1. I am repulsed by the concept of silencing. It is difficult to know the origin of my disgust, but a nasty childhood story is often given credit. What do I mean by silencing? The idea of suppressing someone's voice, turning the volume down until nobody can hear them. Do not drug yourself with the concept that only certain persons do it, that silencing belongs to one personality, one ideology, one class, faction or football team. Wherever hatred and impatience appear, there are those who will try and silence. They could either stuff a bag over someone's head, or simply ignore their texts; they could duct-tape someone's mouth shut, or merely order them to be quiet. But I will tell you this much: I find it disgusting however it occurs. Is all communication constructive? No, but to steal someone's mouth and sew the lips together is to crush the very woodwork of communication itself. And as a believer of the vitality found in words, I think I would suggest the following: that to silence someone is perhaps as conceptually cruel as to break their legs.
2. I will tell you the difference (in my opinion) between self-esteem and self-hope. Imagine you are seven years old, and you are going to a Halloween party. Your father buys you a Halloween costume, and you arrive at the party after dressing in it. But when you look at all the costumes, you begin to think that yours is shoddy. Everyone else's costume is INVENTIVE, eye-catching, attractive, comfortable, colorful and full of intrigue. But yours? It is (by your own judgment) dull, monochromatic, clunky, itchy, tedious and unimaginative. That is low self-esteem. Now for self-hope; imagine you are still seven years old, and still invited to a party. Little Wilbur tells you to get a nifty costume, so once again your father purchases one. You see the costume in the mirror and it is BEAUTIFUL: sleek, chic, brilliant and intricate, well-constructed and brimming with energy. But once you arrive at the party, you realise that you were wrong. This isn't a costume party, and you're the only one dressed up!!! Not for the slightest moment did you suppose, 'My costume is shoddy,' or 'I don't like who I am.' Instead, you said to yourself 'As wondrously as I am dressed, I am in the wrong place. I shall never find myself at home.' That is low self-hope.
3. I'm sure you heard the line about building a better mousetrap. The enemy pursues me, he crushes me to the ground. I think it's a little difficult to communicate the nature of certain struggles. If someone tells you about a problem they are dealing with, it might be standard to assume that the problem is a recurring villain. If you turn on the TV and see a cartoon Dog chasing a cartoon Cat, for example, you might assume that the Dog usually chases the Cat in this program. But what if American Idol had a sequence wherein a cartoon Dog chased a cartoon Cat? Am I not correct to suppose that this sequence would be rather contextually unusual? So, too, I am struggling with something that is largely unusual and unexplained. Maybe self-hope is where I used to struggle, only I finally figured it out. And then the competition built a better mousetrap. And I suppose there is an unnerving, can-of-worms moment, one in which you realise that the competition will keep pumping out larger and more terrible mousetraps . . . It does not matter if you overcame the last one. Do you know it? Can you explain it? And where are the Chancellor's ambassadors?
Bless the Lord, oh my soul.