Imagine, if you will, a society without the encumbrances of memories ( good & bad ), without the inherent messiness of things like emotions & ( GASP! ) free-will! You may say I'm a dreamer, but obviously, I'm not the only one. There is a growing plethora of movies out there, based, however loosely, on this utopian dream.Could such a society exist? On the surface, one might almost accept the propagandized notion, that without these unnecessary evils, we wouldn't have wars & other conflicts of this nature. However, as these movies are painstakingly pointing out, with the bad go the good as well, with the messy go the necessary & so on & so forth!
Emotions, as we've witnessed, can go both ways; they can induce us to do good or evil, they can rule us or we can rule them! There is always a choice involved & as these utopian dreamers point out so wee ( it would seem ), more often than not, when humans are faced with two choice, we make the wrong one & walk through the door that brings pain, suffering & conflict, all because of those nasty emotions! Though this may often be the case, emotions themselves are not a bad thing; they were programmed into us by the Giver of All Life & not everything that seems to be bad or evil is so!
Communities, like kingdoms, are a messy business! Yes, for the same reason, both of these constructs can be a frightening prospect, mainly because it involves bring together a bunch of humans with differing characters, emotions & physical make-up. Uniformity, we can probably all agree, tends to lessen the cause for conflict, but it also lessens the possibility of individual achievement: if everyone was the same, or at least acted the same, there would be no need for the corporate faction, for people to live together in community, because everyone could do everything; every man & woman COULD be an island because they wouldn't need anyone to do anything for them!
To live together in community is a sometimes frightening, but blessed proposal! Just like Marriage, it brings together individuals who have free-will; though there may be a basic agreement on the fundamentals of life, when it comes down to the nitty gritty, those nasty minor disagreements ( the color of the carpet, etc. ) threaten to bring the whole house crumbling down! However, any certain group, when deciding to live together in community is faced with the choice of whether to let their differences divide them or define them! It is our differences that make us unique & how we choose to celebrate our differences determines how we will live. If we choose to employ our differences, we will become an integral part of the community, but if we stifle those differences, then we will have no opportunity to shine!
Our feelings too often determine our actions; although it is not necessarily wrong to follow our heart, the heart IS the seat of emotions & when we let those emotions rule us, we often end up with unnecessary pain, pain which, if we had used our common sense, our head, instead of following our heart, could have been avoided. Our Heavenly Father, the Creator of All, has set certain boundaries ( like any good father ), rules which, if followed, bring certain blessings, but if disdained, or thrown aside, bring nothing but pain, suffering & almost certain disaster! Disobedience to the Laws of Nature & Nature's God, while offering a momentary relief & ( dare I say it? ) satisfaction, will end in divorce & dissatisfaction!
There IS a society that brings together & celebrates individual uniqueness; this society is one that lives together in conformity to the Laws of Nature & Nature's God! The utopian dream proposed by such movies as 'The Giver' more often than not end up being a dystopian nightmare for the very reasons that we see outlined above. Instead of celebrating our differences & using them for the mutual advantage of the community, the uniformity that is seen as necessary for a 'perfect' society ends up bringing, whether through dissatisfaction or design, the ultimate end of that 'perfect' society!
The Society of Righteousness is ruled by a Law which says, 'this is right & that is wrong'! If each individual within any given society is a law unto themselves, in other words, decides for themselves what is right & what is wrong, that society cannot last, but will eventually devour itself from the inside out. However, a Society which is founded upon certain absolutes & celebrates the differences of its members & fosters conformity without uniformity, THAT Society will last because its members will be happy in their uniqueness while unselfishly serving the good of the community, not through force, but through their own free-will!
Charles Haddon Shank