Lately I’ve been in quite a few conversations that have made me really try to define what I believe. It’s very difficult for me because I believe that more truth and beauty lies in the question than in the answer. I mean, if you’ve got the answer then what’s the point of going on? If it’s already all figured out then why are we here? I don’t want to hear that I have to figure it out for myself – if that were true as soon as I’d finished the required reading on whatever philosophy were right, I’d die. No more point for life. Let’s get on with this eternity thing now.
So I was a little down that I couldn’t define my beliefs or give myself a label. I largely live outside of labels but I still find that when trying to communicate myself that these stereotypes help speed up the process. The problem that I have with labels is this: People discriminate based on how they learned about the label and their past experiences. So, it never really means the same thing to the same person. It’s sexism, racism, and now religionism. Stereotypes come with some sort of truth, but it’s not always the truth all the time.
The longer I think about my dilemma the more convinced I’ve become that I need a label that will confuse people and inspire a search. Searching is the beauty, right? The questions are the truths, right? So I’m going to belong to the philosophy of Switchfoot. Switchfootism, if you will.
Switchfoot is an American band that started out using that adjective “Christian” as a label but is now accepted as mainstream. (Christian should be a noun, but is often used as a crappy excuse for an adjective.) I thoroughly enjoy not only the music and lyrics, but the band’s philosophy of searching.
I hold these lyrics to be self evident. I love when cliches are destroyed… but that’s another blog. If I had to choose some things that were true all the time, I would quote Switchfoot 9 times out of 10.
Here are eleven of my favorite lyrics of all time. I’ll write about the others in another post.
Fear is a lonely man.
Nothing is sound.
My fears have worn me out.
This is your life and today is all you’ve got now. Today is all you’ve ever had.
Living is simple. It’s gravity, is it so hard? Living is simple, it’s entropy – falling apart. Living is simple and breathing is easy, it’s easy to do.
We are bruised and broken masterpieces but we did not paint ourselves.
Only the losers win. They’ve got nothing to prove.
In the economy of mercy, I am a poor and begging man.
Love is the movement. Love is the revolution. This is redemption. We don’t have to slow back down.
We are the target market. We set the corporate target. We are slaves of what we want.
(In order, quoted from: Innocence Again, Happy is a Yuppie Word, Redemption, This is Your Life, Living is Simple, The Economy of Mercy, The Loser, The Economy of Mercy, Love is the Movement, Lonely Nation.)