Persevering Through Our Wars Is A Necessary Part Of Human Existence

Persevering Through Our Wars Is A Necessary Part Of Human Existence

An in-depth analysis of C.S. Lewis's "Learning in a Wartime."

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Within times of hardship, it is easy to become consumed with all that goes wrong instead of focusing on the realistic perspective that could be gained about our lives. Through "Learning in a Wartime," C.S. Lewis gracefully alludes to wartime, human nature, and Christianity through his well-crafted, insightful piece in order to present our current, fearful focus, versus accepting life for its reality as a substitution. Through further analyzation of excitement, frustration, and fear, approaching our everyday lives with a more accepting, Godly view is the key to fulfilling our true vocation.

Moments of struggle create the false illusion that there are more problems than there are present. Lewis says, "The war creates no absolutely new situation: it simply aggravates the permanent human situation so that we can no longer ignore it." In other words, self-struggle and external conflict does not create abnormalities. Instead, it enhances existing problems. For example, in a gunpowder painting, gunpowder is scattered across a canvas to create an image. To see the full art, it needs to be lit on fire. If it is not lit, then we are only stuck with the current image, and it only leaves us wondering about what it could potentially be. The gunpowder alludes to our current problems.

By recognizing our conflict and trying to learn from it, it ignites a flame that will help reveal the full image, or in other words, it will aid us in better discovering our true vocation. Allowing conflict to overwhelm us ultimately blinds us from being able to learn and see beyond what we could potentially gain. With that illusion comes the difficulty in moving forward with our lives. Accepting the problems that are present is the first step in truly freeing oneself to fully be able to discover more within ourselves, like the image, and it gives us better chance to discover our vocation. Through resilience, our vocation will come clear to us.

It is human nature to constantly be curious and unsatisfied, however, no one in this world will ever accomplish all they desire in one lifetime. With the attempt to accomplish everything, the natural feeling would result in frustration. There is always something that will not be accomplished at the end of the road. As Lewis stated, "pursue knowledge as such, and beauty, as such, in the sure confidence that by so doing we are either advancing to the vision of God ourselves or indirectly helping others to do so." By directing your vocation for the glory of God, one is bound to live a fruitful and everlasting life. If one's goal is to do everything in the world, their purpose of serving God will be lost if they are consumed with only self-fulfillment through all things other than God.

As much as we try to find self-fulfillment in life, what matters most is that we direct our fulfillment towards the glory in God. "The intellectual life is not the only road to God, nor the safest, but we find it to be a road, and it may be the appointed road for us. Of course, it will be so only so long as we keep the impulse pure and disinterested." Through our service for the glory of God, only then can we truly feel like we have done everything. The only fulfillment should be sought after giving glory to God, not for selfish fulfillment that ultimately leaves us feeling empty and unaccomplished.

There is no one way and exact one time that death will reach everyone. It is inevitable that death will eventually come towards our direction since all humans will eventually die at some point. "We can guard against the illusions of the imagination" over death, however, it will not prevent death from reaching the human race. If we live in constant fear over death, then we are unable to fully witness the life in living. "Human culture has always had to exist under the shadow of something infinitely more important than itself. If men had postponed the search for knowledge and beauty until they were secure the search would never have begun." Rather than being afraid to die, we should be more afraid of allowing our vocation to die. Your vocation will not truly be fulfilled if your constant focus is on the fear of death. Rather, it will sit in nothingness. To truly fulfill our vocation is not to think about death, but focusing on what we do when we are living.

People often focus too much on the casualties of war but not enough of the insight it brings. C.S. Lewis wrote his piece, "Learning in Wartime" ultimately to encourage those during World War II to preserve their studies and continue to look towards God. Although written during another century, his words still strike relevance to this day through his insightful view to learn during times of "war" and also to continue working towards ministry through our everyday lives. Through his insight over external war, our internal conflicts may allude to his words and further help us overcome the obstacles hindering us from growing within ourselves and our growing faith. With our continuum through serving God after discovering our vocation, the word of Christianity will further spread through the world.

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An Open Letter To Democrats From A Millennial Republican

Why being a Republican doesn't mean I'm inhuman.
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Dear Democrats,

I have a few things to say to you — all of you.

You probably don't know me. But you think you do. Because I am a Republican.

Gasp. Shock. Horror. The usual. I know it all. I hear it every time I come out of the conservative closet here at my liberal arts university.

SEE ALSO: What I Mean When I Say I'm A Young Republican

“You're a Republican?" people ask, saying the word in the same tone that Draco Malfoy says “Mudblood."

I know that not all Democrats feel about Republicans this way. Honestly, I can't even say for certain that most of them do. But in my experience, saying you're a Republican on a liberal college campus has the same effect as telling someone you're a child molester.

You see, in this day and age, with leaders of the Republican Party standing up and spouting unfortunately ridiculous phrases like “build a wall," and standing next to Kim Davis in Kentucky after her release, we Republicans are given an extreme stereotype. If you're a Republican, you're a bigot. You don't believe in marriage equality. You don't believe in racial equality. You don't believe in a woman's right to choose. You're extremely religious and want to impose it on everyone else.

Unfortunately, stereotypes are rooted in truth. There are some people out there who really do think these things and feel this way. And it makes me mad. The far right is so far right that they make the rest of us look bad. They make sure we aren't heard. Plenty of us are fed up with their theatrics and extremism.

For those of us brave enough to wear the title “Republican" in this day and age, as millennials, it's different. Many of us don't agree with these brash ideas. I'd even go as far as to say that most of us don't feel this way.

For me personally, being a Republican doesn't even mean that I automatically vote red.

When people ask me to describe my political views, I usually put it pretty simply. “Conservative, but with liberal social views."

“Oh," they say, “so you're a libertarian."

“Sure," I say. But that's the thing. I'm not really a libertarian.

Here's what I believe:

I believe in marriage equality. I believe in feminism. I believe in racial equality. I don't want to defund Planned Parenthood. I believe in birth control. I believe in a woman's right to choose. I believe in welfare. I believe more funds should be allocated to the public school system.

Then what's the problem? Obviously, I'm a Democrat then, right?

Wrong. Because I have other beliefs too.

Yes, I believe in the right to choose — but I'd always hope that unless a pregnancy would result in the bodily harm of the woman, that she would choose life. I believe in welfare, but I also believe that our current system is broken — there are people who don't need it receiving it, and others who need it that cannot access it.

I believe in capitalism. I believe in the right to keep and bear arms, because I believe we have a people crisis on our hands, not a gun crisis. Contrary to popular opinion, I do believe in science. I don't believe in charter schools. I believe in privatizing as many things as possible. I don't believe in Obamacare.

Obviously, there are other topics on the table. But, generally speaking, these are the types of things we millennial Republicans get flack for. And while it is OK to disagree on political beliefs, and even healthy, it is NOT OK to make snap judgments about me as a person. Identifying as a Republican does not mean I am the same as Donald Trump.

Just because I am a Republican, does not mean you know everything about me. That does not give you the right to make assumptions about who I am as a person. It is not OK for you to group me with my stereotype or condemn me for what I feel and believe. And for a party that prides itself on being so open-minded, it shocks me that many of you would be so judgmental.

So I ask you to please, please, please reexamine how you view Republicans. Chances are, you're missing some extremely important details. If you only hang out with people who belong to your own party, chances are you're missing out on great people. Because, despite what everyone believes, we are not our stereotype.

Sincerely,

A millennial Republican

Cover Image Credit: NEWSWORK.ORG

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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