Saturday, May 9, 2009

Know Better, Do Better

I was talking to a friend of mine recently about the way her outlook on the world has changed over the years.

She was thinking about how she handled certain situations, particularly those dealing with race, five or six years ago, and how she handles them today.

In particular, she was noting that she probably wouldn't be comfortable dating a black dude who mainly dated white women. The big change for her is that five or six years ago she would have been ashamed of that fact, and today she feels like it's perfectly acceptable.

My wife and I have also been doing a lot of talking about expectations and change. You know, one of the most difficult things about marriage is identifying habits you have that your spouse despises, and then finding the willpower and desire to change.

In every marriage, both individuals have justifiable reasons to be angry and dissatisfied. Unfortunately, often neither partner can recognize the viewpoint of their mate because they are too busy nursing their own grievances.

It's a nasty cycle.

A similar cycle often exists in our lives in general. We get caught in a rut of living the way we've always lived and doing the things we've always done until self-examination and criticism become foreign concepts to us. Once we stop pursuing knowledge that challenges our preconceptions we guarantee that our intellect and morality will begin to stagnate.

It's a sign of wisdom when individuals not only seek knowledge, but also use that knowledge intelligently in their lives. That can mean learning more about racism, and then challenging folks who exhibit racist behavior. Sometimes that means truly listening to your wife's complaints and not just writing them off as "crazy woman" stuff. It also can mean learning more about God and trying to align your life with his standards.

Ultimately, we have a responsibility to ourselves and to others to work on improving who we are as human beings. It may not always be rewarding and it definitely won't be easy, but it's necessary. It's truly necessary.


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Raving Black Lunatic