The entire world explained in 2 words

I’m Not A Philosophy Major, But…

I’m going to get philosophical for a moment. Not to the level of Socrates, Plato or Aristotle — all my homeboys, by the way (I like to think of it as an ancient bromance). But I am going to sum up the world in 2 words. Not an easy task, I know, but give this a shot.

How This Came About

Earlier today, I had one of the most open, honest, lay-it-all-out-there conversations I can ever remember having. It was a unique conversation. One that many shy away from, or even purposely avoid.

It was so transparent, on a scale from 1 to 10, if 1 was Facebook’s old privacy policy and 10 was Newt Gingrich’s feelings on the opening question to the South Carolina Presidential debate… this conversation was somewhere in the hundreds.

She opened up, and was completely honest to me (did I tell you how much I appreciate that, btw?). I was honest with her. This kind of complete honesty with one another also makes you be honest with yourself — which is partly why I write this blog.

The conversation was difficult because it uncovered something that no one ever wants to hear.

But as difficult as it was, and the fact that it has the possibility to end something special… part of me feels really good about it. Good, in the sense that, if 2 people can have a conversation like this one,

  • The world is not going crazy after all, and
  • There are still people out there who truly value honesty

The 2 Words

Enough with all this intro background garbage. I know. You want to know what the two words are.

World = Relationship + Honesty

Relationships

Friends. Lovers. Bros. Hoes. Co-workers. Partners. Pets. God. Self.

We have relationships with many things. Multiple relationships at the same time. Some last forever. Others come & go. Some bring clarity. Others breed confusion. Some relationships are refreshing. Some, challenging. Some, easy.

We have relationships with other living things: our fellow humans & our pets. But also with the dead. Those who have lived adjacent to us, and those who are simply a part of history.

Sometimes our strongest relationship is not with the living or the dead, but with a set of beliefs… or a book of scripture… or a place of worship.

Relationships have gotten us jobs & introduced us to our spouse. They have also gotten us fired & ruined our marriage.

Relationships, just like the world, are subjective. You’ll never have a relationship with your SAT score.

They’re ever-changing. You will wander in & out of them your entire life. Guaranteed.

You can’t predict them. Don’t worry. Neither could Columbus. He just got lucky.

They have no inherent value. You might think your wife is worth a million bucks… or an expensive diamond ring… but she’s worth so much more than that.

Honesty

I was thinking… if I had one gift to give to the world, what would it be? And no, I’m not practicing for a Miss America pageant. I really do think about this stuff, somewhat regularly (probably way more than I should).

Sure, I could give the world food, and then people wouldn’t be starving. Or I could give clean water, and people would be healthier, and live longer. I could give condoms to slow down AIDS in Africa. And I’d probably save millions of lives doing any one of these things… or a host of others just like them.

But so long as we’re not all honest with each other, and ourselves, we’re always going to have all the little crap that ends up leading to the big crap. And by crap, I mean problems. Debt. AIDS. Starvation. Homelessness. War. Infidelity. Murder. Cheating. Et cetera.

Honesty & relationships are intertwined. By giving the world honesty, it might help cure all the broken relationships. The ones between lovers. Between spouses. Between friends. Between nations and tribes and religious groups. Between humans and the environment. Between a mother and her daughter, or you and your next door neighbor.

 

I realize there are other things that make up our world. But at least today… for me… these are the two that seem to matter so much more than any of the others.

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