Monday, February 16, 2015

Easy answers

Easy answers aren’t answers at all. Easy answers are guesses at best, at worst deception. We want easy answers, and we usually get what we want, but it doesn’t satisfy us. We see others who appear happy and satisfied with the answers they receive, accepting them uncritically. Why can’t it be that way for us?

But no one is happy for long with substitutes for what they know must exist, what must be real, even if they put a bold face on it. Life is ubiquitously unanswerable and remains so for anyone who wants to settle for anything less than the truth. Only if we are willing to pay the price time exacts, we find joy.

Joy, not mere happiness, for joy is the emotional garment of truth, of the answer won through wordless, tedious, insufferable yet suffered waiting, willingness to hold out for that, and only that, which we shall recognize as truth. We cannot know how it will look ahead of time, but we know it when it comes.

As well as you, I too want answers. Like you, for expediency’s sake, I often settle for easy ones, knowing that there may be trouble down the line. I put off that trouble, hoping a new strategy (or a new answer) will avert it for me. But deep down I know, though it hurts, that the hard answer is all that can ever be.

And that to build one’s hope, or one’s house, on anything but, is building on sand.

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