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Ran across this in my notes from a few years ago. Wisdom never ages:

Jeremiah 8:11-12 (NIV)

They dress the wound of my people
as though it were not serious.
“Peace, peace,” they say,
when there is no peace.

Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct?
No, they have no shame at all;
they do not even know how to blush.
So they will fall among the fallen;
they will be brought down when they are punished,
says the LORD.

Jeremiah (or the Lord, rather) says that the evil preach “peace, peace” when there is no peace. Why is this? I thought of all the Hollywood stars who live such corrupt lives and yet preach peace like it were the answer to everything and most important and must be obtained even at the cost of freedom (the Israelites asked for a king, you know). The are against all war, no matter how justified. They assume all people will be good and act properly no matter what temptations are presented to them. In fact, they say there is no evil, just misunderstandings. I think this is their way of justifying their bad examples, both in their personal lives and the roles they play on screen. They are practicing a kind of self-deciet. Jeremiah states that Israel doesn’t even blush at their sins. That certainly describes Hollywood. By denying evil or sin in the world they deny their own sin’s existence and vise versa: They deny, or won’t recognize sin in themselves and therefore cannot see it in the world. Except to blame. They may admit doing wrong on the surface (not in their hearts) but will blame it on external forces out of their control (bad parents, the media, fame, etc.). These are people who won’t own up to their own failings and yet we take their critiques on world or national affairs seriously. They would lead us to destruction eventually. We’ll all be sitting around fornicating while the Babylonians are at the gate.

Of course no one is clean of sin. But if we own up to our shortcomings in our hearts (both now and what we’ve done in the past) we can regain credibility. Always look at people’s personal lives when taking advice. How they live taints or contributes to their larger views. The personally moral politician may make an occasional mistake in judgement, but you can trust his views will more accurately conform to reality and therefore work for real peace.

A movie star who thinks the word “sin” is “cute” is denying the ultimate source of real evil (within ourselves) and is always groping for blaming explanations. Often this twists into blaming the very institutions and people who have the more realistic views and are doing the best at safeguarding the true peace of the world. Most Hollywood types will blame their parents for their problems (and sometimes they have a good point) and then transfer that blame to any other authority figure or institution as soon as they might begin to realize their own accountability for their own actions. (Their bad parents were authority figures and so therefore all authority figures are bad, get it?)

All to Save Some Gas

A small trucking company has 5 trucks and 5 drivers. Each driver travels 700 miles on an average day going the established 70 mph speed limit and driving the maximum 10 hours per day allowed by law.

To save fuel, the government decrees a new reduced speed limit of 55 mph. Now each of those truck drivers can only travel 550 miles per day in the same 10 hours. That is a reduction of about 20% in work accomplished for each driver.

Now, these drivers have contracts and commitments to their customers to maintain. The demand for work did not reduce with the speed limit. They cannot physically deliver the same amount of products as they used to, but the same amount needs to be delivered somehow. Therefore, they will need to hire a 6th driver and a 6th truck to make up for the 20% less work the 5 current drivers are doing. However, the 6th driver is not going to work for free, and the truck will cost a lot of money that must be taken out of the general profits of the other 5 truck drivers.

By lowering the speed they drive, the truck drivers are saving about 3% in fuel costs, which is good, but they must still keep their commitments to their customers. Therefore, the 6th driver, still needs to be hired, and the new truck bought, but he will have 15% less work to do. The trucker’s union will demand he get paid the same, or that the work is evened out among all six drivers, so the net result will be that all the truck drivers will get a 3% reduction in pay in addition to accomplishing less work.

However, this 3% in fuel savings is more than negated when factoring in the cost of fueling the 6th new truck, which will consume the same amount of fuel as the original 5 trucks. The trucking company’s fuel costs, and the amount of fuel burned, will actually go up 5%! (20% reduction in efficiency = purchasing and hiring to make up that 20% minus 15% in fuel savings = 5% more fuel consumed.)

