That being said, I also believe that the last two years have changed me somewhat. Since I left Augusta and came to D.C., my life has more or less been one never-ending cycle of struggles and disappointments, some of them soul-crushingly so. I don't want to create the impression that I hate my life, because in fact there have been many outstanding and heart-warming moments which have reminded me just how good life can be. Most of the joy that I have experienced as a result of living here has been brought to my life by two young children by the names of Angie and Connor. They're my cousin's kids, and visiting their house has literally been the highlight of my at-times miserable weeks. Catching up with the cousins, and also randomly being pulled into make-believe land by a seven and four year old has done wonderful things for the heart of a guy who is quickly losing his faith in humanity.
I have met enough different people by this point in my life that I can start to assume what certain people will do in any given situation before even they themselves know what they'll do. Humans are generally very predictable creatures once you learn which personality stereotypes they fall under. What I have learned, unfortunately as a result of many of the experiences I've had over the last two years, is that humans as a general rule tend to suck. Obviously that's a generalization, and perhaps a largely unfair one to be honest, but nevertheless it has held unbelievably true for me as I've gone along in life that the more people I meet, the more disappointed by humanity I become.
In any given population, whether it be a city, a neighborhood, or even an office, my general assessment is that roughly ten to twenty percent of them (at best) will be people worth knowing. The middle sixty percent are kind of just there, not really good but not really bad either. The bottom twenty percent are downright bad, and as the rules of society prevent me from slamming their heads into the desk when they aggravate me, I find it's best to simply avoid them at all costs.
Even in my travels all over the world, this rough breakdown still held up relatively consistently across numerous cultures. Some people will welcome you with open arms, others couldn't notice you if they tried, and still others will actively attempt to hurt you, sometimes because they're having a bad day, other times because they simply can. There is a sad truth in life that some people, for whatever reason, simply lost whatever little spark of humanity they were born with, and now are just wild animals.
The Bible says that there is no one righteous, not even ONE person. (Romans 3:10) In Ecclesiastes, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite books of the Bible, Solomon remarks in verse 7:28 that after searching the earth, he found only one upright man among a thousand. While those of us who believe in the truth of the Gospel are all striving to be that one upright man, the fact of our fallen world and our sinful bodies is that we are bound to fail more often than we succeed. I am no better or worse than anyone else. I fail often and sometimes spectacularly, but nevertheless I'm trying my best to be the man that God has called me to be.
Right now, I just want everyone to know that I'm ok. I have done my best these last two years to avoid the bitterness and cynicism that inevitably follows closely on the heels of life's disappointments. I have not always succeeded, but nevertheless I've resolved that in general it is better to smile than to weep.
I'm going to share another video with you now, and this one I believe sums up the nature of life better than anything which I have encountered in recent memory. It is also somewhat profane, so please overlook any words that are irksome to your sensibilities.
God gives each of us the strength we need to overcome the adversities which Satan places in our paths. I have learned as a result of my current life experiences that there is unequivocally a war going on between Good and Evil, and our little lives are merely the battleground for forces we will never be able to understand or control on this side of eternity. Don't take it personally when life beats you down. Just give your bitterness and frustrations to the God who sees everything. As he says to us in Isaiah 46:10, he makes known to us the end of all things from the beginning, and from ancient days what is still to come. He exists outside of linear time, and therefore he has already seen all events, people, and things well in advance of when they manifested themselves in the linear timeline.
Trust him. That's the best advice I can give anyone ever. If I were to die tomorrow, and this blog were the only thing I left behind to posterity, then I want everyone to know that you MUST trust Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, or else none of this crap will ever make sense.
I love you all, assuming you're one of the good ones.