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you do you

A few nights ago my sister and I were talking about how there is truth in almost everything, even some conspiracy theories. This teeny tiny bit of truth is what makes them believable.

For example, do I trust vaccine technology? Yes.
Do I also understand why some people may be concerned about getting the vaccine? Yes.

I can believe both that getting this vaccine is of utmost importance to my life and the lives of every person in this world and also worry about the amount of power and influence pharmaceutical companies wield. Both of these things are true but at some point I must make a decision. Do I get vaccinated or not?

One of the trends over the past few years has been a “you do you” mentality and I wonder if that mentality has led us to where we are today. If we only ever make decisions based on what is best for ourselves, we neglect the needs of our community. Our lives are not lived in insular bubbles where our actions have no effect on others, no matter how it feels right now. We live in a society that relies on structure and communal decisions to move us forward as a people.

So what do we do? How do we decide?

One of the primary struggles we have as humans is uncovering truth, whether it be in faith, science, relationships, or even the truth of our own selves.

To find answers, we have a choice: do the work to seek the truth or trust somebody else to do that work for us. Neither of these feel like a perfect solution, though. The first feels incredibly overwhelming and the second relies on our submission to people and powers who are not God.

Thankfully, there is a third choice. Growing up Catholic revealed the importance of living inside a defined structure while also being willing to push at the edges and ask the questions that need asking. We can strive for a balance of both. We can seek truth AND trust others. Both/and.

This third option is not easy or clear, but I don’t think it is possible to live in this world any other way. None of us are experts in everything and even experts can be myopic in their perspective. We need one another to come to a truth that works for us, together.

So how do we move forward? When do we decide to trust and when do we decide to do the work?

The best way I know is to focus on the why. Seeking the why eventually leads us toward truth.

Trust others who are asking good “why” questions.
Become an expert on issues you care deeply about, continually pressing into the “why” so that you can be a person others trust.
Both/and.

p.s. – dose two is already on my calendar.

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