Now, multiply this by thousands of trucks and trucking companies, plus the energy (and fuel burned) to produce additional trucks that were not previously needed, plus the cost in inefficiency in having to spend time and resources in find and train new drivers, and you will see that the reduced speed limit actually caused the consumption of more fuel, accomplishing the exact opposite of what was intended by the law. And, this is only within the trucking industry! The cost in fuel and time resources in all other industries and private life is incalculable!

This is a classic example of the government stepping beyond its natural bounds. The government did not create the market or the need for products to be transported—people did. These needs and desires are the product of millions of people making millions of decisions to better their lives or just survive. No entity or reduced sampling of this whole population (such as a legislature, president or king) can factor in all the variables involved in laws intended to adjust the will of the whole people. I would almost suspect it to be even outside God’s power—almost.

Material gain, economic security, and conservation of resources cannot be guaranteed by any government. They are the result of work. Unless the bread (or service) is produced, it cannot be distributed or accomplished and government does not produce—people do. That is all the people and all the factors. Any attempt to improve one facet of society by force of law will have ripple effects on everything else in that society. It may indeed improve (temporarily) that particular facet, but always at a higher cost to the rest of the society. Like the waves from a stone of favoritism thrown into a pond, the disruption spreads in ever winder and wider circles until the whole pond is effected and must consume energy to return to the previous state.

An unnatural favoritism is introduced for one segment of the whole (in this case the saving of fuel) which disrupts the progress of all other segments leading to the demand for favoritism in them. That sixth truck driver, though only the result of a law, will demand equal treatment. To pay his salary, the trucking company—to remain competitive—had to layoff their bookkeeper. Now all the divers must keep their own books in addition to being paid 3% less. The drivers therefore demand more pay, go on strike, the company pays them more, is no longer competitive, looses customers, must layoff drivers, trucks and their value are wasted by sitting idle, and on and on.

Incidentally, one of beauties of capitalism, is that when a company or person fails or succeeds, you can’t usually find the reason—it is the product of too many factors. But, when the government creates laws to control the will of the people, like a monkey wrench thrown into the machine, we all have something specific to blame or reward. Tis much better to know that the whole pond contributed completely unintentionally to our condition than to have focused anger or praise.

It seems to be common wisdom that men have a stronger sexual drive then women. I feel this is not really accurate. I have seen in scientific studies and from my own experience that there are five major factors among the differences between men and women that may lead to misconceptions about sexual desire. I will place these under the following headings:

  • Adolescent Development
  • Sexual Desire Level Cycle
  • Arousal Time
  • The Menstrual Cycle
  • Emotional vs. Visual Traits

Adolescent Development

When the average male reaches puberty his sexual interest is sparked and develops quite rapidly. By age 13 or 14 he is well on his way to reaching his peak in sexual interest. By age 18 he has reached that peak and remains there pretty consistently the rest of his life, declining only slightly, until about age 60.

The average female’s sexual desire develops more gradually. Sexual interest begins at puberty, like the male, but develops comparatively slowly until about age 18 then begins to develop a little more rapidly. She does not reach the same level of sexual interest of the average male until around age 25.

Studies have shown that the average female’s sexual desire level actually exceeds, slightly, the male’s in her mid to late 30s. Her body may be telling her that her biological clock is winding down and she better start reproducing soon. Her sexual desire soon returns to the same level as the male’s.

Sexual Development Graph fixed

Figure 1

So, there is a gap or area of variance between the developmental experiences of males and females (see figure 1) where conflicts, pressures, and other divergent misconceptions about sex can be formed, particularly in females, that can be carried on and influence the rest of a person’s life and attitude toward sexual relations. The boy is fully developed and “ready to go,” so to speak, considerably earlier than the girl. He is also learning how to manage this new, and quite powerful, desire and may make some mistakes in the process. The girl, not yet at his level, may understandably develop habits of resistance if she is overexposed to sexual pressure before she has reached a coinciding interest.

