Eternity – and why submit to authority?

Being one who has already embraced the idea of eternity, I find it difficult to identify with any lack of passion for the eternal over the temporal (this life). Carpe diem is a fine phrase – so past cliché that I can return to it and think it fine. But it can embody two very different attitudes to living: do whatever you want today because you might not be around tomorrow; or do whatever you must (which has been prepared in advance for you), even if you don’t like it, and try to enjoy it, because some day you will understand why it had to be done from the One who ordained it.

The first attitude allows action without boundaries. The guide is only desire. The second attitude is one qualified by rules, and assumes an ultimately wise entity-in-charge setting those rules. The guide must be this entity. The power to decide can lie either in you or outside of you.

For me, I don’t think I’ve ever had trouble accepting that my decisions may not be the best. And here is where I think good parenting comes in. Those children with parents who make executive decisions that may not have always been pleasant, but later can be seen to have been for the best – these parents raise children who are deferent to external guides. Parents who are somewhat inadequate in gaining the respect of their children regarding making wise choices for them all – these parents raise more self-sufficient children. Not that the first type raises ‘dependent’ kids or that some self-sufficiency is not good. But parents are the first authority that a child will come across, so they are responsible for forming their children’s attitudes towards authority. That’s why parenting is so crucial, clutch, critical.

I trust external authorities to make good decisions. Faith in something bigger than me is possible, even though I cannot have systematic proof before my eyes whether this entity (God) exists / can make good decisions / wants to make good decisions for me. Instead I will trust the testimony of millions billions worldwide, and in past generations — there is a God, he is good, he is good to me.

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