The essential human condition is rooted in being placed before a choice. The classic biblical story of this choice is found in the account of Adam and Eve and their encounter with the command of God to not eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Normally, when I think about “attitude,” my thoughts go to how a person behaves. For example, a student that “smarts off” to his/her high school algebra teacher has a bad attitude. But when I use “attitude” in that way I generally do not think about how it might be controlled by other factors. I think of attitude as something that is independent and exclusive to that student at that moment.
Jesus said it. Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. It is perhaps one of his hardest commands to us. We human beings are little judging machines, mostly because we want a way to assess the human being we just met for the first time or have grown annoyed with or that simply makes us have to work hard in the relationship business.
Many team building workshops inevitably include what is called a “trust fall.” A participant with her back to her group members places her crossed arms on her chest and falls backward. The goal of this exercise is to demonstrate what trust looks and feels like.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines trust in this way: to believe that someone is good and honest and will not harm you, or that something is safe and reliable. This is at the heart of the biblical word, “believe.” It’s actually “trust.” In other words, if I “believe” Jesus, I place my life and my future in Jesus’ hands. It’s a trust fall.
Dag Hammarskjold was the second ever Secretary General of the United Nations and served from 1953-1961. Hammarskjold died in a plane crash in 1961, and that same year was posthumously awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. Throughout his life he kept a journal which was published after his death under the title, “Markings.”
Sometime in 1954 Hammarskjold wrote a warning in his journal. to the effect that, “Every virtue, every raw material which God gives us for our achievement can also become the keys to the Gates of Hell. Page 101.
It’s not unusual to hear people complaining about the present and longing for the “good ol’ days.” The complaints are about almost anything that requires new knowledge, different skills, or uncertainty.
Recently a friend of mine said something like “remember polio?” He was comparing that scourge to the current pandemic. During the early 50’s approximately 35,000 people a year became infected with polio. Our nation was terrified by the prospects of paralysis and being confined to an iron lung.
Conspiracy theories are nothing new. You could argue that they are as old as mankind. First Adam and Eve believing the half truths they were told in the Garden. “You will not die,” said the Breitbart news of that day. And then there was the report of the spies to the nation of Israel. “We are not able to defeat these people because they are stronger than we are.” Numbers 13:31.