Episode #625

January 23, 2021

“The danger in trying to do good is that the mind comes to confuse the intent of goodness with the act of doing things well.”
— Ursula Le Guin “The Finder.”



In Ursula Le Guin’s second book of the Earthsea Trilogy (“The Tombs of Atuan”) the wizard Sparrowhawk liberates the Princess from the labyrinth under the castle.

Throughout the escape Sparrowhawk uses magic spells and incantations to counter the destruction being caused by evil forces. He bridged the path where earth had fallen away. He repelled falling rocks that would strike them. He mended the cracks in the ceiling that threatened to allow the chamber to collapse on them.

When Sparrowhawk and his charge escaped the tombs they found themselves on a vantage point overlooking the castle. With a sigh of allayment Sparrowhawk speaks a quiet incantation. The entire castle falls into the abyss of the labyrinth in a single crashing motion.

Sparrowhawk was holding up the entire tomb structure with his magic throughout the escape. To the princess it appeared that he was only battling each of the dangers they encountered along the way.

It was the silent strength of Sparrowhawk’s overreaching magic which saved their lives.

It is my goal in my relationships to be Sparrowhawk.

The methods i use in troubleshooting a computer are the same as i use with relationships.
Whether it be a computer problem or a disagreement with a friend i chip away at it with magic incantations.

Chipping away at a computer problem requires several small tests based on a greater foundation of knowledge.

There have been times when, through the process of critical thinking, i have realized that a friend has been deceived.
Chipping away at the elements of a friend’s misconception is more effective than denying a person’s entire belief. Keeping the certainty of my own beliefs to myself while nudging my friend toward the truth is like Sparrowhawk thwarting the immediate dangers of falling rocks while silently holding the entire castle from falling down upon them.

Subtle bits of magic are effective in holding up a relationship. 
• What would Jesus do? 
• How would i handle a situation?
• What would i think if i were in your shoes? 
• Should i bite my lip when a disagreement is inconsequential?

All these combine to protect the larger relationship.

The magic that we all possess are small incantations: 
patience, calmness, opinion and belief.

Anger, frustration and dogma are irritants that do not further a relationship.

There comes a time when magic fails and reality must be revealed. Sometimes a lie must be exposed. 
“Pay attention to the man behind the curtain.”

Just stating the truth may be the end game in a relationship.
In the light of the truth one has the choice of reassessing their belief.

It is not a sign of weakness to admit that you have been deceived. 
It is a sign of strength. Be strong.

That said, it is left to the misinformed to see the light.

Some opinions cannot be changed.
Cataracts are the 3rd leading cause of blindness in America. 
The first two, of course, are religion and politics.

Enlightenment is a careful, precise and magical endeavor.
One that, in the end, might not be achieved.
In that case, i fall back on the greatest magic… love.


  1. Luana Langlois January 23, 2021
  2. Vic Spindler January 23, 2021
    • Rick Thues January 23, 2021
  3. Robert Haub January 24, 2021

Leave a Reply