Tuesday, April 23, 2013

In My Room

This is a song by the Beach Boys that was written in the sixties I believe and it's a song I always loved because of the melody. It was so slow, harmonizing and just soothing to listen to. I never gave lyrics much thought in my youth because as a guitar player I was always listening to the instruments and the music itself, but  then I found this a few weeks ago. Here are the lyrics for In My Room.

There's a world where I can go
And tell my secrets to
In my room
In my room

In this world I lock out
All my worries and my fears
In my room
In my room

Do my dreaming and my scheming lie awake and pray
Do my crying and my sighing laugh at yesterday

Now it's dark and I'm alone
But I won't be afraid
In my room

God speaks to us in so many ways. When this song was written it was during a tumultuous time in our world, where authority was questioned, religious as well as traditional secular institutions were rejected and it was the beginning of what I would call societal chaos and I believe the end result is what we are witnessing today and with more to come. When looking over these lyrics for In My Room, I began to wonder if God was speaking to us, the younger generation through this song, telling us to be careful and not to despair for what was to come. We all have our 'little rooms' where we go to be alone with Him and think things through. How better for God to reach the younger generation than through one of the most popular bands of the time? Just sayin' .

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Want To Be A Liberal? Learn The Lingo

Now I know some of you may be closet liberals and really want to come out and live life as your true selves yet you don't know how to project yourselves so you sound convincing to others that have already liberated themselves. Don't worry. With a little practice and an expansion of your vocabulary to include certain liberal "isms" you too can pretend to sound as if you care about others more than those rascally conservatives. The good thing is, you don't have to try hard at all.You don't even have to like people. The trick is to sound as if you do care when you really don't. It's all in the speech. An array of different colored ribbons to wear on your lapel wouldn't hurt either and they will probably make you a shoe in. So are you ready for your new bad self? Alrighty! Get crackin'!

Diversity-   Doesn't matter if it concerns vegetable matter, animals or people. When you use this word liberally hahaha, sorry no pun intended, it makes you appear open-minded and that you are willing to include everything and anything into your little circle of life. Of course you don't really have to include anyone or anything into your life. Just say diversity often enough and this word alone will convince many. Christians are automatically expelled as a diverse group so don't worry about people misunderstanding your use of diversity.

Go Green - It no longer means a color only but includes an array of pagan religious beliefs that shows you care about Mother Gaia more than that Neanderthalic imbecile next door who insists on polluting your own backyard with the noxious smoke from his bbq while searing the meat from an unfortunate animal that suffered needlessly to satisfy his savage appetite for flesh. It also will include you in that prestigious company of U.N. climatologists that almost convinced the world that global warming and the world's destruction was at hand; that is until a denier hacked into their computer files and exposed the lies and unscientific methods they used to come up with falsified data. I know it sounds unethical, but we're talking man-made global warming here! Drastic measures have to be used at times, even lying to convince some people of the truth!

Victim - Remember. EVERYONE is a victim whether they know it or not. Use this word often also. No one likes to hear of someone being a victim and you win the sympathy of many with this one. Once in a while you may come up against someone who insist he or she is not a victim of anything, but with a little elbow grease and research you will most likely find a connection between your intended victim and Big Oil or Big Pharma. That makes them a victim whether they like to admit it or not. You win. They lose. You have your victim.

Hero - This word was used in yesteryear to described an ordinary person performing an extraordinary act of bravery at the risk of his or her own life for the sake of another life. No more. Why should the word hero be designated only to a certain few individuals that are special? Everyone is special today so everyone can share the claim of hero. When you visit your bakery, call your baker a hero for providing the staff of life. He'll feel good about himself. That's the goal. To feel good about yourself. See that lineman climbing the phone pole? Call him a hero too for making it possible for people to communicate with each other worldwide, creating a smaller and more loving world. He'll probably tighten the connection on your wires with an extra twist. Don't however, call anyone connected with Big Oil or Big Pharma a hero, or a rich person for that matter. You run the risk of exposing yourself as a fake liberal. That! you don't want to do. The goal here is to pretend to your liberal friends that you have not slipped over to the dark side.

Closure - This is always a good one to use. It gives you the cover that you are a profound thinker that received his wisdom in Tibet from some 500 year old hermit. Use closure in this manner:

Victim: "I can't believe how no one cares about separating their trash to save the earth! I mean come on!"
You:     "I understand (nod a lot) but not all people are as enlightened as we are. Give them time. Patience is
             is key here my friend."
Victim: " I know, but how can I live like this knowing we are about to die while my wife put that Pepsi can
              in with the newspapers?? She just doesn't care. I'm getting a divorce.
You:       "Wise decision and then find some counseling that will help you find the peace and the closure
                that you so richly deserve."

Got that? Good. Practice makes perfect.

The Extremist - Oh baby. This word will make you the sweetheart of the ball.  You know the person that annoys you to no end? Just call him an extremist. You don't have to say why he is an extremist or of what, just say it, and make sure you call him that in front of other liberals. This is important. For added measure, use the full term of Extreme Right Winger and watch your annoying little man being shunned by the others in quick order. Goal? Getting rid of that annoying little man. Done

Hateful - This is a good word to use in a debate that you are quickly losing. Pick the right moment and when the person disagrees with your position again call them hateful for not being sensitive. Watch them cower in the corner. Call them an hateful extremist and chances are they'll fall and curl up in a fetal position sucking their thumb. You win the debate. See how easy it is especially when you use your imagination and combine two liberal "isms"?

