The Warded Locks

Human beings possess an unrivaled ability to observe and catalog the strengths and weaknesses of their fellows. Some may argue that this is a vital component of the survival instinct but I have to wonder if this faith is not misplaced. Could it be that this finely-tuned ability did not evolve as a mechanism not for self-advancement, but is there by design to facilitate selfless service?

I’ve often considered our ability to size others up to be our greatest ally in the war against ignorance and arrogance. Every child, despite his innate wisdom, is born largely ignorant to the facts of life, information which must be obtained and organized if the child is to mature into a generative adulthood. As for adults, elements of ignorance such as holes in understanding, insensitivities, flat spots in character or false beliefs tend to coalesce into rigid structures that we call “arrogance.”

Both can be a challenge to deal with, but deal with them we must! Instead of viewing ignorance and arrogance as annoyances that we must tolerate or as weaknesses that we have the right to exploit, why not recognize that our keen sense of discernment was not meant to be a crude tool with which we pass judgment, but rather, a skeleton key capable of unlocking the warded locks of the human soul? We are here to liberate and complement one another, not to serve as judges, jurors and executioners of one another.

Whereas most who are as yet blind to this underlying responsibility of humanity would use another’s weaknesses as a justification for withdrawing their love through impatience, reaction or even self-righteousness, the opportunity to serve another with the same understanding is always present. In fact, how can you be effective in your quest to unlock the divinity in another without a clear understanding of what has been preventing it from manifesting until now?

4 thoughts on “The Warded Locks

  • I’m intrigued by this train of thought; and I’ve really never considered this as a question, but it makes perfect sense. When we see vulnerability in a child or even a pet it makes us want to protect them, teach them or in some way assist them. Yet in another adult it can become an annoyance or advantage. If this is strategic ability then I guess the question that begs an answer is, what do we see as our purpose? What are we designed to facilitate while we are on Earth? Wonderful post! It is perhaps an idea that Shakespeare and Epictetus pondered!

  • This is a much better use of our ability to discern, analyze, or assess a situation or another person. We don’t (I hope) judge children when they have an area that is undeveloped or if they express a self-centered tendency. The same should be true of our attitude towards “mature” adults. If we think we’re so good at identifying the lacks in another, then it behooves us to become even better at a few things which will be certain to help them: inspiration, kindness, graciousness and creativity. These are all skills which will give us the tools to help another instead of seeking to bringing them down by judging, withdrawing or ostracizing them in our hearts.

  • I read your blog this morning to the lusty cacophony of birds greeting the day, I love their morning carols! Now day’s Gregg (in many ways thanks to your blog), I find that it is easier to be more tolerant of others shortcomings because I am rather starkly aware of the extent of my own ignorance and arrogance! I could lament this fact but actually it is so helpful, because now, rather than falling into the habitual trap of disdain and judgment I am more understanding, and consequently, more in position to be of service to others, to help them to find that skeleton key that unlocks the rusted shackles of a hardened heart . Thank you Gregg for your daily carol!!

  • This view is so uncommon, but this small change can take anyone from being acted upon by their world to being the one who does the acting. Do we see ourselves as the center of our particular world, able to affect a certain area? This change would automatically make you so much more effective, and eventually would expand your world.

    There is so much we can do to improve that which we were naturally given, and we can use these learne talents (combined with our innate talents) to change the world.

    The other thing that using our human ability to see others’ faults can give us is an example of what not to do in our own lives. It is hypocrisy to fund fault in others when you are doing the same thing, but many people are so busy judging that they don’t even realize it. If you look to help instead of judge, it seems to somehow remove those blinders.

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