Because I have found myself in a rapidly evolving culture, I accept that the institutions, traditions, academically learned philosophies, and behaviors instinctually gleaned from my elders – the rituals and rules around me – may serve as less productive tools than they did for the generations before me. I am aware that these rituals and rules, while comfortable and safe, might smother, rather than empower me, keeping me tethered to the dock, no longer at liberty to explore the oceans of possibility the evolving world around me provides.
It is therefore imperative that I understand what rituals and rules serve as my vessel, so they will remain firm and unquestioned; for to tear at them would to be drill holes in the boat below me. Only these mainstays are sacred. All other rituals and rules, even though they may be beloved, must be critically examine under the light of possibility and growth of the mainstays, and then adopted, released, or reformed in hopes of growing the mainstays. This examination must be continuous and fearless. As long as the mainstays are firmly beneath my feet, then I have nothing to fear.
My five mainstays are:
There is one God, and he has revealed himself to us through the Biblical cannon.
My wife is my partner in life, and she must be treasured, respected, and empowered to become.
I am a teacher-servant to my children. As their father, my role is to shape and promote them.
The greatest gift I can offer to the world is my sacrificial love, seeking my neighbor’s advancement even at cost to my own. There is no greater expression of love than to give my life for the furtherance others.
I must surround myself with people who are not like me so that I may learn from them and they may see love in me.
All other rituals and rules must be examined, tested, and revised so that they serve the five mainstays.
Today, I find the art of writing to be the tool in my hands.
I write essays as an act of love, hoping to share with those who want to hear what I am learning as I examine rituals and rules. I write stories in hopes of building worlds that cause others to pause and consider their perspective.
I am honored by this gift, recognizing that it may not be in my hands tomorrow.
I am participating in a seven day blogging challenge being put on by Jeff Goins. Writing a manifesto was the first day’s challenge. Check out the seven day challenge here.