This is quoted from Kierkegaard’s Spiritual Writings, translated by George Pattison:
“Every good and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of Lights, in whom is no change or shadow of turning.”
These words are so healing, so curative, and yet how often has the penitent soul understood them in such a way as to let itself be healed by them; how often has it understood not only the seriousness of the judgement it implies but also its merciful grace?
Or, my listener, perhaps you never had occasion to find these words difficult? Were you always satisfied with yourself, so satisfied that you perhaps thanked God that you were not like other people? Did you perhaps get so clever as to understand the deep meaning in the meaninglessness saying that it was good not to be like other people?
I admit that I am sometimes proud enough to be glad that I am not like other people. It’s not a comforting position; to not be like other people is to feel misunderstood and alone, with only the authenticity of self to assuage the deep seated uneasiness. To be like other people, on the other hand, is to deny some part of who you are as an individual, and is like a slow death, a constant drip of water eventually wearing through your artificial skin and penetrating deep within your being, forcing you to make a decision: Is this who I am, or is it not?