I read an essay about the new congressman, George Santos. It made me sad. Not only that a person would feel the need to embellish their resume to win an election, but that a person would feel their real life was so inadequate they would lie so blatantly.
A quote within the essay caught my attention.
"As the philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre once observed, you can't know what to do unless you know what story you are part of."
I stopped reading and asked myself some important questions:
- What story do I believe I am part of?
- How does that story or set of stories inform what I do? And don't do?
- Is my story true? beautiful? compelling?
- Can I change that story? If so, what would I change?
- What do my actions reveal about the story I believe I am part of?
That last one is a real zinger and I believe it is at the root of Jesus' statement that healthy trees bear good fruit and diseased trees bear bad.
True about trees. True about people.
Do my actions on the whole reveal that I am living out of a good story or a diseased one?
I would argue that all of us have a bit of a diseased story ... hello, dysfunction!
But may I also argue that it is possible to notice - if we stay awake - the diseased story line and cut it out, write a new one, a good one? Not just "try to change our behavior" but aim at the deeper truth our behavior reveals. Aim at the story behind our behavior ...
What is the story you believe you are part of?
If you are unsure, look at how you live ... your story drives that.
Is your story true? Is it beautiful? Is it compelling?
Is your story causing you to live the life you want to live?
We can't know what to do unless we know the story we are part of ...