Families that Discuss together, stay together

Families that Discuss together, stay together
Families that Discuss together, stay together

Friday, April 29, 2016

Conservatism: Don Quixote's Unreachable Vision

I had an epiphany this morning as I was reading Don Quixote, the knight-errant, and the unbending conservative. I was pondering about how stuck he was in his vision of the ideal—being a knight who galavants across the country trying to right all the wrongs. In essence, I see what a beautiful idea that is. Do we not all want to make things right? Of course, we do. However, his major problem was that he was living and believing in a by-gone world that was contradictory to the conventions of his day. The medieval chivalry was long gone. A new era was upon him, and he would not see it, nor bend to it.

Apart from what God requires me to do (because those divine laws are unchanging and ever-lifting me to better spheres), sometimes I think I too am stuck in my vision of the ideal polity. Am I fighting unbeatable windmills of the future? Some of my windmill-battles are:

1. I think the constitution is sufficient for our day--let's get back to it!

2. Abolish the welfare system and take care of our poor and widows as families, communities and churches (like we used to do 100 years ago)

3. Do away with big government

4. Indoctrinate the educational system with ideas of liberty, free-market trade, and Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics (all the Great Books for that matter).

5. Get rid of processed food and sugar--they are poisoning us (that one will repel family and friends--so, I have to be quiet about that!)

There are much more. I could go on for hours, but I will not bore you all to death. However, the message Don Quixote is trying to teach me has gone deeper today. I wonder if my energies may be better spent on living in my current world and doing the best I can to promote Godly values like Maternal Feminism, family, exemplary living, devotion to my Maker, keeping the Sabbath Day holy, being kind and charitable to everyone.

The world is going to go the way it is going. There is no doubt about that. The trajectory appears to be in the direction of the downward degenerate slope. I cannot don my conservative armor, attack the windmills and expect any success with my lancing arm. The Man of La Mancha said it best in his classic song,

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go

To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star

This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far

To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause

And I know if I'll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I'm laid to my rest

And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star

Let me instead reach for the reachable stars of godliness and virtue. Let me promote the heavenly cause and go about it in reachable ways. Let me fight the beatable foe and bear the bearable sorrow with the grace of Christ's Atonement.

Thank you Don Quixote for helping me learn one more lesson today!
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