Although these differences in development are eventually negated, the effects of adolescent experiences during the process, whether traumatic or benign, can have a powerful effect on adult perceptions. A woman who was continually pressured about sexual matters in her teenage years may read more into her husband’s sexual advances than is really there—thinking his sexual desire (like those gross teenage boys) far exceeds hers. Likewise, a man who had met continual resistance to physical attraction in his younger years may think all women don’t desire sex nearly as much as he does. If both are fully aware those experiences may only be a result of developmental differences, they may come to realize their sexual desire levels are probably more on a par than they thought now that they are older.

Advise to young men: It is important you understand that although your passions may be fully developed, your experience and maturity are not. You are not ready for the powerful emotions and responsibility that comes with that passion, and you will only hinder its enjoyment later on by not harnessing and channeling it towards constructive results now. Anything you try too soon will come back to haunt you, usually pretty quickly.

Advise to young women: Understand that there is a reason those boys are a little crazy right now. You must also know that you will not fully comprehend their motivations or desires right now, but you eventually will. Meanwhile, you need to beat those boys off with a stick while at the same time having compassion for their predicament and realize that with your own maturity and experience you will fully enjoy such passions in the future, when you are ready.

Sexual Desire Level Cycle

Probably the most apparent difference between the sexes is the “mood” cycle. Anyone who has been married for more than a day will understand this perfectly. Men are predicable, very predictable, when it comes to being in the mood for sex. People say the man wants sex all the time. Well that’s not quite true. There are times when he wants it, and times when he is indifferent, but these desires are pretty consistent and don’t vary much or go to any great extreme, usually.

Women, on the other hand, can change their mood almost continually. There are infinite variables that have an influence on her sexual desire level. It is not uncommon for a woman to change her clothes several times a day to match the mood she is in at the moment, whereas a man would wear the came outfit indefinitely if it didn’t start to smell bad. This cycle in women, like everything else about women, is multifaceted and complex. The woman is capable of reaching much higher highs and much lower lows than a typical man on a daily, weekly, monthly, and even seasonal basis. The female mind is more adept at processing variable data than the male’s; she therefore may have many more sources of influence having an effect on her mood and desire level. These influences and moods can change rapidly or slowly and can overlap on many levels. She may be in a “funk” for several weeks, with periods of excitement, or she may be energetic and happy overall for a time, but have occasional episodes of melancholy. It is all typically more extreme than men’s emotions, and is almost completely unpredictable.

Figure 2

Thinking of men as some sort of “Steady Eddie” while women are “Wacky Wanda” can be misleading when forming ideas about sexual desire levels. Yes, men seem to want sex a lot, but if you look at the graph (see figure 2), you may notice that he typically does not have very far to go to change his mood from indifference to wanting sex. But, there is a trade off. You will notice that his desire level usually does not exceed a certain level. Women, on the other hand, are capable of reaching much higher planes of sexual enjoyment than men, but they can also have periods where the very idea of sex is abhorrent.

Arousal Time

Another factor in the misconception of sexual drives is the difference in the time it takes for men and women to “get in the mood.” Women usually need 15 to 20 minutes—sometimes more, sometimes less—of romantic and emotional stimuli before they are ready for a sexual or even sometimes just a physical experience. The typical man, on the other hand, can be ready in as little as 30 seconds. (If he is over 40 years old, 32 seconds. Sigh…)

Simply because men can be easily aroused does not mean their level of interest is necessarily greater than a typical woman’s. Likewise a woman’s sexual drive may be just as powerful as a man’s, but simply needs more effort to be aroused.

