People are people

”I swear, Alyosha,” he cried, sounding furious at himself, “and you are free to believe me or not, but it is as true as God is Holy and Christ is our Lord, I swear that though I just laughed at her noble feelings, I know she’s a million times better than I am, infinitely superior to me…”

-The Brothers Karamazov

The Brothers provides frequent opportunity for pausing and pondering much…even born of a single line such as this which I read again last night while waiting for a little post-Vespers rendezvous at Redhook. It made me think about how much better many people are than me…and it also made me think about how rarely I have such thoughts.

I won’t take the entire blame though, for thinking so highly of myself. I mean, seriously, our whole culture seems to hinge on the idea that people are created equal…but more than that: they also remain so throughout life. Pride may be the culprit…how often have we been faced by the horrific event of being the target of finger pointing that we know to be spot on and rather than admitting such we instead find warts on the hand of the finger doing the pointing?

Everyone would like to believe that everyone else is really no different than himself or herself. We all would like to believe that we all share the same failings and do so generally to the same degree…OR that if we have different failings they are of such variants and degrees that eventually they balance out each individuals’ moral accounts as compared to one another. So, we are all pretty much equal and that affords us the ability to feel okay about ourselves…and if you are okay where you are: why move? And really, if everyone is pretty much the same, where ya gonna move to? I mean, really, your not going to become different from the rest of us…come on now, sit down and relax.

The same is true when we here today look back in time. I’ve been accused (indeed the Orthodox Church herself too) of thinking too highly of our father and mother saints of the past. I hear it time and time again:

“It’s great that you remember them…but really they are no different than you or I…they struggled and they failed: just like you or I struggle and fail. People are people.”

How best to answer this…..hmmmm…how about this: BULLSHIT!

No…too harsh. Sorry…how about: I’m not too sure about that? (The addition of a question mark may also be of assistance here…in my experience the little inflection and rise in pitch and the end of the sentence would likely be more effective than the exclamation following the male cow manure statement.)

Some people are better than others…I’m utterly convinced of it. Equality is found in the fact that we can all better ourselves to the same degree, but we can worsen ourselves to many different degrees.

There is somewhere to move to. There is someplace to go. Some people are ahead of us, and though I find it hard to believe in my case, some people are behind us.

Move 'em on, head 'em up
Head 'em up, move 'em on
Move 'em on, head 'em up
Count 'em out, ride 'em in,
Ride 'em in, count 'em out,
Count 'em out, ride 'em in

Keep movin', movin', movin'
Though they're disapprovin'
Keep them dogies movin'
Don't try to understand 'em
Just rope, throw, and brand 'em
Soon we'll be living high and wide.
My hearts calculatin'
My true love will be waitin',
Be waitin' at the end of my ride

RAWHIDE Indeed. I think this might work well in Byzantine tone 1.


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