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Truths You Can Use

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The newspaper is rarely is a good source to find wisdom. We find opinions. We find facts. But real insight on how to live well is are. So we turn to other sources like books and essays and blogs.

But what if I told you one section of the newspaper does contain wisdom? And that section is the one you are the least likely to anticipate? That would be the comics.

The best comic strips do not just make us laugh. They trigger aha moments. They make us think. They stick with us, and we want to tell our family and friends about them.

The Wisest Comic Strip

My all-time favorite comic strip is Dilbert. I love it even though I do not work in the traditional office setting Dilbert so often mocks. But I love the insight of the comic’s author, Scott Adams.

Adams shares more his insights in a phenomenal book, How to Fail at Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life. Adams’ ability to capture deep ideas in pithy sentences drives the entire book.

The World Needs to Make Sense

Though he is not a person of faith, one of his key observations reveals a lot about what makes our faith traditions so powerful. The world, as he points out, is too complex for any one person to understand.

Even Albert Einstein, perhaps the smartest person to have lived, admitted he knew only a fraction of what there is to know about the world.

Therefore, in order to survive and not feel totally overwhelmed, we develop a perspective, a point of view. That perspective helps make sense of what happens to us.

Someone with a secular perspective sees the birth of a child as purely a medical phenomena. A person of faith sees it as a miracle from God.

Do you Want a Longer Life? 

Each perspective has its place. We would not want a doctor delivering a baby to ignore the science and think of it only as a miracle. But when it comes to living a meaningful life, the faith perspective works very well. It leads us to longer, healthier and more compassionate lives.

Indeed, recent studies show that people of faith live, on average, seven years longer than others, have more friends, and a healthier lifestyle.

We cannot fully understand why faith works so well. I say it is because God created us this way, and when we follow God’s teaching, we are optimizing ourselves as human beings.

But others might offer a more pragmatic and sociological prospecting, suggesting faith works because it binds us to others and creates communities that look out for one another. We do not need to know the precise reason faith works in order to see that it does.

All we need to realize is that it works. So if you want a better life, you don’t need more things. You need more faith.

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