Magnolia trees The Danny Sims Blog

Here are my occasional insights, stories, conversations, perspectives, ideas, reflections, theological musings. And whatever else I might post.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

This Is What The World Needs. No Joke.

You probably know someone who quarrels over each issue that comes along. They can be on the left or on the right of any spectrum, that doesn't matter. It's the culture warrior guy who argues with anyone who holds a belief or opinion different from his.

That guy. He knows it all. Or behaves as if he does.

He’s an armchair theologian or Google doctor. A yet to be discovered UN strategist. A self-anointed expert on cancel culture and cryptocurrency guru. He’s loaded up on the second amendment, has a ready oral dissertation on the first amendment. He knows the Bible and, if you have a  minute he will explain how easy it is to understand. If you want to avoid the fires of Hell, you'll agree with him.

He has an answer to each scenario for the 2022 midterms and the 2024 general election. And the supply chain? He knows what to do and he also has the price of gas covered. The border? A simple fix. Immigration? See the border.

Abortion? He has one view. It’s the right one. Race relations? He knows the answer. Same with climate change, conservatism, progressivism, health care, religious freedom, sexual orientation, welfare, and election integrity.

There is one unarguable answer to each issue. The irony is the guy loves to argue.

American author F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”

Cognitive dissonance is also emotional maturity. It’s first-rate intellect but it's also first-rate kindness. It's being a good human.

Fitzgerald’s quote continued. “One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless yet be determined to make them otherwise.”

The cartoon gets to it. Apologies to the creator... the original includes a final line that speaks about not being the south end of a northbound donkey. I removed that line because I like the ending better this way.


Humans of first-rate kindness don’t just allow room for disagreement, they embrace diversity. They see many sides. And they have empathy. They understand they don't know it all. They listen. They read a variety of sources. They reflect. They think. They are "both/and" people in an "either/or" world.

Yes, some questions demand answers. Some issues require a clear position. And at times there is only one suitable position or response for you. But even (especially?) then, look for the tiniest parcel of common ground. If there is none? 

Be first-rate smart. And kind. 

This is what the world needs, no joke. 

And it starts with you. Or not.