08 April 2008

"I do believe it is tempests"

"This is one of the miracles of love: It gives a power of seeing through its own enchantments and yet not being disenchanted." ~A Grief Observed, C.S. Lewis

I've been thinking.

This is good, you say. A person ought to think. Especially a person who is (gasp) actually going to graduate from college in the next year. Sometimes I think people leave college so disillusioned by things that they no longer think and have simply wasted several thousand dollars and many hours of sleep.

I've been thinking about the different qualities of different characteristics. We had a lecture several eons ago in a British Lit class I took about how the opposite quality to a lie isn't truth, it's a different kind of lie. Take for example these extremes:

You are a blond-haired-blue-eyed Christian in Germany during World War II. Your next door neighbors have been your friends for many years. They happen to be Jewish. Rather than stand and watch them leave for the death camps, you decide to hide the family in your home until you can move them to a safer location. Some of the police come to your house and ask if you know what has happened to your neighbors. You tell the police you don't know. It's a lie.

You are about to marry a really great person. He/she asks you if you have ever had sex with another person before. You have, but you lie and say that you haven't.

Both of these are lies. According to my Book of Mormon teacher from a few years ago, you would probably go to hell for both because lying is a sin. But we don't hold them on the same plane because there are different levels of "lies". Telling your kid Santa exists is different than lying to a police officer, right?

I started thinking about this last night when I was reading my dose of Uncle Jack for the day. A Grief Observed is a seventy-some-odd page masterpiece of sub-conscious thought following the death of his wife. It's started me thinking about the way people sort of look out for each other and do humane things that - under definition - might be less so. Lying to someone to tell them they look better when they don't. Telling your future mother-in-law that you love her food if you don't. The lines are never as clear between "right" and "wrong" as we would like.

The part of that quote that I love so much is that it really allows for someone to love as God loves, mistakes and foibles and all. I think that's one of the biggest problems I see in people who want to plan elaborate dates, for example, and never take the time to be friends with someone. In the recent past I went out several times with someone who - while a really great guy - spent so much time trying to come up with creative activities that the date became the focus of the night and not the "I really want to get to know you" part. People jump right into dating someone before they take the time to become friends. Dating is such a joke, sometimes. It takes forever for a person to really be themself when there's so much pressure to have fun.

You need that time. To go through a period of disenchantment and then realize that you don't care.

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