Judgmental - Another one of those "isms" that will stop a debater dead in his tracks. It won't matter if the other person is right of course, your goal here is to win the argument and destroy your debater in the process. This word is ESPECIALLY  effective on Catholics. (see below)

Catholic - This is especially a good name to call someone at a dull and boring party. Mingle around, see if you recognize someone that is Catholic and call him out. Say something like "Hey Dave! Aren't you a Catholic?" Chances are he will admit he's Catholic, especially if he is a practicing Catholic and watch the party explode in laughter. The ridicule and one liners towards the Catholic will liven up a party toot sweet. Again, you'll be the sweetheart of the ball.

These few liberal "isms" will get you started on your road to liberation. Once you're known as a liberal and your friends invite you over more often, just listen as they talk and you'll pick up a few more isms. It's easy and training in ethics nor superior intelligence is required. You just seem that way to your new friends. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Going Beyond Grudges and Laying Them To Rest

Probably one of the most difficult things to deal with in life are grudges that we hold against another person and the ones they hold against us. However difficult they may be we seem to be able to justify the grudges we hold and not even see them as such, after all we aren't the ones who initiated this feud, in fact it was the other person who did or said such and such a thing against us! We are only defending ourselves aren't we? Are we suppose to allow others to ride rough shod over us or make our life miserable? After everything we've done for them and they do this to us or bad mouth us?

We do seem justified in holding grudges against someone though we may not see it as that. We think ourselves better than that. We tell ourselves, "See? I've not said one bad thing to them even after what they did to me." Right. The reason I've not said anything bad is because I haven't said anything to them at all! I've avoided them, shunned them and pretended they didn't exist. That isn't releasing a grudge but masking it into the unrecognizable so that even we don't see it for what it is anymore.

We go merrily along in life and one day memories flood back about a certain person we had a grudge against and the bottom falls out of our own self-deception. We roll back the tape and begin recalling conversations or arguments we've had with them, or see so clearly the things they did to us that initiated the grudge that we supposedly let go in the first place. Then, within those memories we begin to make up "conversations" with this other person and most times than not, the script that we give to the other person is worse than the original offense. We continue to imagine conversations that never existed and let ourselves feel even more justified in believing that it was the other persons fault to begin with. We feed on it. We eat from this trough of newly imagined offenses until our hearts become so bloated that any affection or love that we held for this person seems to be squeezed out. As one person said to me recently, it is a sick way to live. I agree.

We take pleasure in grudges. Yet, it is a perverted pleasure that is self-destructive. Why should I give in first? Why should I let them think they are right and I am wrong? Pride rears its ugly head once again.Our pride hates having to give in first, to lead the way in righting a wrong especially if we've been wronged.
Reconcile? Sure, if they apologize first. If every time we are wronged we wait for the other person to apologize before reconciling, then most times we'll have a long wait. Grudges can become so entrenched within our hearts that vengeance against the offending person starts to creep in. It doesn't have to mean a physical retaliation but even a sort of yearning that one day they will regret it. One day they'll be sorry for what they did to us and if not in this life then in the next one.  Wow. Do we understand those implications? Really understand? If we allow our grudge to get to that point, what we are basically saying is "Yep, next stop hell for them." or some major, painful purging in purgatory.

If there was anyone that could have justified holding a grudge it was Christ. He was human as well as divine. We know he was tempted in the desert. Satan also tempted him through Peter which prompted the reply, "Get thee behind me Satan!" from Christ. Can  you imagine what played through His mind as he was on His death march to Golgotha? Can you just imagine Satan's little whisper of a voice inside our Lord's head saying,  

"Why bother with these ingrates? Are they really worth your life? Your going to die an excruciating death and for what? Them? THEY are the ones that offended. THEY are the ones that should be punished not you. You know that don't you? Do you really think they'll appreciate what it is you are doing for them never mind understand? You know they'll continue to offend your father so why let them off the hook? You've done nothing to offend these people and look at what they are about to do to you. Do it some other way. Wait til they are sorry and ask for forgiveness. You realize how weak you'll look to them if you die as a common criminal?"

As was said, Christ is a man with feelings we all share, the same emotions, the same temptations that we have. Yet what did he do? He set aside what ever he may have felt or had been tempted to feel and continued to do the will of His father. He went through the motions despite the emotions.

When memories flood back and we think uncharitable thoughts of a person who may have wronged us it becomes easier and easier to have these bad thoughts about someone if we do not fight them as soon as they enter our minds. It is practiced behavior and with practice comes perfection. However, the opposite is true also. Once at confession I told my priest of these thoughts that kept coming back and how difficult it was for me to fight them off. I had confessed my grudge a long time ago and in order to make amends for having held this grudge was to have a Mass said for this person. They had died a few years earlier and there was no way I could now reconcile with them. I prayed for them and still do yet the memories, the conversations kept coming and never relented. I kept fighting them off and many times to no avail.

The priest told me that memories can be a blessing or a curse. We were given memories and within them are good and bad things. He suggested that when past offenses done by another show themselves in our memories, we need to think of the other person in terms of love. To do things in terms of love and to say things in the same way. It is so very hard to do, yet as I wrote above where it becomes easier and easier to think badly of someone when we allow ourselves this so called luxury, the reverse is also true. The more and more we try to think of the other person in terms of love it then becomes a learned behavior  and it becomes easier to love. We may never rid ourselves completely of uncharitable thoughts, but we can keep from dwelling on them with thoughts of love. Though we may feel as hypocrites at first, we need to set that aside as Christ did and go through the motions despite the emotions.

You go through the motions despite the emotions. You do what you know is right despite what you feel at the time. Grudges play heavily on our emotions and if we let them control our lives and the love we should have towards someone then we lose. And if we continue to hold a grudge against someone who is no longer here...we lose big time.