“If someone is able to show me that what I think or do is not right, I will happily change, for I seek the truth, by which no one was ever truly harmed. It is the person who continues in his self-deception and ignorance who is harmed.” – Marcus Aurelius
Friend’s of Padre Steve’s World. Before I say anything else tonight I just want to thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to read, comment and even share what I write. That matters to me and a good number of you have followed my writings for years. So I truly thank you from the bottom of my heart, and if you like what you see please comment and share with others.
As I get older I realize how valuable time is. There are few commodities that truly cannot be replaced or conserved, time is one that is always fleeting. As Dr. Suess said:
“How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?”
That being said I am not a fan of New Year’s resolutions, in fact I generally don’t make any because frankly I think that most are a waste of time. However, I do not think that the pursuit of truth is a waste, and as Benjamin Disraeli noted so wisely; “Time is precious, but truth is more precious than time.”
To that end I am going to endeavor this year to commit myself to continue to seek truth and to speak truth. Truth matters to me. In my life I have seen so many lies, especially by political and religious leaders that I trusted that I now devote myself to the pursuit of truth. As Captain Jean Luc Picard told the young Cadet Wesley Crusher in Star Trek the Next Generation episode The First Duty: “the first duty of every Starfleet officer is to the truth, whether it’s scientific truth, historical truth or personnel truth…”
So, I will continue to write, especially about historical subjects that have an impact today: civil rights and social justice, faith, military issues, PTSD and military health issues, the Middle East conflicts and a number of other topics. Of course I will write about baseball, which is often my refuge when things are too much for me and music. I may do more regarding music as I was asked to do an article for a journal about liturgical music, stress and resiliency.
I will continue to be as transparent as I can about my own struggles withPTSD and faith in the hopes that my journey will help others who struggle like me. In fact this was a major reason that I started this site back in February of 2009.
Expect more writing about the Battle of Gettysburg and the Civil War. I have a feeling that that is going going to become a life work, even after I retire from the Navy. The American Civil War is so pertinent to who and what we are as a nation and the more I study it, the people, the issues and the ideologies involved I see many parallels with today; some of which are positively frightening. So expect a lot more about these subjects. In fact the Civil War is one in which debunked myths still hold sway over many, especially among the defenders of the Lost Cause who predominate the Christian Right.
While lies are dangerous the myths can be more so, and the proliferation of lies, half-truths and myth have shriveled the brain cells of those who enjoy the comfort of opinion without the benefit of thought. President John F. Kennedy spoke of this in 1962, and his words are timely, especially when hoards of preachers, pundits and politicians, the Trinity of Evil, do this with abandon:
“The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie–deliberate, contrived and dishonest–but the myth–persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the cliches of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”
To do this I have to constantly challenge my own thoughts. Even in my work on my Gettysburg and Civil War text I uncover information that points out mistakes in previous editions of my work, and I am not so arrogant that I cannot admit making a mistake or changing my conclusions on a subject. I am actually doing that now on a chapter revision to that work.
As far as other goals, I want to get a publisher for the Gettysburg text, who knows, what I have already written might be two or three books. If you know someone who can help, let me know. I also plan on beginning work on a doctorate to take with me into retirement.
So until tomorrow.