Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Valedictory of Sorts

This is going to be the final post for a while, at least the final post that deals in any way with politics. Our social fabric is too frayed from the personal animus that seems to grow more bitter every day. Even though I have voiced strong opinions in the past, I refuse to take any further part in the noisy mob that is tearing our country apart. So, with that said, here is where I'm leaving things for a time.

I intend to continue posting on topics that directly bear on personal faith, the practice of seeking the Divine and relating that to our lives on this small, lovely planet. I will not be addressing that practice in the political realm. You can expect to read future posts about finding time to pray, seeking solitude, and making faith real by incarnating it into good works. I will write about appreciation for simple acts of kindness, about opportunities to serve others, and about finding a path of quiet through the noise that always tries to divert our attention from the truly important.

Reality is a buffet served in a restaurant with an extensive menu. We can pick and choose the various items on the menu that please our palate, and ignore the rest. Everyone has a chance to get the perfect tray of food for their taste. What we lose in this model is the chance to sample dishes that may taste strange at first, but that upon further examination may have a flavor we find intriguing, tantalizing, exotic. We find that we can learn to like the unfamiliar, to appreciate the unusual.

The internet has bolstered this idea to new levels of isolation in the years since its advent. We can now surround ourselves with people who think like us, talk like us, sound like us, dress like us, behave like us, worship like us, be like us. We can absolutely encapsulate ourselves in an impenetrable bubble of "us-ness." The rest of the world can remain strange, threatening, and not worthy of our presence.

And we're all the poorer for the new ghettos we erect for ourselves.

It is true that the internet can foster community. But from what I've seen, these are all too often communities of likes, with less diversity rather than more. Relations between these communities often have all the intellectual content of a shouting match between hooligans at a football game.

My wish going forward is that I find ways to help get those ghetto walls knocked down a little, bring a little variety to daily life, and perhaps say some things that can build up and not tear down. I'm sick of the noise, sick of the hatred, and sick of having knee-jerk reactions to what I hear being spewed out by people who would be far more convincing if they behaved as adults are supposed to. The knee-jerk reactions will have to be dealt with, but I won't be sharing any here.

So - be blessed by whatever you consider the good, the holy, and the worthwhile. Keep checking back from time to time. There will be new things coming in the future.

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