Living in the Tension of the Middle: Part I

I do not yet know everything that I will know in my lifetime. As I continue this lifelong journey of learning, new knowledge will have the following effects on me:

  • Obviously, the amount of knowledge I possess will increase,
  • Knowledge I already possess will be refined,
  • Opinions I hold onto as fact today, will be altered; occasionally turned completely upside down,
  • I will admit, probably again and again, that something I thought I knew, was factually not true,
  • And, because it is my intention to do so, I will grow more compassionate and understanding of others who have knowledge or opinions that differ from what I know or believe.

This is the intersection of knowledge and wisdom. And though I endeavor to exercise wisdom, I do not perfectly live out my intention stated above.

Everything I have written thus far applies to you also. You may want to go back to the top and read it again to affirm this.

In our world, it has always been the case that there are radicals on the extreme edges of every issue. What is new in today’s world is the reach of their voices and the speed at which they gain headlines. It should be no stretch to say that the vast majority of us live somewhere in the middle between the radical extremes on either end of an issue. It is my opinion (see 3rd bullet point above) that the vast majority of this vast majority wish to be at peace, inwardly and outwardly. Pursuit of that peace drives us further to the middle even when our opinions or beliefs lie toward the outside in one direction or another. And this is where the tension lies. Growing more compassionate and understanding of others whose knowledge, opinions, or beliefs differ from ours is fraught with inner struggle, which we have to deal with to be at peace.

So, I encourage you to come along on this journey with me as I deal with some tough issues and explore the more difficult path, the tension-filled path to the middle, where ironically lies the very peace we seek. Here is a sample of some areas I want to explore:

  • Speaking with Truth & Love
  • Racial Tension – in general, the tension between people who look, think, and act differently
  • Faith & Patriotism: immigration, gun control, etc.
  • Nationalism & Humankind
  • Forgiveness & Shame

I would like your help. Are there topics or issues that you would like to see addressed in this series? You can either reply to this blog post, or you can e-mail me directly at to give me your suggestion.

And, as you read the upcoming blogs, please jump in with comments in the reply section so that we can increase one another’s knowledge and help build our compassionate and understanding natures.

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