“Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread.” (Alexander Pope)
A cornerstone of common sense, is the idea that if you don’t know what to do, don’t do anything at all. The devil you don’t know may be worse than the devil you do know. Conservative thinking hinges on this truth… the idea of what you can and cannot know. You can never really know whether untried things will work, until you try them. You may do a lot of damage before the chips are called in. Hence, wise people consult the past and tweak things. They build on what has worked, and they go slowly.
One of the most interesting things in one of the most volatile parts of the world… a little ladder perched two stories up, on one facade of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the spot which venerates Jesus’ crucifixion. It’s contested territory. In the back and forth between Muslim and Christian control, the knee jerk reaction has been to tear down Christian sites and build a mosque on top of them. In the Middle East it might also be a great way to start a war.
The ladder has been undisturbed for a long time. It even has a railing built around it to reinforce that no one should move or touch the ladder. They should let well enough alone. Nobody knows how the ladder got there. Presumably it was used for repairs. An engraving from 1728 shows the ladder already in place.
An edict of 1757 during the Ottoman era officiated that the Holy Sepulchre was to be shared among the Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Armenian Apostolic Churches. Three other orders, the Coptic, Syrian, and Ethiopian Orthodox were also given rights to use some parts of the building. It was considered a compromise to all denominations making claims. The edict became known as the “Status Quo agreement.” The ladder then became “immovable,” because to be moved, all six church groups had to agree to it. The ladder stands there today, almost three hundred years later, a testimony to what it sometimes takes to keep the peace… doing nothing at all.
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is sage advice, from those wiser than myself. It’s the layman’s plea for some sanity, advice which seems most likely to be missed by politicians who are out of touch with things on the ground. Perhaps related to that OTHER sage advice, “If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging”. Sometimes I wonder what would happen if all world leaders were simultaneously taken, by some kind of huge accident or mysterious disease.
I presume.. nothing. At least nothing bad. Politicians, be advised. Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease. So many maxims all ranging around stuff that a child should know. “Physician heal thyself.” The list goes on.
In the background these days, rumbling about the “Great Reset”, proposed policy to the World Economic Forum by Klaus Schwab on how to “Fix things by breaking them”. I scratch my head. Conspiracy theories therefore propose that the awful two years we have endured under COVID were somehow orchestrated by those of the Great Reset agenda, pulling strings up top and not telling us much. I may not be alone in having a bitter sense that I am being messed with.
Unforeseen consequences are a bitch. Perhaps the best advice, “A man who trusts everyone is a fool and a man who trusts no one is a fool.” (Robert Jordan)
Maybe it’s about balance. One thing is for sure, I do NOT trust politicians. Someone should tell them about the Status Quo edict. It might be some of the best standing advice out there. If you don’t know what to do please stick to the small stuff. Baby steps. And whatever you do, just DON’T MOVE THAT LADDER.