Faith

What is the worth of faith?  I want to believe that there is good underlying all this, but there are moments when it doesn’t seem possible.  My “good” is not your “good”.  Unspeakably horrible things happen every day and have happened.

I want to know about the Dalai Lama, Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, Aun San Suk Kyi and all our contemporary moral leaders.  What sustains them?  Faith can be a pillar of a life lived according to the highest principles, but I think it isn’t the only one.  I just want answers, when it’s clear that there aren’t any.  None you can find in book or a sound bite anyway.

It’s too easy to forget about attribution error.  Other people look so much more whole than you might feel about yourself – a roil of emotions and disconnected thoughts.

I’m borrowing this body for the next 60 years or so and will give it back to the earth when I’m done.  Just borrowing.  Being spiritual means acknowledging the smallness of you in the universe.  And yet that smallness makes me feel so much more empowered and free, because for a moment it lifts the burden of ego – your job, status, the clothes you wear, your (dis)abilities, what your friends and co-workers think about you.  If there are aliens out there, they’re probably laughing at us and our petty vexations.

In a somewhat (but not very) related note, what motivates us?  Not always bonuses.  The Gist = “Pay people enough to take the issue of money off the table.”

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Do this before leaving the house

1) Don’t leave home angry

2) Tell the people you love how much you love them

3) Live without regrets as much as possible

“God said, ‘This is your only life.  Be grateful.”

Woman tells of her survival of a airplane crash on NPR’s Storycorps.

Please don’t forget.  Now I remember why I’ve always been fascinated by stories like Into the Wild, about young Christopher McCandless who walked into the Alaskan wilderness and never came back.  I Came From a Plane That Crashed in the Mountains, the Uruguayan soccer team that crashed into the Andes and survived for months under the harshest deprivation.

There are too many ways to waste a life.  Love, learn, move, and be FREE.

Loving v. Virginia, 1967

Mildred and Richard Loving

Laws that tell us who we can and can’t marry have existed long before the same-sex marriage issue even entered people’s minds.  Mildred and Richard Loving, a Virginia couple in the 1960s, married in DC in order to avoid the ban on interracial marriage in Virginia.  Not only did VA laws nullify interracial marriage and make it impossible to begin with, there was also a provision that treated any attempt to marry in another state a criminal offense.  Police officers burst into the couple’s home trying to catch them in the act of having sex, since interracial sex was also a crime at the time, needless to say.

In Loving v. Virginia in 1967, the Supreme Court finally overturned Virginia’s earlier statutes against interracial marriage on the grounds that they violated the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The Court concluded that “the freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men. Marriage is one of the ‘basic civil rights of man,’ fundamental to our very existence and survival.”

Hallelujah, here’s a solid precedent for same-sex marriage, right?  Freedom to marry as an essential right set forth in the Declaration?  Not so.  As some New Yorkers may remember, the New York Court of Appeals ruled in 2006 against using the Loving v. Virginia case a basis for same-sex marriage because the Supreme Court had stated in their ruling that marriage is “fundamental” to “existence and survival”, which points to procreation as the foundation of marriage.

Hmm.  So I guess love isn’t the basis of marriage, but making babies.  Shouldn’t proponents of heterosexual marriages then direct as much attention to married couples who choose not to have children?

The more I read about law in the United States, the more I see its power and its limits in expanding civil rights and creating a more just society.  Dockets are built slowly over the course of years and even decades.  It’s a fundamentally conservative process – an English litigator from the 17th century would probably be able to follow trial procedures that happen today.  A never-ending debate that occurs via incremental battles, and so many that the public are never aware of.

It was only in 2000 that Alabama amended their organic law through referendum to remove the ban on interracial marriage.  Jesus.  The dark days weren’t that long ago.  What was once taken for granted just a few decades ago is now morally reprehensible and backward, and only then through the back-breaking work of civil rights activists and all their supporters.  It makes me wonder what we’re doing now that our grandchildren will look back on and wish we had done differently.