About Myself (from Timothy Chase)
- This is a response to Laurie's:
From: "Laurie Appleton" <lappleto@...>
Date: Sat Apr 15, 2006 12:29 am
Subject: Re: [creation_evolution_debate] For those among us who are
which itself was written as a response to my:
From: "Timothy Chase" <timothychase@...>
Date: Thu Apr 13, 2006 9:46 pm
Subject: For those among us who are Christian...
However, while this is being written primarily for Laurie, it is meant
to be a freestanding piece. It is public, and of course I am leaving
it to be read by others if they so choose.
I was a bit nerdy in school. I guess that much is obvious. But I
have also served in the military -- the US Navy. I have worked in an
engine room at 130 degrees for twelve, sixteen, eighteen hours a day
while the ship was underway. I saw Hong Kong, Singapore, Diego
Garcia, Comoros, Madagascar, Al Masirah, the Philippines and Honolulu,
so as you might guess, we were underway a fair amount of the time. At
one point, we had a gas warfare drill, battened down the hatches, and
the temperature of the engine room climbed to 160 degrees. The
generator failed, and I volunteered to get it started again, then
cranked it back to life like an old model-T. I have worked manual
labor even once I got my master's degree, folding rags, jumping out of
a fifth story window to throw construction trash down a tube from a
rickety platform that was a little too far away from the window --
without a safety harness.
I have seen a great many individuals. I have seen people at their
worst and I have seen people at their best. I have seen poverty, and
I have worked with someone who had business concerns on several
continents. And I have seen three men gang up on another -- the four
men all strangers to myself, and then lept to the defense of the
outnumbered individual because it was the right thing to do. On my
own, I have investigated cults up close with the intent of
understanding them so that, if possible, I could stop them.
But no matter where I have gone, there is one obligation which I have
always carried with me. It can be expressed in religious terms. It
can be expressed in secular terms. For the sake of those who are not
necessarily religious, for the time being, I will express it in the
latter and let you decide for yourself what I mean in terms of your
belief in God.
My first obligation, wherever I go, whoever I meet, and whatever I do
is to understand. If I do not understand, then I cannot know what the
consequences of my actions will be. If I do not understand, I can
become trapped in a prison of conceptual illusion. If I do not
understand, then I and those who are not necessarily my enemies may
become trapped in needless conflict.
Understanding must come first. At that level, I am neither for you
nor against you. At that level, neither you nor anyone else even
enters the equation. This is who I am. This is what I am. Take from
this what you will, for at the same level, you must face the same
issue and the same alternative every moment of your life, and at that
level, neither I nor any other human being matters, either.