Some Food for Thought

An Artist in the Dark

      This article was quite fascinating to me. It definitely brought many thoughts of my own to the surface from some recess of the mind, just waiting to resurface at a time such as this. What I find beautiful about it is the way in which the author does not attempt to solve the problem or resolve a firm conclusion. Instead she hypothesizes and thinks out loud for our sakes, yet lays the foundation of what we do ultimately know to be true by the last paragraph.

Two Homes? Or Between Homes?

I am home again for fall break! This evening has been amazing — a wonderful birthday dinner (thank you, Dad!!), a lovely tour for my friend David who is staying with us for fall break, cuddling with my adorable dog Cody who has been missed and has missed me so much! Also card games with my siblings and David have been quite fun. 🙂
As fun as this has been and even though it has only been one evening, I’m finding myself with a strange predicament of feelings.
I feel as if I have two homes; or maybe I am between homes.
I know this isn’t an uncommon feeling. Missionary kids probably feel this a lot, as do people who move frequently or business kids whose parents move continents often. I came home to find my room switched around and my stuff in boxes or moved. I came home as a visitor. Yet college is not exactly home, either. I share a room with two other people. Now, this is lots of fun, don’t get me wrong, but I am not fully myself there as I have been here at my house. I don’t sing constantly in my dorm room as I do at home. I don’t hum and joke and laugh with my roommates in the same way that I do with my sister and brother.
It’s an interesting feeling… one that I don’t think will truly go away in this life. I mean, we’re always going to be moving around. Even if we aren’t moving around, we’ll still find ourselves in situations and circumstances which lend themselves to awkwardness, loneliness, or fear. There will always be a certain uncomfortableness to life, I’m finding. I think this is a good thing, as painful as it can seem at times. It keeps us on our toes. It keeps us from becoming complacent. It keeps us growing. Thriving. Thinking. It keeps us ALIVE.
As you face uncomfortableness today, think about where Home is. Think about Who makes home Home. Why should we feel at Home where we are now, at this moment in time and place?! In fact, I think I might be frightened if I did feel completely at Home here and now. That would mean there’s no other Place I’m living for, and that certainly isn’t true! Where and When are you living for?

how i know i exist… maybe.

In my Philosophy class, my teacher gave us an assignment to give a little speech proving our existence. Here’s my attempt!

I cannot prove for certain that I exist, but I can make a wager on the basis of whether I exist or not. If I exist, then everything around me matters. My choices matter, my actions, thoughts, and feelings matter, and my interactions with other beings (whether they be animals, humans, and God) all matter. Everything in the world has significance because human beings, if they exist, have souls and will live eternally (where is a matter between the individual and God alone). I have a purpose for existence. If, however, I do not exist, then nothing around me matters. My choices have no consequences, my actions, thoughts, and feelings are just figments of some imaginative thing, and I do not actually have any interactions with other beings because they may or may not exist also. I have no purpose, no meaning, for existence. Based upon these assumptions of whether I exist or not, I think that I would rather wager that I exist. This gives life meaning and purpose, even though it also gives me responsibility and accountability towards God.

Socratic Dialogue

In Philosophy class after reading Plato’s Republic, my teacher asked us to write a Socratic Dialogue about anything we wanted! Here’s mine, about peace.

Socrates asks Thrasymachus a definition question regarding peace in response to a discussion between them in which they used the term ‘peace’ without defining it.

“What is peace, Thrasymachus?” I asked. “We might look at examples first, or what peace is not, in order to come to some sort of conclusion.”

“Well,” said Thrasymachus. “Peace is not war. War is fighting between people or nations. So, peace is not fighting.”

“War is one kind of fighting,” I agreed. “But there are other types and degrees of fighting. Would you go as far as to say that peace is not disagreement? That it is not any kind of conflict?” I asked.

“Disagreements and conflicts occur when people do not share the same opinions or values. They want to make choices based upon those values. If people desire different outcomes because of their different values, then there is conflict.”

“So you would say that peace cannot equal conflict at the same time?”


“This is good,” I agreed. “But what if we only talk about the self, one person? Can there be such a thing as conflict within oneself? Keep in mind that we are aiming towards defining peace, not conflict.”

“Yes, I think one can be conflicted in themselves. For example, one could want to fall asleep very badly, but not be able to do so. Also, the apostle Paul says, ‘I do what I don’t want to do and I don’t do what I want to do.’  He’s showing that we do not always agree inside of ourselves what the best course of action to take is, or what we really, truly want. I think he’s on to something.”

“Precisely, Thrasymachus,” I replied. “So we have established that an individual can contain conflict within itself. If an individual is conflicted within itself, then how does that individual find peace from that conflict? Have not we established that peace and conflict are not simultaneous?”

“Yes, we have. I think that peace is a good feeling or a reassurance that nothing is wrong.”

“Maybe, but consider this example: A girl was tossing a softball back and forth with her friends at a nearby diamond when a man she didn’t know approached her. He asked her to follow him, but the girl was immediately wary and uneasy. The man proceeded to reassure her that it was okay and he would give her something good if she did. The girl, even having been reassured, was not at all comfortable in that situation. There was reassurance, but was there peace?”

“There was not peace,” Thrasymachus answered. “But I guess I meant reassurance within oneself, inner reassurance. The girl, for example, experienced outer reassurance, but not inner reassurance.”

“So peace is only present when it is within a person and is non-existent when reassurance exists between two people?”

“No, I would say that peace can be outward and inward.”

“Okay,” I nodded. “What is the difference, then, between the two? Are inner peace and outer peace different things, or the same?”

“I think peace within a person is calmness. I think that outer peace with others is probably different, maybe in that it is harmony or order among people, though not necessarily a feeling of calmness.”

“You might be onto something there, Thrasymachus,” I replied. “I wouldn’t jump quickly to say that they are very different, but you certainly gave some good examples of what peace may be. Many times when we speak of peace, we are talking about order and lawfulness in society or within our community. Does this definition of peace remove the conflict of which we discussed earlier? Meaning, do laws and the order of the court remove differing choices based upon different sets of values?”

“It does if people who do wrong because they think it is right are convicted. It does not resolve conflict and create peace unless one person breaks that law.”

“So you’re saying that the law only establishes peace between parties if that law has been broken. The law has no authority in matters of conflict which are not against the law.”


“How might we reconcile this paradox? The law is a form of peace-making, but does not always have authority. What has the authority to make peace if conflict occurs within the law?”

“I don’t know, Socrates,” Thrasymachus replied. “Maybe personal or familial moral codes make peace in matters within the law?”

“That is very possible,” I said. “Let’s explore your proposition more closely.”

Socrates and Thrasymachus proceed to discuss the nature and character of peace.

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