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    Thursday, October 19, 2006

    The Conservative Soul

    I have started reading Andrew Sullivan's new book. I was so moved by the opening of Chapter One that I was ready to retype it myself. Happily, he quoted himself on his blog today, so with a little cut-and-paste, I can share some of his words here...

    "All conservatism begins with loss.

    If we never knew loss, we would never feel the need to conserve, which is the essence of any conservatism. Our lives, a series of unconnected moments of experience, would simply move effortlessly on, leaving the past behind with barely a look back. But being human, being self-conscious, having memory, forces us to confront what has gone and what might have been. And in those moments of confrontation with time, we are all conservatives...

    The regret you feel in your life at the kindness not done, the person unthanked, the opportunity missed, the custom unobserved, is a form of conservatism. The same goes for the lost love or the missed opportunity: these experiences teach us the fragility of the moment, and that fragility is what, in part, defines us...

    Human beings live by narrative; and we get saddened when a familiar character disappears from a soap opera; or an acquaintance moves; or an institution becomes unrecognizable from what it once was. These little griefs are what build a conservative temperament. They interrupt our story; and our story is what makes sense of our lives. So we resist the interruption; and when we resist it, we are conservatives."

    Comments on "The Conservative Soul"

     

    Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:52 PM, October 19, 2006) : 

    pI think you are right. I believe you have hit a great point here. I praise you.....NOT

     

    Blogger Audient said ... (4:26 PM, October 19, 2006) : 

    I am amused when someone visits my blog 67 times in one month and thinks they are anonymous...

     

    Blogger aliasgrace said ... (4:34 PM, October 19, 2006) : 

    Audient! Be nice. ANYONE who uses the phrase "not" is, by defualt, awesome.

     

    Blogger Audient said ... (4:40 PM, October 19, 2006) : 

    A real Mike Myers aficionado, I'm sure.

    Niiiiight-haaaawk!

     

    Anonymous bionurse said ... (2:12 PM, October 20, 2006) : 

    Okay its well written, but change is inevitable. Instead of trying to prevent change, lets be realistic. Change is one of the few things we can all count on. Let's make good choices regarding how things change; not try to stop it. Who wants to watch the same soap opera for the rest of one's life? Change is much less upsetting when you don't pretend it won't happen. Can't the narrative of our lives include new chapters? I love a good ritual or ceremony as much as anyone...occasionally...not everyday in everyway. Next conservatives will be outlawing wheels and fire.

     

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