Janine's Articles From the Soul From the Outside Poetry Corner Prisoner Letters

  Question One-Answer Five

by RBB

Why do so many people who claim they are continually searching for peace, contentment, happiness, love and an end to conflict and oppression in the world seem to work so hard at making it impossible for anyone to attain those things?

I’d like to think that my poem, Everyman (see Poetry Corner on page 11) answers that question in that I believe God is the ultimate answer, and that if we can stay focused on seeking Him we can attain all those things for ourselves.  But then, maybe my approach is too simplistic.  And then again, maybe it isn’t.  After all, isn’t each of us a part of the Body of God?  Maybe the answer is that we fail to recognize Him in nature and in others, as well as in ourselves.

Men persist at arguing about the need for morality and global cooperation, and such arguments always seem to lead to disagreements.  Perhaps that is why there are so many different religions in today’s  world.  There are more than twenty thousand different Protestant denominations within the Christian faith, including the separatist sectarian cults that included snake-handlers, faith healers and voodoo spiritualist that are found in the Caribbean islands, South America and all over the African continent.  Even the Methodist Church, of which I’ve been a member since I was baptized in 1942, has undergone at least a dozen transformations over the last sixty years.  I had nothing to do with any of those changes, but some Powers-That-Be apparently decided they were necessary.

I’m reminded of a limerick I learned as a child:

A wise old owl sat in an oak.
The more he saw, the less he spoke.
The less he spoke, the more he heard.
Why can’t we all be like that wise old bird?

The point is that nobody can have all the answers.  Plato, in his classic Dialogue, tried to make sense of it with his Myth of the Cave.  Men spent their entire lives sitting behind a wall, and all they knew of the world beyond was shadows they watched passing on the other side of that wall.  I could ask you what you think the answer is, but then if I agreed with you, wouldn’t we both be wrong?

When you come right down to it, it’s all relative, isn’t it? 


Prisoner Letters

Latest Issue: 92