Comfort or Challenge?

One of the most popular images in all of philosophy is Plato’s cave.  He challenges us to go beyond what we know in that cave, to the sunlight, to knowledge that goes beyond the conventional, beyond the ordinary. platos-cave-2

I now wonder where modern societies fall when it comes to the question: Should we put more energy and effort into making our cave comfortable, or should we deliberately challenge ourselves, to be open to the unusual, to the risks that can bring suffering as we stretch ourselves to grow?

Forgiveness is one of those developments in life that challenges us.  It does so by asking us to strive to understand those who have not understood us.  Forgiveness challenges us to suffer as we try to bear the pain of what happened to us so that we do not pass that pain to others.  Forgiveness challenges us to understand and to act upon the paradox that as we are good to those who were not good to us, healing can occur within our hearts.

modernmancaveAnd yet, I wonder.  How much of a challenge is modern man willing to endure, given that he can slink back into the man-cave, pop a cold one, and turn on any number of distractions from the pain.

Does modern cave dwelling help us to become better forgivers…….or does it soothe us to the point of not accepting the challenge?

Robert

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