In the Land of the Blind

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
[In regione caecorum rex est luscus.]
Desiderius Erasmus, Adagia (III, IV, 96)

In the land of the blind, anyone with sight seems to be the leader. Erasmus understood this well - centuries ago. There is no time in which his words ring louder than in our present age. Everyone is comparing themselves to something else. Everyone is looking around. Everyone wants to have an edge. Everyone wants to feel better by putting others down. Everyone struggles with hubris. It can be subtle, but it's going on. No one wants to bring it up. No one is bold enough to call it out. No one wants to be the "town crier." There are few that care. There are few that look outside their own self-consumed bubble. There are few that desperately seek excellence.

You are not great just because you compare yourself to mediocrity. You may just be slightly above mediocre. This means you are just an above average mediocre person. Don't you see it all the time? There are a group of friends. The one guy or girl that does "less bad stuff" is the moral one. The one person that is a bit nicer than the rest is the "nice one." The one person that plays the piano in the group is the "musical one." No one realizes that all they play is "heart and soul" and "mary had a little lamb." - (i love both of those songs by the way). If you are the skinniest person in your clique but are 5'5 and weigh over 200lbs, you are still fat. You cannot blend in with your surroundings and think you are physically fit. But this is what we do isn't it? We do this all the time. There is no more objective truth, because everyone is looking to the world for comparisons. Everyone is looking to the wrong parameters.

I am not a good musician because I'm the most musical one in the family (and that's not even the case!). This is why we who aspire to be great and create a dent, fall flat on our face - time and time again. When you have a relationship with the living God, you don't look at what others are doing. At least you don't look at them the same way as most people. When you see someone doing something that you also "do," stop comparing yourself to them. Even if comparing drives you to become better, you will just become a little better than the person you are comparing yourself to - and this is pathetic. This is pathetic because God wants more from you.

Just because you are not having sex, it doesn't mean you are better in the areas of lust and need than the next person. You told yourself that as long as you don't have sex, you are good - Wrong. How about the other ways you abuse your sexuality? How about the other ways your thoughts of lust consume you? How about the other ways you degrade members of the opposite gender (or same) in the depths of your heart?

You see, this is very important. This is where we can cut ourselves really short. You can't play against a 3rd grade team and pretend you are Kobe Bryant. You can't get straight A's at UCLA and pretend you're Harvard material. This will cut at alot of people. I know it - b/c it cuts me. It cuts me at some deep roots. If we are all honest with ourselves, we applaud ourselves by medicating the truth. We say we're ok b/c others our age are far behind. We look at all the things we've done and say good job. Guess what? Others do it better - b/c they don't look to their peers to feel validation. They don't measure their success based on the 8th inning score. There is a 9th inning to play - and we can lose the ballgame in the bottom of the 9th.

You are not a good person because you are better than those around you. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. In the land of the blind, I would rather have 4 eyes, and be a peasant.

Peace, and much love to you - John Baptist!


  1. YES. WOW. Interestingly enough, this is a really good "graduation" speech. :) Merci.


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