Filtering our lives
DURING a recent irregular exercise of changing the central air filter, I had to dig the filter from inside the duct. Due to my neglect, the filter had become so clogged with dust and dirt, the central air unit sucked the entire filter into itself. It occurred to me how this simple device (an air filter) and this simple task (routinely changing the filter) paralleled life events. My neglect transformed a simple routine task into a dirty, tedious exercise. Simiarlly, using no filter results in a dirty environmentally hazardous condition. The same lack of filtering applies to people in societies as well.
We all have filters in our lives. They service us well, and keep us from hurting ourselves and others. These filters include our laws and Constitution, parental guidance, societal folkways and mores, and of course Biblical or Godly standards. Much like heat and air-conditioning systems continually filter out impurities, standards continually filter our behavior to an appropriate level. In recent years our culture has witnessed an eroding, and in some cases, complete absence of these filters. What was once inappropriate material and behavior now invades our homes, our job sites, our schools, our government, our entertainment, and even our spiritual beliefs. Normally this is a gradual process that goes unnoticed. In recent years a flood of destructive behavior has invaded our lives the particles of which, have become much more coarse and crude. Sin is trivialized, morality is mocked, and those behaving poorly attempt to pull good behavior down to their level. One must be vigilant even in the best of times, but in the last decade we have witnessed the deterioration of our personal societal filters at an increased rate.
A prominent attorney in Austin is fond of saying we in East Texas live behind the Pine-cone curtain. My response is that we do, but that curtain is semipermeable. It keeps the trash out. We must constantly monitor our filters, keep them clean from destructive debris, and repair and replace our filters damaged by unfiltered forces. You know these forces; bias ,hate, crudeness, immaturity, lack of class, imorality, etc. We witnessed a prime example in the Grammy awards recently. I did not get past the opening act but, the news programs delightfully highlighted their crude behavior. It appears that if the one possess no standards, you make fun of, and ridiculed those that do. Those with low or predominantly no filters, dominate the entertainment, media, government, and sports industries. Most people in these arenas lived without filters. These freedom is an excuse for no standards. They believe themselves an enlightened society and no one should question others and particularly their behavior. They fail to understand that for all to have freedom there must be structure.
People operating without filters are either extremely crude or believe themselves superior to others. One should examine these people beyond their façade, one finds a week individual that sometimes displays arrogance. The filter list people become so contaminated with worldly dirt particles, the attempt to pull the filter people down with them so they won't look so dirty. We must keep our life filters clean to differentiate from the contaminated. This does not mean that those of us with filters are better souls, but we are striving to behave better.
The other way, we also must filter what exits us (what we say and do). We have all encountered people lacking external filters. That's another subject.
a Diana resident and former New Diana ISD superintendent, is an occasional contributor to the Longview Journal Saturday Forum. These articles are his submissions.