Menstrual Cycle Influence

A major influence in the woman’s sexual interest level is her monthly “period.” This may have a wide range of different effects on different women and may not always have the same influence every month. In addition to the 4 or 5 days where sexual intercourse is not reasonably practical, there is the period of time just before menstruation begins and the couple days after it has ended that can have a strong effect on the woman’s mood. Premenstrual Syndrome, or PMS, can have a profound influence in attitudes towards sex and can be quite negative. When someone is experiencing cramps and hormonally-induced mood swings, sex is usually the furthest thing from their minds, and in fact they can even get hostile to the very idea. PMS is not an issue with some women, and some may experience it only infrequently, but it still may have some effect. On the plus side, though, there is a period of about 3 days or so about 14 days before menstruation begins when the woman’s body is ovulating (an egg cell within her ovary is ready to be fertilized) where she may be particularly interested in sex. An observant and caring husband can be aware of his wife’s cycle and be conscience of her body’s needs. Knowing when, and when not to suggest intimacy will go a long way in dispelling misconceptions about sexual drive.

Emotional vs. Visual

Women focus on the emotional

Men focus on the… well… visual

Finally, there is one major disparity between the sexual motivations for men and women. Men are primarily influenced by visual stimuli whereas women tend to enjoy the emotional and romantic side of sex more. In one study, men and women were shown a picture of a couple making love and then asked a series of questions about what they thought when they saw the image. Almost all the men described how they thought it would be like to have sex with the woman in the picture, and almost all women described how they thought it would be like to be the woman in the picture.

Now, this does not mean men are necessarily more “shallow” than women, or even have stronger or more “depraved” sexual needs. It is only a matter of emphasis. Women, of course, care about a man’s appearance and can be “turned on” by the sight of a handsome man, but it is a much less important factor to her than the emotional. These emotional factors include the man’s ability to provide for her and protect her; to give her security, comfort and peace of mind. Romance and seduction are much more powerful in the woman’s sexual experience than for the man. However, men need the romance as well. Both desires are there in both sexes—it is just a matter of what is emphasized more and what is emphasized less.

Because women desire the romance and “seduction” of intimate relations more than men, it is generally up to the man to creatively initiate sexual experiences. Likewise, the woman should do her best to be physically appealing to her husband. Both desires are also present in the other partner, however, so the needs go both ways—just to a lesser or greater extent. Taking these differences in emphasis into account, as a general rule men should be expected to initiate sexual experiences about 2/3 of the time, and women about 1/3.

Behind the Lie

They say a lie is the only defensive weapon of a child. Not only does a child not have the physical strength to defend himself, he has not yet developed the intellectual strengths to justify himself, whether right or wrong.

I have often thought of the habit of lying in adults to be a mark of immaturity. Their lies may be more complex since they have more fully developed their intellect, but contrary to their intelligence, their emotional development has been retarded or has ceased altogether. My theory is that such development becomes impaired during their late adolescence when sin, serious sin, becomes a possibility.If they fail to repent from such mistakes, fully and soon, all other aspects of emotional maturity cease to develop. They have no other way to justify such sin except through a lie (to themselves and others), and since their intellect is not quite set, the habit of lying gets ingrained.

Examples abound within public figures where we say, “I can’t believe he thought he could get away with that lie.” He may be very intelligent, even brilliant, but he is morally stuck with the self-preservation paradigm of a little child.

This is my critique of Senator Harry Reid’s speech to a BYU Forum given in October, 2007. It is titled “Faith, Family, and Public Service.”

The honorable Senator Harry Reid begins his speech with family anecdotes and a brief personal history. He mentions his early childhood in poverty and his mother’s admiration for Franklin Roosevelt. He also gives an account of how he and his wife were converted to Mormonism. It is a beautiful and touching personal story which is beyond any criticism. I will concern myself here only with his political statements given within the speech.

Senator Reid: “I am a Democrat because I am a Mormon, not in spite of it.”

