Category Archives: Paradigms

Three Reasons I Can’t Serve on the School Board

School Board and Policies - Upper Dauphin Area School District

There are three reasons (at least) that I can’t serve on the School Board. The first two are because I’m a freak, and the last one—well, I’ll tell you at the end, if you read that far.

When they swear me in, they’re going to ask me to take an oath to support the Constitution. But I’m not going to take an oath I can’t keep. And if I don’t take it, they won’t let me hold the office—even though the people voted for me. And what they expect of me is simply to lie like everybody else. But I won’t. So that makes me a freak.

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The Yoke of Reality

I suppose it’s at that very bottom-most level of self
Where the most important things go wrong—
Below the levels where the more-tangible things happen,
Like language and plans and emotions and analysis—
At our very core, where the human will lives,
Often in the shadows, and hiding from the view
Of own awareness in those upper levels.

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If America Were to Wake Up Tomorrow

A particular king, not very righteous.
(Bust of Charlemagne in the Aachen cathedral treasury. Aachen, Germany. See credit.)

If America were to wake up tomorrow—
Suddenly under the reign
Of a righteous and powerful king,
Having been charged by God himself
To set things straight without partiality—

And if, by some chance, that king were me—
God having somehow figured me righteous enough
For such an undertaking, and having given me
No other instructions but to do what seems best
In view of what I have learned so far from the Bible
And from my study of history and of our Constitution—

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The Main Battleground

The righteous person thinks
That the main battleground
In the fight between good and evil
Lies in his own heart.
And he will see to his own righteousness first,
No matter the cost.

But the unrighteous person is apt to think
That the main battleground
Lies somewhere outside of him—
Such as in politics or in church
Or in the hearts of others.
And he will excuse his own sins
As of secondary importance
To these.

What Should I Tolerate?

This is such a tough principle to navigate! How much should we “stand our ground”, and how much should we simply let people be the people they are, even if it steps on our toes?

I think this is one of the greatest philosophical questions we face as humans, and how we face it says a great deal about what kind of people we are. (And I don’t think I understand it all myself—just that it’s of huge importance.)

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She Gives in Buckets

She gives in buckets—
Pouring herself out daily
Even though she totally
Knows the routine by now—
That when he gives
It’s usually with an eyedropper,
And even then, it’s
Only when he finds it
Strategically necessary.

And he does his best
Not to think anything
Of the huge difference
Between them,
For if he did,
It might prick his conscience.
And that, he thinks,
Must be avoided
At all costs.

And she does her best
Not to think anything
Of the huge difference
Between them,
For if she did,
It might tweak her pride.
And that, she thinks,
Must be avoided
At all costs.

So she still gives in buckets.

And I cannot help
But to compare them both
To myself.
And I am in between
And deeply convicted
That I do not
Give in buckets
More often.

NOTE: He routinely decouples from his conscience, while she routinely decouples from her pride. It is a fundamental difference in paradigms.