The granddaughter of an author friend is going through a well-documented process of discovering the names of things, words and concepts that will define her world from now on. It’s always best, as the Taoist master Pooh observed, to begin at the beginning. Sometimes, it’s a place to return in reduction to essence, as my character Jon Anthony terms his method of understanding.
One of the foundational concepts this youngling is encountering includes the idea of Mine. Sometimes a child’s assertion is a plausible premise, as in the case of pointing to her foot. Sometimes it is less so and warrants correction. How we go about that vital process depends entirely on the validity of our own orientation and perspective.
At the appropriate time we need to take away the object in a childish claim of Mine and pass it along to a co-owner, pointing out the concept of Ours. Then to another, repeating in demonstration the higher ideal. Finally, the object lesson may pass back to the child, but again with the admonition: Ours. In most things, we are in this together.
Nearer the age of accountability, and once the essential choice between love and hate and indifference has been incorporated into a young life, the time arrives to encounter in faith another concept: His. A successful journey is an ordering of loyalties as our capacity permits. Faith, commitments, and self. This involves one descending in priority rather than retaining the juvenile self-focus marking our starting point, and in that perfect balance of acknowledging our place in the natural order diminishment equals growth.
In the Christian perspective, the closed circle of our Creator’s revelation, God took Mine and Ours and made it His. Our transgressions, our shortcomings, our just punishments earned in lifetimes and generations falling short of the Glory of God. He gathered those to Himself and placed the burden forever on the Cross. When it was over, he returned with the treasure and declared as a good parent: Ours. We are in this together.
One sees the concepts of Mine and Ours and His in play throughout life and society and politics. Sometimes those are embraced in solid premises, and in other times less or tragically not, and only the acid test of deconstruction will reveal one from the other.
Mine can be a prison of false liberation, where vicious manipulation in presumably self-serving politics of identity promise gain and instead diminish one’s American heritage. Mine can be the justification for the pursuit of lame advantage, where lust and envy, fostered by assumptions of due accommodation and reparation stunt the lifelong edification of a healthy intellect and vital spirit.
Ours, embraced in violation of natural laws, becomes an immoral process of conversion. There, the individual entitlement of Mine metastasizes into communitarianism or worse travesties of economic and political ideology stripping the return from one’s labor and collectivizing achievement. Ideological platitudes aside, have no doubt there will always be those at the top of such an order who fully retain the empowering and individual concept of Mine.
Even His can be subverted to serve purposes other than worship. Assumed delegation assures some servants will be held in higher regard and position than others, with the privileges and advantage of Mine cloaked in tradition and esteem and hierarchy preserving what ambition—having lost its focus previously—has established to perpetuate a comfortable arrangement instead.
His and Ours and Mine exist in the balance that Pastor Lin Shun Lun perceived in the second novel of Boone’s File, The Bonus Pool: another tripartite reality of Heaven and Earth with Man between. It remains our challenge to sort one from another day by day, a process by which we are winnowed as well. It’s good to keep this in mind.
Choose to love, -DA.
In production news, Daniel Sean Ritter’s next, The Yemeni Package being the fourth title of Sean’s File, is approaching the three-quarters mark in production editing and on schedule to appear in January, 2018. Now is a good time to begin, if you’ve neglected the story of the man who has yet to miss his appearance in one of my novels. You will, I promise, discover why.