Well, Mr, Reid, I am a Republican because I am Mormon. Apparently we have differing views of what it means to be Mormon. Really, the only difference between the two parties is the question of means. We are both for helping the poor and downtrodden, and I don’t appreciate the insinuation that I, being of the other party, somehow hate the poor or don’t care about the less fortunate. Many have come from the same poor background as you, Mr. Reid, and yet do not ascribe to your solutions. Bringing up your poverty-stricken background does not lend any moral authority to your political persuasions, any more than it would to your religious ones. In case you are wondering, the difference is this: FORCE. Democrats believe in using force to correct or change society (or don’t even think about it), and Republicans do not. Simple. Don’t get me wrong, force often works, but nothing lasting ever comes about by force. Try forcing people to “convert” to Mormonism and see how that works out in the long run.

Senator Reid: “Social Security is the most successful social program in the history of the world.”

As “social” programs go, maybe so. Observe: I am forced to “contribute” 12.4% of my paycheck to a program in which literally everyone else has a say in how my earned money is to be used. This fact alone tells you that it is not going to be used very efficiently. And of course, these people, through their elected representatives, have decided to use my money for other purposes than for what it was intended and have left me promissory notes in the form of government-issued bonds (issued to itself, incidentally) in exchange for my money. And it is my money—I earned it, not them. But, if by some miracle I was allowed to sue for its return, they couldn’t give it to me—they don’t have it. They must borrow it. That 12.4% (6.2% from me and 6.2% from me through my employer’s cost of employing me) could have earned interest at an average rate of 10% a year if I was allowed to invest it (my own money) in the most conservative stocks. It would have even earned more if I had just left it in my bank account. It still would have been better off if I just stuffed it under the mattress—at least it wouldn’t have been “borrowed.”

One can make the argument that I am being “forced” to support the military, police, roads, etc. There is a subtle distinction here, though, that most current Democrats cannot see: These things have to do with public and general protection and natural monopolies, not individual security or welfare. The constitution and social compacts dictate what the government can do. We can only give another entity power we already possess. I cannot force my neighbor to save for his retirement and he cannot force me to pay for his personal retirement either. The very idea is ludicrous. However, I have a right to travel on open land or roads held in common and to protect my home and possessions, and therefore can give that power to someone else in the form of community and national police and local roads and large highways which are natural monopolies.

So, as far as “social” programs go, Social Security is about as successful as any such kind of immoral program can get. People do manage to get money back in their old age (for now), at least on paper, if you don’t factor inflation honestly, or the cost of lost opportunity through their own investments and purchasing decisions. This only proves the earlier point: When a good principle (saving for old age or insurance against the uncertainties of such) is implemented through force, it eventually accomplishes almost the opposite of its intention, or at best, nothing of worth.

A near-perfect case study in this would be the forced “conversions” in early Islam and Christianity. Yes, we have a lot of “Christians” and “Muslims” in the world as a result, but these religions would not be recognizable to their founders today—massacring innocent people and justifying almost any carnal or low inclination in their name. The very beauty of Mormonism is that it is a choice. Choice is essential and central to all of Mormon doctrine. Having social security is also beautiful, no sane-minded person would argue that, but it is the means that negates its intended effects—much like sex is beautiful if the proper relationship is there, but if force is involved in any way… The same applies to Mr. Reid’s “social” programs. It is akin to prostituting what is beautiful.

Mr. Reid: “I say government can be our friend.”

Wow! That is one of the scariest thoughts I have ever heard. If you were going for shock-value there, Mr. Reid, you couldn’t do better. No one is my friend who ultimately holds the gun. Try not paying your taxes or “contributions” because you don’t want your neighbor to meddle in your personal affairs and see what happens. Government is force, plain and simple, and we must try to get by with the least amount of force in our lives, even if that means suffering. According to Mormon theology, that is why we are here. Government by its very nature is a necessary evil. When it grows, evil grows, or at the very least has more avenues within which to spread.

Mr. Reid: “…during a crisis, people have only three places to look for help: family, government and God.”

