Sunday, February 19, 2012

the idiot

This week I finished reading The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. It tells the story of Russian Prince Lef Nicolaievitch Muishkin. He is an epileptic who was sent to Switzerland as a youth and placed in a sanatorium. As a young man he returns to Russia, and The Idiot chronicles his experiences.

Basically, the Prince is incredibly good. He is honest and trusting. He loves well. He always believes the best of people. He is all the things we should be.
Yet, he is despised. He is rejected and hated. He is treated as a freak of nature. His sincerity is doubted. He is simply unbelievable, too good to be true. He is an idiot.

I am still pondering this book. It left me with a lot of thoughts. It left me wondering if the good guy wins. It left me wondering if naivety is a gift or a curse. It left me wondering why we often question others' motives rather than taking them at their word.

Most of all, it left me hoping for the label of "idiot" if it means that I bear the qualities of love, peace, compassion, honesty, and goodness.

"Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful." 1 Corinthians 1:27

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