Friday, February 6, 2015

Render Unto Caesar

I think. I think a lot. Sometimes I think too damn much for my own good, like last night when I only got three hours' sleep because my brain got stuck in fourth gear and wouldn't ease off.

When I think of things, I like to write them down. That's what I do, and that makes me a writer. I'm no Joyce Carol Oates or Gloria Steinem or even, you know, Stephenie Meyer. Still, I write things down, and you guys are kind enough to read them.

I believe that thinkers and writers are important, whether they're brilliant philosophers or just dirtbag bloggers. They fill a role in the evolution of life on Earth. Not everyone can fill that role, and not everyone wants to.

Apparently, there are people who find this unappealing.
But here's the thing: I think everyone fills a role. Everyone. And every role is critical to the functioning of every other, and without them all commingling, this world would be a very small, static place, indeed.

Ever hear of a dude called Jesus Christ?

Hey, since no one has ever seen him, I'm going to assume this.
Jesus is the central character in the Bible. Even though I personally consider the Bible to be a work of literature rather than a religious text, there's no denying that Jesus conveys some powerful ideas in its pages. I mean, I think there's a ton of wisdom in Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker trilogy, too, which is not at all diminished by its being humorous science fiction. Wisdom is where you find it.

Ever read Donald Duck comics? Dude got into
some heavy shit for a pantsless waterfowl.
One of my favorite Jesus quotes is this: "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's." And you can delve deep into the religious and political implications of that statement, but to my ears, all he's saying is "It's your thing, do what you wanna do/I can't tell you who to sock it to."

Is it any wonder the concept recurs across millennia?
Whatever you do, it's important to the world. Because what keeps the human race on its striving, raging course through history is the constant friction of all its members doing what they do. The rich, the poor, the virtuous, the profligate, the peacemakers and the warmongers, the selfish and the generous. Those who influence millions and those who touch only a few. The laborers and the thinkers and the serious and the silly. The Dalai Lama and Kory Watkins. Malala Yousafzai and Gwyneth Paltrow. Barack Obama and Kim Jong Un. Human rights activists and Girl Scout leaders. What any individual does is not nearly as important as each of us playing our part in existence. 

That's not to say that the world needs, say, mass murderers or Kardashians. What the world needs is a function of what it creates for itself. The world arguably would be better without slum lords or worse without marine biologists. But it's a dangerous argument, because it leads to judging others and assigning them value based on the narrowest sliver of understanding. Who's to say what anyone should be, when our entire reality is based on what they are?

I believe that all people should try to be the best versions of themselves, and everyone should be able to pursue  what makes them happy. But working myself into a self-righteous lather because invariably not everyone will flourish, or even try, only distracts me from my mission. And when I lose my focus, it's not only my vision that suffers. It's a chain reaction: Every dash of resentment is a missed opportunity to be the person who influences someone else's journey to be who they are. 

And not only can we not get back what we lose...we can never even know exactly what we lost.

So on and so on, and shoobee-doobee-doobee.
So go do your thing. It has a purpose, whether you know it or not. I just did my thing. It's not a big thing. But it's mine.

You be you. And sleep well.


  1. I'm going to keep being me, as long as you never stop being your kickass awesome self. Deal?

  2. I've alienated some people this week by being me, so maybe I ought to be someone else for a change. Want to swap places a while?


You're thinking it, you may as well type it. The only comments you'll regret are the ones you don't leave. Also, replies to threads make puppies grow big and strong.