Slightly out of order there, but subtlety is apparently beyond the good Senator’s grasp. I am glad he remembered to capitalize “God” and not “government,” though. Interesting term, this word “government.” As far as I can see, it has no root in “relief” or “help.” It ensures justice and protection, but should never be in the business of providing. It provided quite well for the king and nobles in the past, but I thought we fought a revolution or something to get rid of that. Apparently the fight really never ends. Whether you’re providing for yourself (king) or the poor (socialism) under the threat of force, there is no difference to the one being forced.

Mr. Reid: “I say unions are responsible for the forty hour week, decent wages and safe working conditions.”

Well, you can “say” that, but it does not make it true. The facts are the forty hour week did not come about until there was no need for a sixty, eighty, or more hour week. Economic growth brought on the forty hour week. An ancient farmer, or even one in the Third World today, works well beyond forty hours in a week because he absolutely must to survive. Likewise, child labor laws did not go into effect in the U.S. until the economic need for child labor was gone. If your family is going to starve, your children are going to work, it is as simple as that. They “jumped the gun” economically in Thailand when they passed child labor laws there. The economy could not yet handle it. Children lost the means to sufficiently contribute to the support of their families and were forced into illegal economic activity, like prostitution and drug trafficking, just to survive. As soon as technology and the economic efficiency of production reached critical-mass, consumerism required less time and resources be spent at work. Only then did business, and public opinion support the forty hour week. Before that, the majority of the voting working class (and particularly the farmers) were hostile to a set number of hours per week and any laws dictating such.

This brings up another point to ponder: Why is there no Welfare system in places like Thailand, Mexico or the Philippines? Two reasons: (1) There is not enough economic wealth in the form of “rich people” to finance it and (2) any immoral practice (the forced taking from one to give to another by a third party) requires a certain amount of virtue within the society at large to prop it up to any level of functionality. If we in the U.S. all had no moral fortitude or compunctions, we would all head down to the Welfare office today and find varying ways of qualifying for “assistance” and the whole system would collapse overnight. Many Third World and semi-Third World countries do not yet approach the baseline of honesty required for socialist programs to work. It’s a chicken-and-the-egg dilemma. Are they dishonest and immoral because they are poor, or are they poor because they are dishonest and immoral?

Mr. Reid’s general statements about the environment and energy reform.

Global warming or the more technically correct term “climate change” may very well be taking place and is being influenced by human activity. But, given your propensity, Mr. Reid, for wishing to force others to what you think they should do or what may be thought of as right, you must forgive us conservatives for being concerned as to your true intentions. It is not beyond reason to expect “environmentalists” to someday tell us what color to paint our houses (assuming we are still allowed to live in such) so that it does not disrupt the “natural color of the surrounding biosphere and possibly interrupt the proper rhythm of migratory birds.” This is all a Pandora’s box of  evil “control freaks” we freedom-loving conservatives are not going to open ourselves up to. It is no coincidence almost all socialists are also “environmentalists.”

Mr. Reid: “Some say that if you help the wealthy, they will crate jobs and it will trickle down and help all.”

This is a case of repositioning assumptions. What does Senator Reid mean by “help” the wealthy? They already are punished and treated differently than everyone else based on their earning ability—sort of like punishing someone because their skin color is different. Someone’s talent or circumstances are such that they become a candidate to be singled out for different treatment. So, “helping” the wealthy by bringing their tax rate to the same level as everybody else, is not “helping” them, it is only treating them the same under the law. That is equality.

And a funny thing happens when you allow everyone the same level playing field. The only way someone can then get wealthy (legally, of course) is by providing a product or service that someone else is willing to pay for. If they do not, or cannot, they will eventually cease to be wealthy or will never become such. Both parties see a benefit in every willing transaction. This particularly works in the employee/employer relationship. If an employee is to be successful, and maintain and grow in his job, he must provide the best service to his employer for the price. Likewise, if the employer is to be successful in maintaining customers or a market for his services, he must have the best, most content, and therefore most productive employees for the price. On the whole (the macro level) everyone wins. There is no “trickling.” Each gets the best deal they can going both ways, in the aggregate. It is only when a third party, like the government—which can have no concept of the individual variables at stake—comes in and tips the playing field in one direction or the other, that inequality on massive scales starts to occur.

