Thursday, May 18, 2006


veritas vos liberabit.

that's the latin motto on the shield of my esteemed and beloved undergraduate institution. the truth shall make you free. Jesus said so in the Biblical gospel of John, chapter eight, verse thirty-two.

He ain't never lied.

you know what's amazing? you have knowledge in your head. and your ability to reason can take that knowledge and examine it, assess it for reasonableness and soundness and reliability, and come to the conclusion that such knowledge is good to have and abide by. so this knowledge sits there, part of your mental file cabinet, waiting to be useful. then, by chance or circumstance, situations arise where you find yourself calling upon that knowledge, rifling through your file cabinet, ready and willing to use that knowledge, and it's there - you find it, you use it, and all is well with the world.

but you know what's more amazing? when you're just living life, and by chance or circumstance, situations arise. you get through the situation, and then look back. and the experience you have gets added to your knowledge. you go into your mental file cabinet to file it away in the appropriate spot, and behold, you find that there's already something filed in that folder. you pick the folder up, glance at its contents, and then realize that what you're looking at is knowledge version 1.0. this experienced knowledge you're trying to file away is like version 2.0. it's trial by action - it's the illustrated version - it's got bolded print and underscores, detailed examples, and really, really comes alive.

over and over and over again, in situation after situation, i have witnessed the value and the wisdom and the truth in veritas vos liberabit. it's not that i've never appreciated the statement or lived its value through experience before... but it's amazing to me how relevant its truth has been to me lately, not just for my life but for the lives of the people that i love.

truth can be scary sometimes. 'cause it's like math: either it is or it ain't. see, something is either absolutely clear or it's not. i don't pretend to know or understand all of the philosophical posturing about objective and subjective truth. truth is, sometimes something simply is or it ain't. you are happy or you are not. you want to do something, or you don't. someone increases your life by being in it, or they don't. you are optimistic about your future or you are not. you desire to love (the verb) someone or you don't. all of the hemming and hawing, and telling yourself possibilities, and creating plausible theories that will justify ignoring your own internal truth... it simply isn't good for you. in fact, when you ignore your inner compass and your better judgment - when you ignore those gifts from your Creator - you not only imprison yourself, you not only hurt yourself, but you also run the risk of hurting those who are most important to you - those who have nothing to do with your decision to not embrace the truth.

it may be difficult, but if you take loving yourself seriously, and if you seriously love those who are closest to you (those who you are responsible for), you have to make it a priority to examine yourself and hold fast to the truth you find there. it will make you free.

i know. i'm doing it, every day. i'm getting better with practice and with faith.