So the final final is out of the way, I have a bit of a head cold, I’m writing (in my head) this month’s #1000Speak post which I need to put to paper tomorrow, & I find that I don’t want to think too much about anything that will disrupt the compassionate thought flow.
But, being a generally sentient soul, I did want to share some idle philosophizing. There is a trend, at least in the Northeastern US, for churches to use their outside signs (those magnetic letter things that used just announce service and study times) to have cute pithy sayings, and apparently less often, biblical quotes, that are meant to get you thinking. Presumably about going to church. One of the signs I pass by occasionally (the physical church is not on my route, only the sign), is on a main road and always has a different message for northbound motorists than for southbound ( this is unusual, in my experience). I should start by noting that I’m not sure what specific denomination this church is, but that they did promote Harold Camping’s May 31, 2011 end of the world prediction with an actual billboard along the same road, so I’m guessing not entirely ‘mainstream’.
I should also note that I found most of their words of wisdom to fall short – occasionally too cutesy and sometimes just nonsensical (although I suppose that if you ignored the meaning of the words, the phrasing sounded nice). I recall, though, a few weeks ago one really did resonate with me – but sadly, that one didn’t stick & I just can’t recall what it was. Today, though, I somehow noticed the northbound sign proclaiming “Fear is a dark room where negatives are developed“, and I thought well, okay. Maybe. But no, not really. Certainly fear and negativity work hand in hand, but I suspect that the quote is backwards – negative thoughts, negative views, are what drive our fears. Fear feeds off of negativity, not so much the other way around (we can view things negatively without fearing them, but we cannot normally be positive about things we fear). It seems to me that the sign would have been perfect if they’d reversed the thought – Negativity is a dark room where fear is developed. But of course, that would have completely ruined the word play, so I guess that wouldn’t work very well, after all. Which is, of course, why many of these pithy sayings fall short.
So I leave you to ponder the relationship of negativity to fear – and whether we can ever really overcome an innate fear and distrust of the ‘different’ so that we can search for the positives.