I know this is shocking seeing that my blog is named Wardrobe Door, but I read a chapter from the Chronicles of Narnia to my boys every night. Right now, we are reading through The Magician’s Nephew.
After Uncle Andrew tricked Polly into testing a magic ring that he himself was too afraid to try, he tries to explain to Digory why his actions were not “rotten.”
Oh, I see. You mean that little boys ought to keep their promises. Very true; most right and proper, I’m sure, and I’m very glad you have been taught to do it. But of course you must understand that rules of that sort, however excellent they may be for little boys – and servants – and women – and even people in general, can’t possibly be expected to apply to profound students and great thinkers and sages. No, Digory. Men like me, who possess hidden wisdom, are freed from common rules just as we are cut off from common pleasures. Ours, my boy, is a high and lonely destiny.
For a second, Digory is almost convinced by the grandiose-sounding words until he comes to his senses and thinks, “All it means, is that he thinks he can do anything he likes to get anything he wants.”
Politicians have illustrated this perfectly. Cheating on my wife is bad, but I’ve met my “soul mate.” Sure, lying to the public is wrong in most situations, but this is a major issue that needs the solution I have for it.
But moving away from politicians, how often do we do that with ourselves? We explain away rules and standards as not applying to us or our circumstances. Sure those are good rules for people to live by normally, but this is different for me right now.
If you are doing something that you would think was wrong in someone else’s life, chances are it is wrong in your life. You can try to convince yourself that the standards should slide around you and your circumstances, but the standards don’t change and you are breaking the rules that you want others to live by.
Uncle Andrew was wrong even though he may have sounded convincing, but Digory saw through it. You may sound convincing to yourself, but others will see right through it.