It's been a while. Ok, a few days, whatever. I felt an urge to vent about two things that really bother me. I was going to say that they piss me the **** off, but then I thought that might be too crass and anti-intellectual. Whatever. So anyhow, here they are:
"It's all in God's hands"
"Never give up on your dreams"
"Everyone's good at something"
I'm sorry, but all of these are over-simplified turds of wisdom. Here's why...
I'm not going to poo-poo anyone's religion. That's not my place. I have no right or authority to do that. But, at what point does something STOP being in God's hands? If "everything" is in God's hands, then that explicitly means NOTHING is "out" of God's hands. After all, you can't have something be "Always" and "Never", or "Always" and "Sometimes" at the same time. That's as impossible as keeping lawyers out of Washington DC. So, I've made it a small project to ask people who range from non-religious all the way up to uber-religious about this phrase. My questioning kind of follows Penn's logic, sort of, which is: If you release all your worries by saying everything is in God's hands, then why look before crossing a street? Why put a seat belt on? Why take a shower? Why do anything? After all, if it's in God's hands, then that means God will take care of EVERYTHING; leaving NOTHING for us to take care of. So, why even get out of bed? We should simply sleep all day and wait for God to take care of everything and bring it all to us. Right? God will take care of the rent, the food, the electricity, the water, we don't need to take care of anything. There is a name for people that follow that belief: dead.
But, no one accepts that view. At least, no one I've met. So that really means that not "everything" is in God's hands. Some things are left for us to take care of. But what? Where is that line? How do we, as mortals, decide for ourselves what God says is the line? Is it for us as individuals to decide? Is it per church? Per city? Per state government? Per nation? For some it means Cancer is a trip to the hospital, but for others it means staying home and praying, with no medical intervention at all. For some it means courts of law to settle disputes and infractions, but for others it means prayer, while for others it means stoning to death. If everything was truly in God's hands, we wouldn't need pastors, ministers, preachers, priests, rabbis, or whatever they call the authorities in other religions.
This nebulous, and mystical "line" divides us from the things that we are to let God handle, but "we" don't have a clear definition or belief of where that line is. We can't even agree if the line is straight or drawn like a crayon between the toes of a Tourette's patient on Red Bull. This is the essence of centuries of war (and millions of dollars in profit for lots of big corporations, I might add). Too many times it's used as a scapegoat or cop-out. Can't find a job? "It's in Gods hands". No, it's not. Go out and look for a job. Child gets a nasty cut and is losing a lot of blood? "It's in Gods hands". No. Take the child to a doctor immediately. I'm sure there are appropriate uses of the phrase, but it's becoming as overused as politicians saying "I have a plan".
"Never give up on your dream"
Adam Carolla has dissected this little turd on several occasions. There is a point where dreams are not only to be left at the altar, but ground into dust like a cigarette butt under a steel toe construction boot. Don't believe me? Just watch American Idol. Ask yourself what most of the first round cuts end up doing with their singing career. That's right: they go back to busing tables, serving burgers and changing oil. Let's face, if you're 85 and you had a lifelong dream to be a heavyweight boxer, and you hadn't made it yet: It's time to let that go. Then again, maybe that's your idea of suicide by right-hook, which at 85 might not be so painful and drawn out.
"Everyone's good at something"
No. They. Are. Not. For most of the human race, this is probably true. By "most" I'm thinking 80 percent. But if you've ever been around crack heads, ex-convict drug addicts or watched "To Catch a Predator", you should have confirmed that there are some folks who's only skill is being fertilizer. No one is good at everything, this is true. Most of us are good at something and not-so-good at many other things. But *not* everyone is good at something. They also have a TV show for people that haven't yet found their true calling, it's called Tosh.O.