Time Capsule #78
On humility, forgiveness, and European skylines.
Welcome to the Time Capsule — a weekly newsletter that serves as both my public journal and personal scrapbook. I write about the things on my mind and close to my heart in hopes that those who read it find value and enjoyment in it, and perhaps some solace too.
💭 Quote(s) of the Week
It’s quite a job starting to love somebody. You have to have energy, generosity, blindness. There is even a moment, in the very beginning, when you have to jump across a precipice: if you think about it you don’t do it.
✏️ Al-Ghafir (02-21-2022)
All human beings are flawed by design. Expecting perfection in others and yourself is not only unrealistic but cruel. Part of the reason why we are called to forgive others is so that when it is our time to be forgiven, they will remember our generosity and quickness to forgive.
One of my weaknesses is my difficulty to forgive others. And I am the one who pays the most for it. I run the risk of losing friendships and relationships because I cannot move on. Worst of all, I have difficulty forgiving myself for my transgressions. When I inevitably fall short of my lofty and unattainable expectations, or even just commit a slight moral crime, I cannot forgive myself. I simply cannot forgive myself. The hypocrisy in giving myself a second chance, when I am so stingy and reluctant to give second chances to others, is too much to overlook. And so I suffer. I suffer and I hide in seclusion, for fear of making another mistake.
The way out is to be more forgiving — to see the good in every man, woman, and child, despite what their actions and choices suggest. It’s the only way to fully experience human life — otherwise, you must renounce the world, accept solitude as your only solace, and let that be your life. But that’s no way to live. I know that’s no way to live.
You have to face up to the world: put down your shield and let the arrows rain down upon you. There is no winning and losing in this life. Everyone is a victim. But how you go out is up to you. Accept the unfairness and imperfection of life, let it not get you down. There will be bumps and bruises no doubt, but there is no better alternative. You must feel the pain of rejection, the sting of failure, the burn of sin. That is what you have been called to do: to, despite all this, bring forth a little good onto the world.
📸 Photo of the Week
📖 Book of the Week — The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
I desire no future that will break the ties of the past.
Written by Mary Ann Evans under the pseudonym George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss draws heavily on her own childhood experiences to tell a riveting story of morality through the lens of 19th-century England. As always, she is masterful in her depiction of human psychology, in this case, child psychology.
One of the great novels from one of the great novelists of the English language.
💡 Food for Thought
A man who sees his own humility has already lost it.
🔭 Sunday Best
The Names and Attributes of Allah — I’ve been studying Islam recently, and have been impressed and fascinated by the way they describe God in the Quran. I’ve always thought God was utterly incomprehensible — maybe He is — but in the Quran, they ascribe many qualities that help us get to know Him better and become more like Him.
Dostoevsky and the Pleasure of Taking Offense — by Anthony Eagan
A man who lies to himself is the first to take offense. It sometimes feels very good to take offense, doesn’t it? And surely he knows that no one has offended him, and that he himself has invented the offense and told lies just for the beauty of it, that he has exaggerated for the sake of effect, that he has picked on a word and made a mountain out of a pea—he knows all that, and still he is the first to take offense, he likes feeling offended, it gives him great pleasure, and thus he reaches the point of real hostility.
Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
The Peace Prayer of Saint Francis — how to become an instrument of peace in the world:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
One man plants, another waters, but it is ultimately God who provides the increase.
Until next time,