Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Winning the Battle

Liza and Trent are really special. They exhibit how we can win the battle against our natures and make the world a better place. On Saturday (10/27) I officiated their wedding at the Petroleum Club in Houston, Texas. Here are my remarks:

The ancients were puzzled as to why the average person looks out for him or herself, first and foremost. To solve this riddle they posited forces of the mystic realm - the Devil or Original Sin in Christianity, the Evil Inclination in Judaism and the like in other faiths.

Darwin was able to offer more naturalistic explanations of the organism's struggle to survive on the evolutionary landscape. Then came Richard Dawkins to explain that it is not that whole organisms directly struggle with others, rather it is our genes themselves that drive us in their wish to replicate and survive us. He warned us too that we must each resolve to be Anti-Darwinian in our social behavior. We must rule our genes, and not the opposite. We must do what is good and right and just, not just advantageous to us. We must look out for others, and not follow our own narrow self interest.

Since this demands that we go against our nature, this is really difficult. This means we should extol those who are able to win this battle against nature. To me, Liza and Trent stand out as great examples in this regard. They really go out of their way to understand others, look out for them, and give, give, give to those around them. They do this as individuals, and help each other do this even more, as a team. As Liza says, "Trent balances me out, and gives me perspective. He reminds me that not everyone will have the same experiences as me, or have the same outlook that I do. He reminds me to be patient, and give things time." Trent in turn says that Liza, "is the one who has been able to help and touch so many people around her. Her goodness spreads with all of her acquaintances and it leaves me awe-inspired."

Liza and Trent, it is this unselfish approach towards others that makes you really stand apart. May we all learn from your example, and through that help make the world a better place.

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