Mr. Reid then mentions unions as the saviors of the working class. Well, what he really means is not unions, which are just another natural market variable, but the tipping of the playing field in the union’s favor. There is no natural favoritism in the market over the long run. If all parties are left free all inequalities are eventually leveled out—sometimes within a day or two, sometimes within years, and sometimes within a generation or two. An example: I am paid by my employer every two weeks. Now I’ve performed almost two week’s worth of labor for the price agreed upon, but have not yet received my compensation. Meanwhile, my employer is collecting and earning revenue or interest on the money owed to me. This is an inequality that will be settled in a day or two at the end of the pay period. Compensation for this inequality has already been addressed through market interactions. If there is another variable introduced, like hyper inflation of prices for consumer needs, that would impel me to seek (and maybe organize with others and demand) a daily or even hourly pay structure. Such happened in pre-WWII Germany with absolutely no government or third party involvement in the employee/employer market-driven contract (except to cause the hyper inflation in the first place).

Senator Reid concludes his speech by stating many examples of service given by Mormon church leaders and others in government capacities. All service is noble if it is given willingly and not first funded by forced “contributions.” The Peace Corps is noble insofar as it promotes security for the citizens of the U.S. who are funding it for its purpose of ultimately protecting their property and freedoms. When such “service” goes beyond that, and promotes things unrelated to our natural rights which we can give it, such becomes not service but is ultimately evil in nature. To quote Pope Benedict XVI: “Whenever politics tries to be redemptive, it is promising too much. Where it wishes to do the work of God, it becomes, not divine, but demonic.”

There is much else in Mr. Reid’s speech that I can take no issue with. I don’t wish to infer that Senator Harry Reid is evil. He, like the rest of us, is human and prone to imperfections and muddled thinking. Some of his notions are therefore the product of his own prejudices and incomplete experience. I feel it is important to attempt to correct such wrongs whenever we can to the best of our understanding at the time.

Some parents never grow up. For one reason or another their emotional development stops somewhere. When a child is crying, other children usually ignore him, but his mother will come to his aid. But not all mothers. Young mothers or those whose emotional development was retarded for some reason will not. They never outgrow their selfish or insensitive childhood.

Children are incapable of rendering assistance and therefore have no use for empathy—it would only impede their own survival (evolutionarily speaking). They will react, in-kind sometimes, simply because it makes them uncomfortable, but not out of the more genuine concern that a mature parent might have.

We’re all selfish to some extent and therefore not fully mature; but those who abuse their children or neglect them are much further down the maturity/emotional development ladder than the rest of society. Jesus recognized this. It is why he said “those who will lose their life [unselfishness] will find it, and those who will save their life will lose it” (John 12:25 paraphrased).

A small selfish child is not terribly aware of his world—pretty ignorant. As we lose our selfishness we lose our ignorance and gain knowledge or understanding. Those we disagree with or fail to understand can be reconciled by losing our selfishness, or our focusing on our own hurt, in a word, being mature. We can then gain the knowledge or further understanding we would not otherwise get and find peace.

The Peace Giver

There is a subtle self-deception going on in all of us. It is an absence of love, real love. Being the victim, putting ourselves “above” another simply because our weaknesses, or the way we manifest them, are different.

We all mistreat each other at times. Sometimes without even knowing it. We lack judgement, fail to take all into account. Instead of becoming defensive or warring, we need to take into—actually internalize—the reality of the other person’s view or feelings, knowing that even if their perception or interpretation is faulty, we also are not immune to such imperfections.

War begins when we seek revenge in our hearts. The swinging of blades is a mere formality.

Christ’s atonement works in two ways: It forgives our sins and offers us all we need to be able to forgive others. Christ offers to pay the price for those who have hurt us so that we need not seek revenge or harbor hatred in our hearts.

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