Leap of…What?

I thought about calling this post “Go Take A Leap” but then decided against it.

When we’re younger, leaps of faith are all the rage. Take a stand for something you believe to be true, whether your religious tradition or your favorite band. As both Blaise Pascal (sort of) and Neil Peart put it, “You bet your life”. We take a leap of faith in the sense of choosing something to believe in, and believing in it passionately.

As we grow older, something else often becomes more important. Valuing other people, spending time with those we love, cherishing moments rather than arguing about ideas – even if ideas remain important to us (and I’m not saying they shouldn’t), values can come to take a more prominant place.

To value human beings, to defend their freedoms just as you would want yours defended, to protect their right to explore their own path in the way you want to be allowed (and hopefully encouraged) to explore yours – such things also take a leap, a committment beyond what can be proven. No amount of evidence can prove scientifically that human beings are valuable. Ultimately it comes down to a leap, but this time it is not a leap of faith (at least not in the modern sense of that word), but a leap of love, of compassion, and of kindness.

Kierkegaard famously spoke of a leap of faith that involves the “suspension of the ethical“. I think rather, ultimately, it comes down to (or should come down to) making a leap that creates and sustains the ethical.

You may or may not have taken a leap of faith. Are you ready nevertheless to take a leap of love?

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  • I appreciate your posts and believe wholeheartedly with the statement about another’s freedom of choice in coming to understand their path…this is what I value. But, this stance does not disregard ideas, because ideas represent the values that one holds most dear. And this is why I believe in what our nation has ideally stood for…religious freedom and the right of the individual. When I read the Founding Fathers, I am moved. I believe that good government is so important. So, I value my husband’s military commitment.As to your question about the ‘leap of love”, I don’t know why you call it a leap. I believe love and a leap is not congruent, beause love is not blind, but sees the person and their needs very clearly and chooses to commit. Love is not blind commitment, because love knows and trusts. Love is a commitment of value, but cannot exist apart from freedom in government, because love cannot be coerced, but only freely given…I have had many leaps of love, to be crushed by another’s response…brushed myself off and committed again to love…this is not love, because love does not disregard another’s untrustworthiness.All of the senimental “biblical” agape is not healthy love. Healthy love is not dependent, but responsive in mutual relationship. If there is not mutuality, there is no relationship and if there is not relationship, then there needs to be government. Good government affirms both parties right equally and equally respects each parties right of difference. This is why again I value our government’s “ideals”. So, I love my government because it represents the values that are most conducive for people to develop and choose their own path.