It is tragic, our determination to repeat the sins of our fathers. With no regard to the lessons of history, with ambivalence to the pleadings from the experienced, we rush headlong into pain and misery that is so easily avoided if only we would listen. If only we would obey.
There’s a word not well liked—obedience. What’s our beef with obedience? When did obedience become taboo? We instruct the young to obey because their life depends on it (literally), but somewhere along the road it falls out of favor. As if those with minds of their own are diminished if they obey. As if we are so important that we can make our own decisions without need to obey. As good Western individualists we stand on our own two feet, we are our own selves, we are in need of nobody, and we need not obey the rules of anybody.
And so we are determined to destroy ourselves. Truth be damned. Experience be damned. Wisdom be damned. We have no need for knowledge of the mistakes of the past, for we are perfectly capable of making those same mistakes ourselves! We have no need for the pleadings of those who have gone before us, for they are too old to know what we feel! We have no need for truth that can shed light in the darkness, for we have learned to navigate the darkness as well as the rest!
Obey the wisdom of the ages? Why would we do that, for we are determined to destroy ourselves!
I find myself old enough now to stand between generations. Listening intently to those who have gone before me, those whom I formerly ignored, listening for wisdom to avoid their mistakes. Shouting forcefully to those who come after me, those who ignore me now, shouting words of wisdom so that they may avoid my mistakes. They do not listen. They do not obey. They are determined to repeat the mistakes of their fathers.
Is this what it feels like to be God?