Justin: In the Feast of Being Able to. Amen.

I Am the World, I Am the Childen…

Not many people alive can think larger than their own frame of reference in what constitutes sanity, goodness, and a proper raising. I know the level of good that I have to stay within in order to live with my conscience. This is a custom-made perspective that is different for each person, depending upon their raising, their experiences, their religious beliefs, the company they keep, and many other factors.
All of these come together to create a world view, or a “reality”. There are simple facts in this world that frame my life similar to the way a house gets a foundation and a frame during its construction.

Lets take this a bit further. If everyone had the same type and size foundation laid for their home, then had the same company build the same layout of house, we would all live in the same house model. Then, when we said, “my bathroom” to a friend, they would envision the right bathroom model. Only the smaller details would be unique throughout the home. Only the furnishings would provide us with uniqueness. This would allow us to have differences.. different tastes and different interpretations, but always of the same house.

However, few of us have the same house plan for our homes, and likewise few of us have the same “house plan” that sets the doors and walls for our lives.

This is frame of reference. When two people do not have similar frames of reference, their view of what constitutes a problem situation, or their understanding of how a proposed answer will affect a problem, will likely not be the same, and if it is, it will only be coincidental. This potentially makes for poor business partnerships, strained friendships, and failed marriages. It also accounts almost wholly for the fact that antithetical political views can prosper under one set of facts.

On a wholly personal level, our frame of reference establishes what is “normal” in life, and almost certainly we are at the center of that definition. I have heard it analogized as “the rule of the highway”. Anyone going slower than you is a moron, and anyone going faster than you is just crazy.

I believe that when we find it within ourselves to temporarily overlay upon our minds a different frame of reference, we become wiser. The difficulty is managing to actually do it. You have heard it said, “Put yourself in their shoes.” This is right thinking, but it does not go far enough. A better admonition might be, “put yourself in their clothing, then imagine living in their house for a decade.”

My main point, you may be surprised to hear, is not that I hope you can learn to do this, or that humanity will be better served by everyone becoming immersively empathetic. My point is merely this: You make an utter fool of yourself when you say the words, “Well, my parents never did xxx and look how I turned out.” Because from my frame of reference, you are nothing to brag about.

Bad Boy!With this statement you convey to others that because you are satisfied with the outcome of your parents’ choices, you are unwilling to attempt to make any improvements. It makes you look like the waiter I once worked with at a restaurant when I was 20 years old and scrambling for college money. On my first day on the job, unsolicited, he confidently laid the law down that my enrollment in college meant nothing, and that he never went to college and yet his mind could out think mine any day of the week. Silently, I nodded in acceptance of his mandate. He was pleased with himself that I now knew the truth, and he liked me from then on.

And I did know. He was a moron, and it had nothing to do with schooling.

99% of all utterances of “My parents never spanked me, and look how I turned out,” are strong arguments for corporal punishment.

99% of the opposite are the same.

You are not the standard by which the world should live. You are not the ideal at much of anything. You have room to improve all areas of your life, including your approach to child raising, your own mental capacity, your understanding of politics, and your understanding of spiritual truths.

Yes, there is such a thing as absolute truth, and consequently, way points and rulers for comparison must be used in life. But you aren’t them.

And I am not them. These are my weaknesses. Lord, make me better.

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