The good occurring in this world isn’t newsworthy nor is it widely discussed. Good deeds won’t capture our attention like a natural disaster or a conspiracy plot come to light, but that is attributed to the way the good is portrayed. The good in a breaking story can be quite boring; it is, after all, the drama that seductively pulls us in. We enjoy our stories when they’re unpredictable and chaotic. Our anticipation verges on obsession when a twist of events shatters what we thought we knew about the world. Whether it is real or fiction, a tragic story makes long stretching waves. More specifically, an act of nefarious violence, like terrorism, sends that shock wave, like a volcano erupting and spewing ash to coat the sky. The lava flows from the news to the cinema and vice versa. The violence unleashes the powers of hell; it effects our lives, our creations, our attitudes, and our future. There is, however, a source of all this unrest: our minds. Fear can weaken, fragment a mind no matter how attune to reason it is, no matter how wise the person has become. Self-righteousness has equal disastrous effects.
The dominant culture of the day will pester us, coax us to join in. The culture pleads with us to conform as if it knows the very best for us. The problem is that the human soul is beyond a storybook wedding, owning a vehicle, paying a mortgage, reproducing, and chasing after financial security. While those things are perfectly acceptable, our souls, ineffable as they are, will not be carrying those things onward to the next life. The soul doesn’t follow a sterile formula and a predetermined path, and it certainly cannot be bought, stolen, or owned. If we can assign some adjectives to our souls, describe our souls, it wouldn’t even come close to the essence within us. Even the word ineffable inadequately describes who we really are. Mastering ourselves, knowing ourselves is a disconcerting endeavor, but we must persist. We must look within and not rely solely on our culture. If anything, society is the least capable of understanding us. As society tries to classify what each of us want and who each of us are into clean and tidy categories, there’s bound to be conflict. Our popular culture lays out a set of rules, rules that limit. These cultural rules cap who we are by trying to conceptualize our inexplicable, elusive identities.