Rose Coloured Bifocals

 Off the Cuff, philosophy  Comments Off on Rose Coloured Bifocals
Jun 032010

For quite  while I have used the following signature/byline for my forum posts and email.

__/ Darrell Wade Penner \_______________

“Sapientia Propter Amorem” ~O~ (Wisdom Out Of Love)

Contrary to rumours I do not look at the world through rose coloured glasses. I have rose coloured bifocals. While they allow me to still see the yucky bits so I can do what I can about them, they also let me enjoy the good, perhaps to escape a little and so not become hardened and despair. – DWP

The first part is a motto I created for myself. I had been creating one of my first websites and I was looking at the idea of setting it up like a virtual campus with buildings representing various facets of my personality. A lot of it would be centred on a combination library-gallery and I wanted to put that in a classical style building with marble columns complete with a dome and maybe even a cupola. I figured that such a building would have a motto carved over the entrance and wanted one of my own rather than borrowing one.I also belong to the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) — a medieval recreation society — and having a motto to place on my coat of arms would be a nice touch.

I had for philosophical and spiritual reasons considered things like my personal life philosophy and religion and had already and came up with the idea that true wisdom really is born out of love. There are many different sorts of love of course, but a love of exploration, a love of kin or country, a love of tinkering… all lead to wisdom really, in the end because the lead to doing things better and putting your heart into it.

I also had this mistaken belief that heraldic mottos had to be in Latin or some such language and so I had “Wisdom Out of Love” Translated into Latin and so “Sapientia Propter Amorem” came to be. Later I added the translation.

The second part, about the “Rose Coloured Bifocals” came from feeling a bit defensive. I worried that people on forums mistook my optimistic viewpoint for being blind to the sorrows of life. I thought they might think that I might be turning a blind eye to the darker issues of the world. I wanted to say something that said that I did see and acknowledge the darker side of the world, and that I even worked to do what I could to right things. But at the same time, I could still look at and see the lighter side of life and I could live with hope in my heart drawing spiritual strength from the positive. I still think that a positive outlook helps me cope and gives me the strength to thrive where I might otherwise flounder.

So I took my thoughts on it and tried to put them down in an easy to read signature statement. I wanted to tell people I didn’t have “rose coloured glasses” which blinded me to what was wrong in the world. But that like bifocals let me see both the bad, but also focus on the good.

~ DWPenner