Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Thankless Task...

"No one's ever erected a statue to a critic..."

And yet, critique of the status quo, as long as it is constructive, is utterly necessary, though it won't win the glory like the great golden heroes.

But sometimes I spend so much time thinking about what's wrong with the world, about what could change, about institutional reform...and then I meet someone who is so sincere and holy even within the current system that it puts me to shame. Someone whose optimism I may find extremely naive, but know is also so much more innocent.

I can easily call-out arrogantly self-righteous goody-two-shoes...but I'm not exactly sure how to deal with those that seem truly humble, however neurotic they may also be. There are a number of "new springtime" neoconservatives who are such sincerely good people, kind and devoted and humble, but who have fallen into the trap of believing that to be a "good Catholic" means to accept the current party-line as absolutely perfect and God-sent. The "everything is great!" bright-eyed attitude that I knew myself once long ago.

Do I try to convince them there is a need for change when they don't find that as obvious as I do? I don't like to think it's my job to shatter naive innocence (as I'm all about people coming to such conclusions for themselves when they're ready, on their own time, on God's time) but then how do you not come across as a griper or a whiner or a cynic with a log in your own eye? How do you get them to take you seriously rather than "pity" you for your discontent, which they might see as just rebel-without-a-cause incorrigibility.

It's a difficult balance, and why conservatism is so intractable; those who defend the status quo can always paint the opposition as simply bitter or defiantly non-conformist. There is such a boost in confidence they gain from conforming and knowing that they thus have the weight of all sorts of entrenched support behind their positions, that other voices can simply be dismissed as mere naysayers or trouble-makers (such resistance to internal critique is characteristic of "No Organizations").

Paradigm shifts are tough. Tact is very important, I think, and enough bright humor to balance out the sarcasm and dark humor that critique can tend towards.

PS. I've been really sick, so sorry for the shorter posts (or maybe you're happy that I'm not rambling for as long, lol...)

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