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As I See It

“Does everything evolve?”

In a recent talk to Mississippi college students, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia voiced his opposition to the idea that the Constitution evolves with the times. He declared himself an “originalist” in that he believes that the Constitution should be interpreted to mean what the framers intended when it was written.

How refreshing to read that some of our national leaders believe there are absolutes in life. As I reflected on the question of how the Constitution should be interpreted, I began to ponder other absolutes in life. Each of us could develop such a list and each list would be different.

I believe that truth is absolute.

A thing is either true or it is not. No room for “little white lies” or untruth of any other color. Deception in all forms is untruth. Dancing around the truth to avoid hurting feelings is deception and most of us are guilty of this transgression from time to time. Whether protecting someone from the truth is a good idea or not doesn’t change the fact that it is deceptive.

I believe that unconditional love for family is absolute.

Blood is thicker than water. We can disapprove of what they do, but we still love our family. Condemning the action does not mean condemning the actor.

I believe that friendship is absolute.

When we bestow the title of “friend” on someone, we make an unending commitment to do nothing to harm that person. Further, we are committed to protecting that person’s interests and good name, even at the expense of losing popularity for ourselves.

I believe that self-control is absolute.

We are accountable for our responses to every curve and hard ball that life throws our way. How we respond to what happens to us defines who we are; the toughest judge of us is us. Regardless of circumstance, we are accountable for our actions.

I believe that faith in God is absolute.

People either have faith in the existence of a Supreme Being or they don’t. Presumably those who are not believers operate under a theory that the world just happened. In my view, if there is no God then nothing that we do matters very much. That’s too depressing for me to contemplate for very long.

I believe that some things are right and some are wrong.

Determining what is right and wrong is sometimes difficult. For that reason, I stop short of classifying right-and-wrong as an absolute. I have spent untold hours trying to figure out the rights and wrongs of various situations and simply don’t believe that a canned, one-size-fits-all answer is always there.

This is certainly not a comprehensive list, but it could be food for thought. With Easter still fresh on our minds, it seems appropriate to spend a little contemplation time examining the absolutes that supply the structure of our lives.

Thought for the Moment

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

— Matthew 28:19

Joe D. Jones, CPA, is publisher of the Mississippi Business Journal. His e-mail address is cpajones@msbusiness.com.


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