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Friday, July 21, 2006


Where are the boundaries in our lives? I must admit to some curiosity, here.
I am a shirt vendor at many anime and SF conventions each year, and I find the...familiarity...that total strangers exhibit to be a discomfort. I went to the bathroom, f'rinstance, and lo, a man (compared with whom Adam's cat is a close confidante), a guy I had never before met, began to regale me with Tales of His Prostate.

OK...maintain eye-contact...back s-l-o-w-l-y toward the door...

What has changed in our culture to so remove boundaries? It used to be forever before one could claim to be a "best friend", but now, the second week of school and you find Ashleigh and Brittanee sporting badly airbrushed "BFF" t-shirts. Heck, make a call to Hannity's show, and the simple act of so doing earns you the assesment that "You're a Great American!".

Remember the era of "I don't kiss on the first date."? Now, a Big Mac dinner can earn you at least part of a baseball game.

I guess it all comes down to Issues of Virtue, or at least Perspicacity, and Behaving Circumspectly.
We all of us fall short of perfection, and you will find no stones lurking in my pockets, available for a convenient hurl. The setting of boundaries in behavior, and thinking, and speech will go a long way toward arming oneself against invaders, foreign, domestic or personal. If I set in stone "thus far, and no farther", then I establish a boundary, a hedge against intrusion, or worse.

Good walls make good neighbors.

I assume that no-one is interested in my Habits of Elimination -not even the doctor is...he's just paid to SEEM so. My finances are None of Your Concern, nor are the Dread Dormomoo's and my Practises of Connubial Bliss.

I do not care to hear of yours, either.

Were I to set a hedge as to Public Displays of 'Varky Wrath, and then, ooopsy, I blow my stack in a spectacular manner -and the Scripture says that I am not to be wrathful- I can go to my Father and ask forgiveness, and receive same. If someone else therefore blows HIS stack, I can commiserate, I can counsel if asked, but I cannot point the Bony Finger of Indignation in disdain and accusation. Religious and political leaders brought a woman "caught in the Very Act of adultery" to Jesus, to test and trick him, and see if he would abrogate the Law of Moses. She was worthy of stoning (as was the gent, who was Conveniently Not There- leading me to believe that it was a put-up job. Jesus did not disagree. He did set the parameters for the execution: "The one without sin may cast the first stone.".

They all slunk away.

Jesus did not soft-peddle what had happened, but said "I do not condemn you. Go and sin no more.".

If we transgress boundaries, either those we make in good faith, or those God has made, we are told the same, and Jesus says to our repentant heart "Neither do I condemn you. Go and don't do it again."

1 comment:

Billiam said...

The boundaries started coming down in the 60's. At that time, I believe it was likely the radical "elite" who began the process. My Mom definitely set boundaries. I still live by them today, and, expect them of others. Nice post, and I agree with it.