By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Don't Let Them Change You

We are rightly told not to be childish and to put away childish things. That's an important message today, especially when you see people in their late twenties and even thirties dress, act, and aimlessly spend their time as if they were still 15 or just reached the drinking age of 18.

Yet, we are also told by the wise to be like a child in order to live the full life: not to lose the sense of wonder and joy that is our birthright as children. As usual, practical reality points to a "both . . . and" approach to living.

Unfortunately, there are forces and individuals around us that try to destroy and degrade our sense of joy and wonder at living. C.S. Lewis would have said that Screwtape has a plan to transform your personality into a shadow of that child full of wonder and joy--to transform that child into a bitter, resentful, envious person seething and lashing out with anger and frustration.

Don't let them do it.

They say that the best revenge is living well. Let's put aside the whole idea of revenge as useless and rephrase the saying--"The best recourse is living joyfully." There may lie some small part of the meaning and power of that old, controversial, and troubling challenge: turn the other cheek. This recourse has nothing passive or submissive about it, but in fact is quite assertive and mind-boggling.

(Image in public domain)