Sunday, July 29, 2012

Mark Twain said it best, "If I had more time, I'd have written a shorter letter."

This month I've had a hard time writing. Between the violence in Syria, a mass shooting in Colorado, and the execution of an Afghan woman by men screaming, "God is great," I haven't had much to say. Instead, I've tried to be silent and I've tried to listen to the silence, hoping that the human race was worth running. Then, as fate would have it, I watched “A Thousand Words” with Eddie Murphy and figured out what I wanted to say. Spoiler alert... This post isn’t funny and I'm going to tell you all about that movie. 

First of all, let me say this, I apologize in advance for breaking my own blogging rule and preaching at you. I’m sorry if it’s offensive. I mean that. It’s not my intention, but - as they say about intentions… the road to hell is paved with them. Secondly, please feel free to take everything I say with a grain of salt. And finally, if you haven’t seen “A Thousand Words,” you should. It’s become one of my favorite films of all time, and it basically goes something like this... Through a simple twist of fate, Eddie Murphy's character becomes linked to a Bodhi tree. And, each time he talks, a leaf drops. When every leaf is gone, he dies.

Now, I don't pretend to be wise, but to me the movie makes the following point, “If we only had a handful of words to speak in one lifetime, we’d be far more judicious in how we used them.” We wouldn’t waste them on insults, cruelty, or arguments… and neither would anyone else. In other words, it wouldn’t just impact what we heard but also what we said. And that’s important. After all, wasn’t it Gandhi who wrote, “Carefully watch your thoughts, for they become your words. Manage and watch your words, for they become your actions. Consider and judge your actions, for they become your habits. Acknowledge and watch your habits, for they become your values. Understand and embrace your values, for they become your destiny.”And really, who am I to question Gandhi? He was little, but he changed the world.

With that, I shall try to take my own advice and apply that philosophy to this post. Wish me luck. Disclaimer: When I talk about God, I mean the God of your faith, and when I say, “Him” it’s because I went to Catholic school, not because I believe that God has a gender or a skin color or a favorite religion, nationality, or politician.

This month, we proved Higgs boson. That’s right. The world spent three billion dollars to understand how particles acquire mass. However, please don’t misconstrue what I’m saying, I think that’s fabulous. But it makes me wonder… if it took ten years and that much money to learn about a God Particle, how can anyone think they understand God. And if you don’t understand God, how dare you invoke Him to advocate war on this planet, tell you how to discriminate against people in the United States, or murder someone in Afghanistan. That’s hate. Own it. And where hate exists, God does not. I’m not a Christian, Jew, Muslim or Hindu, and even I know that.

So if God isn’t in random acts of hatred, then where is He? In my opinion, exactly where Bono once said you'd find Him, “God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house… God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both their lives… God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war… God is in the debris of wasted opportunity and lives, and God is with us if we are with them.” So if you aren’t willing to acknowledge that possibility, then at least acknowledge that if I can interpret Him one way and you interpret Him another, that no one can corner the market or be His mouthpiece. 

Otherwise stated, your view, words, and actions are yours. If you murder someone, it’s you. If you deny people access to health care or discriminate against someone because of race, religion, sexual orientation or gender, it’s you. And… to be clear, I don't pretend to know anything let everything about God, but to me - the little voice in your head called your conscience is a small piece of His divinity. That's why I listen to it instead of politicians, religious leaders, or anyone else. That said, I'm not knocking their role or the value they bring. Faith and dogma are hard, and I'm the first person to say thank you for a lesson worth learning, but if they're preaching hate or inciting violence, you should gut check their words with your conscience and wonder if that’s God or an agenda.

With that, let’s hope that as the Olympic Games begin we remember the human race is a relay. You must get from people and give to people. Otherwise, we’re all in last place. Sorry for the rant. I promise, next time I'll be myself. And I truly am sorry if I offended anyone.


  1. Also, while re-reading my rant (say that fast three times), I realized that I was probably going to lose some readers, and that's when I noticed that I've actually gained some this month. So, thank you for joining (and thanks to those of you who posted me on Facebook or wherever so those people could find mkromd). I honestly appreciate it.

  2. Replies
    1. Hi Marie - Thank you so much for your comment. I wish you knew how much it meant to me. I hate ranting but I couldn't keep quiet this time. And it's nice to know that George Bernard Shaw wasn't always right. You can talk about more than the weather and your health. Thank you again... for not being offended and for taking the time to let me know. PS: I just blog stalked you and loved your post and pics - LOL

  3. Well, this is certainly different than anything I've ever seen you write before, though it didn't read like a rant to me. Perhaps that's because I don't disagree. I especially liked your last lines about this being a relay, getting and giving, and otherwise we're all in last place. Well said.