The Rule of Sometimes

 

This I believe: the rule of sometimes. Always is too long. Never hard to keep.

Is there really something out there that is to be believed 100% of the time in every situation? I first asked myself this question when I was asked to define poetry in creative writing class. Of course, there is no right answer, as I discovered the next day when one by one we all shared our definitions. In fact, it was clear to me that the more precise a person’s definition was, the less enthusiastic a reception it got from everyone else in the room, and I remember leaving that day thinking that a poem is a poem if somebody says it is.

The realization that there was no absolute definition of poetry opened the floodgates. Is there really nothing in this world with which we can be sure? Think of all the virtues and all the vices, all of those things that people have such strong opinions about, and tell me that you know the truth about them. Tell me what love is, what hate is, what peace looks like, and how I should live.

Why is it that Socrates is revered as a great thinker by so many cultures, yet his central tenet, The only true wisdom is knowing you know nothing, is forgotten. Do we now claim to know something? I see it in people who claim to practice the right religion, or live under the right system of government. Who think they can decide who is good or bad. Who think they know the best way to raise and child, and what that child should learn in a classroom.

Everybody has something they think about in this way. But as a creative writing major, Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Shriver Peaceworker Fellow, and Chicago Cubs fan I can tell you, I don’t want to be just like everybody else. And so I believe in the rule of sometimes. I believe that the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation, sometimes. I believe that for your nonconformity the world whips you with its displeasure, sometimes. I believe that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth, sometimes. And I believe, I believe cause I can see, our future days, days of you and me, sometimes.

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