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Eric Engel

Carving the crown

As I read the good book recently, I was introduced to a notion that the wisest man who has ever graced the planet introduced to me. The lesson goes that King Solomon was given a choice by God to have anything he wanted, and so our deluded and secluded 21st century minds imagine he would have obviously chosen to have riches beyond comparison, eternal existence, or the ability to manipulate all social surroundings to his comfort ... but he didn’t. He chose to be blessed with wisdom, and because of his choice, he was subsequently rewarded with all of the mortal treasures mentioned anyway.

As I’ve continued further into my studies of the finest material man can read, I surprisingly learned not all was peaches and pie for this former king. He made personal and professional mistakes, gained bitterness from having everything and yet gaining nothing, and had to climb tooth and nail from out of the hole he had dug for himself following the actions of a pampered, and therefore spiritually-hampered, lifestyle. King Solomon was the wisest human being this planet will ever know, and yet he continually fell short of a perfect existence. In other words; he breathed air, and therefore he erred.

The most amazing part of the story to me personally, though, is not the profundity through which he vastly supplied countless individuals in his time with the emotional and mental clarity and strength to exceed personal perspectives. What strikes me as exponentially more brilliant is the fact he realized the source that supplied his roots, stem, petals and summer blush, and even as the most prominent human being of his generation, he still had the foresight to use his remaining days rejoicing his King.

I have taken a liking to King Solomon, since I was introduced to him because in seeing his full circumference of existence, I have been introduced to a refreshingly optimistic hopefulness toward my own. I do not have all the answers, but that’s because my bag can only hold so many stones, and mountains find no confinement except under the banks of heaven.

I often wonder how our universal culture evolved to this state of being, where individuals are worshipped like deities for their abilities, ideas or physical composure. I feel that technology has a great hand in the mixing bowl, as the concept that visual analysis of an image or an event from afar, halfway around the planet at times, leaves us with an understanding of that particular situation. But what is lacking from a newscast, audio broadcast or social media outlet is the interaction with each situation being described, and therefore a falsified predetermination of the reality of that event.

Adding to the complexity is our personal drive to be recognized for originality, as well as the corporate messages streaming like tidal waves accepting the crash, forcefully infiltrating our ability to remain patient or aware of our need to interpret data before reacting to it. Those intrinsic desires are replaced with an anxiety to be a vital part of the conversation, regardless if what we are adding to it has validity or foundation to stand as its own idea, both concluding from and expanding upon different parts of the language of exchange.

King Solomon wrote that all the treasures in the world do not satisfy a greedy man as much as a few grains of wheat entirely enlighten a farmer who is appreciative of the sky that drops life and the ground that shouts growth, as well as a heart that must trust in one before releasing toward all. He also wrote that to find true happiness, we must release our grasp on our anger and frustrations toward the ineptitude of any design surrounding. A wise man grows wiser not in realizing, but accepting, that not everyone will join him in his expansion. Only a fool thinks he has found the balance he is searching for during this lifetime, and yet he who believes in the source of knowledge keeps his equilibrium until the equation concludes into the totality of aftermath.

Don’t count your coins; throw them back into the river from which they were carved. Don’t shout your exclamations without also whispering your appreciations until both meld into a tongue worthy of towering toward the place most high. Don’t look into the mirror, but into the eyes of another, in search of a beautiful view. Let us not forget that this is one big loan program, the goal to improve the product before we offer it back.

Upstairs Instruction Manual: 1. Grow Wiser. 2. Show Gratefulness. 3. Blend and Repeat.

Eric Engel, formerly of Tiskilwa but now of Peoria, can be reached by e-mail at eazywritin84@yahoo.com.