Thursday, December 15, 2005

What's Important

I've been hearing a lot about the issue of saying Merry Christmas versus Happy Holidays. It seems to be taking up a lot of time for a lot of people on both sides. To say or not to say Merry Christmas and is it okay? I'm having a hard time getting behind the need for that one when there are other things going on in the world.

Doesn't it seem a bit silly to demand that people, who might work at your local retailer but actually worship in another fashion other than the fashion of Christianity, wish you a Merry Christmas with all that's going on in the world?

I mean, this year, we lost a city. Not a building. Not part of a city. We lost an entire city. There used to be a city on the gulf coast called New Orleans. Many people called this home. Many people will not be wished a Merry Christmas here-not because they don't believe, but because they aren't alive.

We are in a war. We're loosing men and women who are citizens of the United States over a war. Half the country has no idea why we are in the war. Half of us think we were lied to about the reasons. Shouldn't that be discussed?

Our country is broke. We are spending like there is no tomorrow and we continue to build up more debt.

The US has just executed another human being.

Our president wants to extend the patriot act, which allows the government to violate our personal privacy just because.

Umm those are issues off the top of my head. So why exactly are we worried about who says Merry Christmas?

I know this wasn't a peaceful post. It's easy to get distracted. Remember what's important and fight the fights that are important.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Apropos of?

I'm not sure what this apropos of but I felt a need to share. I was talking a very gentle man that I know. He was a soldier at one time in his life and served in the first Gulf War. As we sat talking the other day, he looked at me and said, "Killing someone is easy. It's living with yourself afterward that's hard."

There was such a profound and moving truth to those words as he said them, that I knew in that one sentence he had summed up a huge part of his journey to find innner peace.

He is a gentle man, as I know him. His experience has taught him that to save his own life, he could kill someone. His humanity shows in his understanding of the consequences of such an act, no matter what the reason.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut has a book out called Man without a Country. I enjoyed glancing through it and hope to read it at a later time.

He still makes me laugh. He points out that the ten commandments were from Moses. What about writing the things Jesus said? You know, like the sermon on the mount.

Blessed are the peace lovers for they are the children of God

Maybe, he suggests, before cynically rejecting such a suggestion out of hand, we could print that in the pentagon?

So it goes, Kurt, so it goes.


I was reading an article in SKI magazine today that sort of joked about how companies are making it easier and easier to keep your gear on you while skiing. Jackets have pockets for Ipods and cell phones.

The writer goes on to talk about how you used to have conversations on the chair lifts. You used to meet people apres ski in the restaurant and in the bar. Now people are talking on their cell phones to people who are not physically present. I went on a trip once with a woman who spent more time talking on the phone than she did talking to any of the people on the trip.

It used to be that mentally we might not be as connected to the people around us as we should be. Now not only are we unmindful, we are actively able to show how unmindful we are being--text messaging or talking or whatever to someone who is not there.

Maybe we need to rethink the whole technology thing. It is good to stay in touch with family and friends. However, sometimes it's important to be in touch with the people you are with. Peace comes from being in the moment. How well can you be in the moment if you are required to describe the moment to someone who is not there? Technology is good but let's remember to leave it at home sometimes so we can get away and just enjoy the people who can be with us.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


I might have posted something to this effect earlier, but it's something that gets me this time of year regularly. I found myself angry at my shower door for not working properly. It does this sometimes and it's something that I'll need to repair at some point but for now, it mostly works and mostly I have no trouble making it open and close. Not so this evening.

I found myself reflecting on the fact that this took a moment of time that I wanted to myself and didn't have. I have overbooked myself for many things this season and I have no time to look forward to having a few hours to just mindlessly surf, read or blog. Everything is crammed in. Instead of having an hour or so to think about what I want to write, I composed much of this in the shower and am writing it now. Last week I found myself cramming in several sessions of writing into one and then just editing them on days that I was too busy. I don't like working like that.

I have to realize that somethings will have to go this season. I may not want them to but there are other things that are more time sensitive. I need to remember how grumpy not slowing down makes me. This time it was just the shower door and I have no real personal attachment to the door. What happens if in a moment of stress I share that with another human being--either someone close to me personally or just someone in the wrong line in front of me at the wrong time? It doesn't create peace.

I know I don't need the time every day--at least not right now but I do need to know some time for myself is coming up and soon so I can get the stuff done that I want to get done. I need to rearrange.

Peace to everyone and remember that sometimes grumpiness is a reminder to take some time for yourself.