What we read and hear shape what we believe and how we think. If we only read Marxist literature, would we not be Marxist? If we only read Protestant authors, would we not be Protestant? But what we believe shapes what we read. We read what we think we will like, and we like things that confirm what we already believe. Similarly, we tend to associate with people who will agree with us. It is a vicious cycle, always validating our conceptions of how the world does and ought to work. But occasionally, our beliefs are wrong. How can we then combat the propaganda we feed ourselves? How can we break the cycle?
All my life, I have heard humble men talk of being “known.” They say that all people want to be known, that everyone yearns for it. I scoffed in my arrogance. That is just old guys getting too wrapped up in themselves. I mean, isn’t it the hormoney teenager that cries to be understood? I don’t need that, I’m perfectly happy just doing God’s will and going on my merry way. I’m good, everything is fine. I don’t want to get emotional here and put a burden on you to care for me, so let’s not talk about spiritual things. Let’s not talk about this dull uneasiness I feel. All this insistence of the importance of community is just hype over a buzzword.