I have talked with various people over the past couple of days about the concept of “being whole” as a person. With a little research, I think I’ve come to a few conclusions about that concept. As odd as it sounds – I think that it is typical of many if not most of us to be “whole in parts” – and yet potentially wildly incomplete in others. And perhaps those of us who search the hardest for answers are the most incomplete – or possibly only have the most realization that we are.
Personally, I have struggled my entire life with social situations – as an autistic, wondering if I may never understand some aspects of society. Yet – when I look back on myself with as close to clear eyes as is possible, I think in some ways I must credit myself with being whole my “whole” life. I have always understood to look for the good in people. I have always put more importance in people’s strengths than in their weaknesses. I tend not to be judgmental. I love people for who they are, and although I do recognize shortcomings – do not typically diminish my love or respect for others based on those. My heart longs to love. Certainly this is an incomplete and simplistic view of my heart. Certainly I am not perfect, and continue to grow. Yet overall, I am happy with my heart. In that part of me, I believe I am close to “whole”.
Yet, I still struggle with confidence. I still struggle with trust. Though my heart wants greatly to trust, my head is full of questions. I struggle with faith – not in the existence of God, but in His intent in my life, and what that tells me as to how I should live it. I struggle with trying to understand when I am hearing God – or just hearing myself wishing to believe I am hearing God.
But through the Bible there are many stories of pious men who call out to God searching for answers. Mother Teresa was tormented by lack of faith, and feelings of emptiness. Socrates supposedly became wise because he was so full of questions, that he set about looking for answers. His life was centered on constantly asking questions – questioning everyone around him, searching for answers to tell him how to live a good and virtuous life.
And in that – I think that I am, and want to be, like Socrates. I am full of doubt, because I am full of questions. I do not doubt what I have learned, but I realize that there is an endless “more” to continue to learn. We each have things we understand more – and others we understand less – so if we strive to be wise, as Socrates, we seek to learn from each other. In the time of Socrates, he walked from man to man, addressing each with questions. In our time, we can reach out to vast libraries, we can share an abundance of answers on the Internet. We have more answers, yet we only raise more questions.
We live in a complicated time, yet even in that – some things stay the same. The basic premises of love and caring for each other are eternal. We can all strive, as Socrates, to live a life of love, kindness and compassion. To care for our fellow man, to be fair and just. The questions may never end. There may never be a complete sense of peace in an individual heart. But even with an endless supply of questions, the basic answer is love… When all else fails, when no other answer is found, the answer is love.