Saturday, August 02, 2008

Stoic existence

Remember Spock from the now legendary TV series Star Trek? He represented the voice of reason, void of emotion. Whenever trouble was at its crescendo, Spock would present an analytical approach to the solution.

I am a Lutheran, born and raised in Wisconsin. Most would say those groomed in the Lutheran faith, from that neck of the woods, have a stoic view of life. We are for the most part tough, practical, and quite reserved on the emotional side. Some of the Lutherans I know who are strong in faith exercise stoicism at critical junctures in life. A good friend of mine in her late 80's lost her husband, and simply stated, "Joe was a good man, it was his time to go."

Over time, I have become less stoic, and more transparent to my friends and associates. In order to be stoic, most possess a simple thought process, and faith in God's word, so that situations and outcomes in life are quite black and white. It seems that through academics - where we are taught explication on ideas and writings - thought becomes more complex, with many additional layers. We come to see multiple sides of a topic, almost as if our mind is a Rubik's Cube, and we are attempting to get the colors in line.

I have recently met new friends who are stoic in nature, for all the right reasons. Given tough situations in life, they pushed forward while doing the good things for those around them, keeping that "stiff upper lip" and many times making personal sacrifices. It shows their character as being selfless, as they stood the test of a bad season in time. They have emerged as a valued gift, like gold sifted through fire.

I will continue to journey through life as an observer, watching and learning from the interesting individuals God puts in my path.

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