What Was That Again??

Saturday of the First Week in Lent

This morning, my freshly-made up, no-hair-out-of-place,

not-a-morning-person self left the house by 8:30 a.m.

So if you opened your email this morning ready for morning meditation, I’m sorry. I went missing.

This morning, I went downtown to a Screen Actors Guild/AFTRA meeting. Television performers and movie performers are voting this month to merge their two unions. The main reason is that as one union, performers would have better bargaining power with the monolithic entertainment entities with their streaming/movie/television/ internet/etc etc etc capabilities. Two old powerful unions are trying to work together to move into the future because the new powers in entertainment are playing one set of performers’ contracts against another union’s set to in a race to the bottom of the pay scale.

This afternoon, I watched a news story on MSNBC about a high-school Valedictorian who has applied to Yale with a 6.7 GPA (I didn’t even know 6.7 was possible!) but who is facing deportation to the country of her birth, Colombia. She entered the United States when she was three years old. And the United States has a Congress that cannot see fit to approve the Dream Act for young people brought here as children if they go to college. What kind of a travesty of justice is it in a country that prides itself on justice when young people who by all accounts are Americans, highly effective Americans, are deported because of backward thinking politics?

These two small stories, amid stories of towns torn apart by tornadoes and families torn apart by a young and troubled shooter in Ohio and a national political party troubled by women’s contraceptive issues, testify to our time of instability – chaos even.

The past and the future are banging up against each other with increasing fervor and the broken chunks of society are rising ragged in the rushing springtime river.

And in the gospel reading, Jesus says, “love your enemies, pray for your persecutors….”

I don’t doubt that reading these examples raised some kind of ire in you. On one side of the issue or the other. Not that the time of Jesus was any cakewalk with Roman crucifixes lining the roads into town and back.

Besides turning off the news and isolating ourselves from the world (is that even possible???) what can we do to hang onto our resolve to stay at peace, to avoid fault-finding or sarcasm or disdaining words or abrupt anger? What are we to do in this crazed time?

God’s sun rises on the bad and the good,” Jesus says; “the rain falls on the just and the unjust…”

i.e. it’s not ours to judge but to observe, to witness.

Already, corporations have pulled advertising from the radio talk show; already a consensus grows, people from both political parties, conservative and liberal, that we aren’t turning women’s health back to the 1950s.

What miracles can grow if we are able to witness, to write the email or the letters or make the phone calls, rather than judge or yell?


10 thoughts on “What Was That Again??

  1. When I hear the news, whatever it is, I remind myself to avoid the tendency to label it ‘good’ or ‘bad’. It just is.

    And when I find myself getting emotionally embroiled in someone else’s feelings, I try to again avoid the habit of judging the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ of their perceptions.

    And more often lately, I find myself sharing one of my grandmother’s favorite witticisms, “Hmmph.”

  2. America is in a cataclysmic battle for its soul. This is not new news, but it becomes more strident each and every day. The distinction between Republicans and Democrats has never been more clear. Just when you think you have heard the most outrageous comment or accusation possible by one Republican candidate or “commentator”, the others line up to be even more outrageous. The saddest and most scary part of that is one-half of all Americans, over 150 million people, agree with them.

    Their objective is obvious. They want to remake America in their faith image, a de facto theocracy, based on the dogma and theology of the First Vatican Council (1870) and biblical literalism.

    What they want is an America that reflects the theme song of the old “All in the Family” TV show:

    “Boy, the way Glen Miller played.
    Songs that made the Hit Parade.
    Guys like us, we had it made.
    Those were the days!

    Didn’t need no welfare state.
    Everybody pulled his weight.
    Gee, our old LaSalle (a car) ran great.
    Those were the days!

    And you knew where you were then!
    Girls were girls and men were men.
    Mister, we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again.

    People seemed to be content.
    Fifty dollars paid the rent.
    Freaks were in a circus tent.
    Those were the days!

    Take a little Sunday spin, go to watch the Dodgers win.
    Have yourself a dandy day that cost you under a fin (five dollar bill).

    Hair was short and skirts were long.
    Kate Smith really sold a song.
    I don’t know just what went wrong!
    Those Were the Days!”

    1. I understand the frustration, Jack. I just don’t believe evolution goes backwards.

      There seem to be many who are really frightened right now, and when people are frightened, they say and do thing that they wouldn’t when feeling safe. I’m just choosing not to be frightened and not to participate in the fear rhetoric.

      That’s my job. Not everyone’s.

    1. But Rebecca, Facebook and Social Media has news of the world. Even driving to work, or to Subway, or anywhere else, we see billboards and hear ads and news on the car radio. When I go up to the farm, way out in the wilds of Kansas farm country, twenty miles from town, the world still comes to my door with neighbor visits and farm news. Maybe it’s possible to be un-informed, but to cut ourselves off? I just don’t see how. I do appreciate your posting though and I’d like to hear more of your thoughts.

  3. humor is the best weapon. the most likely tool for unarming agression. make ’em laugh just before you tell them the truth. always soften the blow, but never stand down politically.

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