Monday, December 26, 2011

God and Good Will

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." - King James 2000 Bible (©2003) Luke 2:14

"Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased." - New Living Translation (©2007) Luke 2:14

How many of us haven't heard the Christmas carol with the King James version of the message of the angels, who upon the birth of Jesus, appeared to the shepherds? In looking past the Christmas carol, it seems that there are a number of versions of what was said, based on the translator, and presumably, the narrator, since we know that Luke was not an eye witness to this event.

It seems to me that the two versions quoted here mean entirely different things. I have been trying to make peace for many years based on a Christmas carol version of a bible saying. Maybe it's time for me to rethink which version of this bible verse I accept. People without boundaries are not people of good will, neither are they people with whom we can find peace.

From my experience with animals, including myself and other humans, there is no peace without clearly defined boundaries. This is the reason I've come to dislike being in crowds whose boundaries are not defined. It is difficult to know what will cause the crowd to unite, and for what purposes. I have not found the "crowd mentality" to be a generally good thing.

We seem to live in a society of covetousness, not knowing the difference between what we need and what we want. We are kept in a constant state of arousal by the many merchants accosting our senses with everything from rap to Christmas carols, from the ringing of the registers, to the bright blinking lights. We are meant to become so frantic with the sensory overload that our reason short circuits. We are all children in our emotional selves; too much stimulation leads to meltdown.

The wise parents put boundaries around their children, and take them out of situations where they are becoming too lacking in peace. Those who follow a religion are putting boundaries around their behaviors, and have an expectation that the others in their tribes will adhere to the same set of rules. This creates a place of peace in which to let down our guard and come to a sense of inner balance and balance with our fellow people of good will.

My wish for the new year is that we all find a place of peace among people who define their boundaries and live by their espoused rules.