Monday, September 10, 2012

Yet Another Honors Blog Post

I have something embarrassing to confess.


I knew I should have written the website down when Dr. Brewton pulled it up for us! But I didn't! Shame on me! And now I have tried clicking on it in Portal and on Angel and nothing shows up. Of course, it is very likely I am clicking on the wrong things. That happens a lot. But if anyone knows how to get to it and can send me the link, that would be great.

I want to know because I am curious about other people's blogs. They may not be curious about me (curiosity is said to have killed the cat, after all, even if stupidity really did it and curiosity was framed for it) but I am curious about them. I want to see if I am the only person who blogs fanatically. Do I still have my self-appointed title of the Blog Queen? Does anyone else ponder the philosophical ramifications of our speakers' opinions? Does anyone else commentate on their classes, professors, and random experiences here at UNA?

It's a fascinating possibility. I'm always on the search for like minds, probably because they are so rare.

Anyhoo, so two weeks ago at our first Honors night, Dr. Brewton mentioned something about 'our debt to society', as postulated by Henry David Thoreau and Rosseau. Leaving aside the 'our debt to society' part, the very verbiage of which prompts me to be dubious about it, I would like to zero in on the quoted philosophers. Rosseau painted entirely too rosy a picture of humanity. He believed that all people were fundamentally good and that if left to their own devices people would be naturally good. Most people would probably like to believe that they are, deep down, fundamentally good. But Rosseau's theory does not explain the great capacity for evil and depravity that people can sink to. Just read the papers- they're full of horrors. What Rosseau did not take into account is that humanity was created fundamentally good. Shortly thereafter, however, came the Fall in the Garden of Eden. Mankind lost the grace of God and became "bent", to borrow C. S. Lewis's term. We are very good things that have been skewed- warped and twisted. We are capable of great good and great evil. However, due to our weakened human natures, we more easily work evil than we do good.

Sin is, after all, the only dogma of the Church that can be proved just by reading the papers. Thus spake G. K. Chesterton, the Apostle of Common Sense.

As for Thoreau... I really don't have the patience to go into him. Suffice it to say that he and I don't really agree on certain issues. He was another fan of the 'god within' stuff... To return to good ol' G. K. again, and I paraphrase: "That Jones shall worship the god within invariably means that Jones shall worship Jones." Read Orthodoxy, if you read nothing else by Chesterton. It will change your life.

And now that I have gotten one philosophical rant out of my system (the reason I did it tonight is because I forgot about it last week), on to the next!

Tonight, 9/10/12, our speaker was Kay Parker from the Healing Place. My speech class experiences (grr) prompt me to say that she was a very sincere speaker, appealing to ethos and pathos and all that good stuff. She told us how she worked as a secretary and then as a counseler for cancer patients for many years before going back to school and ultimately founding the Healing Place. It works with children who have experienced bereavement.
    I don't think if I rehashes the Healing Place's mission statement that would help anyone, but I can put down my summary of her message.
    She said that God can use ordinary people to achieve extraordinary things. All I could think of when she said that was Elrond's words at the end of Book Two Chapter Two The Council of Elrond from The Fellowship of the Ring (yes, The Lord of the Rings is divided into six books, which come in three volumes. Novel, isn't it? It's not a trilogy), where he says that oftentimes the small turn the wheels of the world, while the eyes of the great are elsewhere.
    Mrs. Parker also instructed us to find what we were born to do, meant to do- our destiny in life, if I may use a term that has often been trivialized or made into Internet memes- and do it. She warned us that we may become tired in body, but if we are fulfilling the purpose in life that we were created to do, a niche that no one else can fill, we will not become tired in spirit. She also reminded us that hope remains even amidst sadness.
    I was surprised momentarily that she said several times that fear, worry, stress, etc., in the mind can produce illness in the body. I am not used to people acknowledging the psychosomatic unity of body and soul. However, it is nice to meet it! I suppose she sees a lot of evidence. She told us a story about someone who had shingles because they tried to hold in their grief- it stressed the body into illness.
    Mrs. Parker gave us four methods of dealing with raw emotion:
    (1) Be honest with oneself. Talk to someone who cares. Pray.
    (2) Be expressive. Write, cry, pray, draw, etc. It helps to be crazy; it keeps you from going insane. (And now I shall have to go google that country song.)
    (3) Be physical. When one is occupied with a task, so is one's mind. I have noticed this as well.
    (4) Be aware. Do not lie to oneself. Acknowledge grief, guilt, and worry. Forgive oneself. Do not expect instant perfection; instead, strive each day to become better. Truth will help the healing process. Concentrate on one thing at a time.

In Pace Christi,


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