Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Different Kind of Hero in Afghanistan; Truth and Love


I commented, yesterday, at neo-neo's, and my comment fits in here:

Cinderella stories

Everyone likes Cinderella stories. I suspect your complaint has to do with a kind of sloppy sentimental retelling/exaggeration which detracts from the wonder of a story of accomplishment. Such wonder ought often be experienced by an audience member via a nod of the head, and a respectful comment to oneself of “Nice”, as in “Nice rise from where you rose from”, or “Nice job”. Respect for accomplishment.

The tellers of the stories of accomplishment - the networks (Olympics), the packagers of the Clinton Convention film and the Sotomayor story being lauded in the Senate hearing (advertisers/political operatives) - do not trust the natural wonder of a story of accomplishment (do not recognize, in the story, the natural glimmers of Divinity which require no elaboration). Rather than allowing the audience to experience a respectful realization, i.e. “Nice”, the tellers of the story attempt to wring more sentiment from the audience. In so doing, the tellers devalue the power and integrity of accomplishment. They devalue the wonder which is naturally infused into the story.

The marketing of just about any accomplishment as a sentimental Cinderella tear jerker is an affront to truth. If everything is Cinderella, then nothing is Cinderella. If many things prompt tears, then few things prompt tears. Wonder is dimmed, and we fail to recognize it.

I suspect such marketing of sentiment is often carried out by persons who don’t believe in objective truth; by persons for whom all truth is subjective opinion. Pope Benedict, in his recently released Caritas in Veritate, had something to say about subjective truth vs. objective truth:
“Fidelity to man requires fidelity to the truth, which alone is the guarantee of freedom and of the possibility of integral human development.”
“Only in truth does charity shine forth, only in truth can charity be authentically lived…Without truth, charity degenerates into sentimentality. Love becomes an empty shell, to be filled in an arbitrary way. In a culture without truth, this is the fatal risk facing love.”
Back at the link, back in Afghanistan: our heroine knows truth, and therefore is able to know love.

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