Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Irony. The incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs.

For example? Did you know, according to the Washington Post, the book that is shoplifted the most in the United States each year is The Bible?

Can you see the sad and humorous irony in this example? If there is a book to be shoplifted for reading's sake, I'm glad it's The Bible, but at the same time, it's the ultimate source of articulation on the "no-no" of stealing. So why would someone want to "creatively acquire" a book such as The Bible? It's the ultimate dilemma that enshrines the age-old discussion of "the end justifies the means."

Is there ever a point in any situation when the end truly justifies the means?

I have to admit that there have been times - in the name of justice, righteous and just plain justifiable revenge - that I have supported the notion where the end does justify the means. But herein lies the irony: There is never just one "end" for every means. Yes, the outward outcome from our actions may very well be easily predicted. In the end, we may get exactly what we want and it may even be seen as societally justified. But what of the inward outcome?

It is in this inward outcome where the irony lies. All of Life is somehow intrinsically connected; the whole is affected by the parts, the parts are affected by the whole. When we withhold love from another in order to reach to our "justifiable" end, we've also hurt ourselves as well. When we exact revenge on another in order to reach our "justifiable" end, we've scarred ourselves as well. When we have to justify our actions in order to reach a certain outward outcome, it is our inward outcome that has most likely taken the worst blow.

So, are there extenuating circumstances where the end justifies the means? There may very well be, in order to address the greater good of a larger group. But most of the time it's like... well, it's like... it's like stealing the Good Word and, at the same time, sacrificing your soul.

hoedl's haven
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