Monday, November 29, 2010

...or can the leopard change his spots...

The origin, the popular origin of this phrase comes from the Bible, specifically the book of Jeremiah 13.23. It asks if one can be different from that which he has drawn himself accustomed to being. And yet, the question lives: do the spots define the leopard? He is known by them, surely, and yet they are only skin deep. How deep is the heart? How deep is the soul? In a rush to judgement, we look at a person by the image most portrayed by the loudest of his detractors and determine his very nature by the mistakes in which he has tripped and stumbled to this place by which he now stands. The saint in this century is one who has the greatest publicist, not the greatest moral and ethical code. The villian is the moment, the easy mark, the simplest fool too slow to understand when to point and run. So, if I am so bold, let me paraphrase - and in the act of paraphrasing, forgive the butchering of a great man's iconic speach - I pray that one day men will be known by the heart that beats, the soul that shines and the mind that moves, not the hand, not the mouth, and surely not the feet that stumble. If I may dream, let it be that the spirit may exceed the flesh and rise up to lead the man to great things.


Anonymous said...

Me also Please. Thanks Randy for some really deep thoughts. If I was known only for my stumbles, then no one would know the real me, because I am both my good and bad attributes. They have shaped me and I have learned from them. So I prefer not to pretend to never have faults, but to try hard to maximize the positive inside me.

Does that make sense? It does in my head but maybe I can't move the idea from my mind to the page. Be well and happy,


Anonymous said...

Oh so often we judge a book by its cover!

But 'can he change his spots' was where you started - and the answer is surely 'YES!' because otherwise we dare not hope that any experience could turn one who does evil into one who does not.

Down that path of 'unchanging spots' come the hangman and judge with the black cap on his head condemning to death anyone who flouts the law in any way for, if he cannot change his spots, he will keep on offending and never learn. Therefore we hang him / put him in the electric chair / give him the lethal injection / gas him and his like in huge chambers etc. etc.

So I'm a believer that thing can get better that the naughty can become good, that the unloving may love and that the dishonest politician or the vain 'Personality' will see the error of their ways and learn humility.

Otherwise we're all lost and may as well save them the effort and kill ourselves now.

randy said...

Hi Scottie;
Isn't it strange how things seem to make perfect sense in our minds but.. well, yours makes it to the paper just fine. Failure is not the end, it is the opportunity to rise. It is sad that faults are feared so, even denied lest they be pounced on like a hyena on a wounded doe. Thank you for being you...and for encouraging me to be me. Hugs! -randy.

randy said...

Oh, Mickey;
You have voiced a thought I've had so many times. Why do we judge so harshly? If that is the case, like you say, send the hangman right away and save us all the trouble. Hope. Love. Forgiveness...and not just on Sunday. What a concept! -randy

J said...

Hear hear, to Scottie, Randy, and Micky. I couldn't have said it better than you three so I won't attempt to. Love and hugs to all, JR

randy said...

Thanks JR... randy.