Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Simple Complexities

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to have someone else's life? In A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens says, "A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other." In the book, as the main character looks upon a city at night, he ponders that "every beating heart in the hundreds of thousands of breasts there, is, in some of its imaginings, a secret to the heart nearest it."
Yesterday, I drove with my mom and brother from my home in San Antonio, TX to Graham, TX, a city with a population of about 8,700 and a drive of approximately five hours. Fortunately, I'm used to these sorts of drives. When I was younger, my family and I would drive three days every year to visit family in North Dakota. During these journeys, I've learned to entertain myself with music and books. But nothing compares to the time that I have to sit and reflect on the lives of others. Perhaps the most mind-stretching concept for me is the thought of farmers' way of life: every morning, rising before the sun to perform their daily tasks of feeding the animals and preparing their tractors.
Such simplicity, and yet, I wonder what they think of me.For I hold in my heart as many secrets as they. Both of us are doing what we must for survival. Both look at the same moon every night and keep time by the same sun. Maybe we are not so different after all. But who would ever really be able to tell because neither of us are willing to completely open up our hearts. Even the most honest person fails to expose himself to being completely transparent. No, the human heart is one thing that can never be taken apart. It cannot be fully simplified. It is interesting- the desire of man to simplify life. Man can never just allow things to be complex. We never want anything to be larger than ourselves.
An article in the March issue of National Geographic discusses a research project attempting to find a "God particle," which would provide a more simple explanation to life than the current theories. However, I find that knowing there is something greater than myself is the very fact that comforts me. Few things please me more than standing beneath the towering trees in North Dakota and looking up at their branches reaching toward the heavens.
So, with this digression, I resolve that Charles Dickens was correct: the secrets of hearts are "a wonderful fact." We must not mourn that we do not know all things, but, instead, rejoice that we do not. For with knowledge comes a responsibility to correct wrongs. And although we should help fix those we can, it is clearly impossible to cure all the wrongs of the world. Therefore, personally, I would care to leave this task in the hands of the same One who made the intricacies of the human heart and the branches of the magnificent firs. I rejoice that I can be simple and the world can be complex, and all the while, Someone is watching over us both.

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