that disappointment was indeed glorious. We tend to view our disappointments in terms of not deserving either possibility, but the end result is always determined by the ridiculous notion of expecting it to begin with.

I have never read Gone with the Wind, but I did recently read Atlas Shrugged...and I did expect to be disappointed. It proselytizes of the proper virtue of our industrial society (an industrial society long dead), but it is also an outdated reaction to the evils of any social structure that elevates from the bottom of the heap. But, unexpectedly, while the preaching quality of the book was enormously tedious, I was not disappointed in what Rand views as man's ultimate responsibility...to create, and to believe in your creation (she did mean this in an industrial way, but so what). All this tends to elevate, not what is wrong with society, but, rather, what is wrong with people. We have become, top down, a sickeningly entitled society, yet the evils of that entitlement vary greatly depending on where you fall in the hierarchy. We need to get back to understanding that we all make our own beds, and it is by choice that we sleep in them. And maybe then, we could all dispense with the self pity.

However, the real problem is that we have lost our imaginations, and have stopped creating. We tend to think of creation in utilitarian terms, yet we produce almost nothing of use beyond the products of Billy Mays shysterism. Beyond the efforts of NASA, mothers, and artists of every ilk, we create almost nothing that is not a cheap imitation of the same thing before it, like the dollar, for instance. Rather than allow our edges to expand...to push them outward...we only allow them to close in ever tighter. We claim to embrace the Big Bang, while we welcome the big shrink. While Jesus doesn't love anybody, I do. So kudos to the nun, to Wilderessence, to 3D printer gun makers, to anyone who sees beyond the edges. And, shame on me!

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