Tuesday, November 24, 2015

I Am An Optimist with a Healthy Cynical Streak

I am a liberal Democrat. I am a Christian. I am a humanist. I believe in Choice. I support Gay Marriage. I believe in gay rights. I believe in reasonable gun laws including background checks at Gun Shows before a purchase is made. I believe in children. I believe in grand parenting. I believe in laughter and kissing and hugging and love. I believe in thinking, in using your mind and not just your emotions, which are often accurate, but can be easily manipulated. I believe in books. Books are guides into mystery and morality, into wisdom and insight, into gratitude and generosity, into acceptance and endurance, into risk and living, and we need all of that. I believe in pets because whether it’s a dog or a cat or a bird or a turtle it invites compassion from us and can make us a more decent person if we treat it with care and affection. I believe in the sacred which has the power to move and even transform us. Nature is sacred. Seasons are sacred. So is the ocean. Quiet worship before great art is sacred. A movie can be a sacred experience. Theater is sacred. Holding a baby is something sacred. Raw, absolute, real-life music is sacred. Have you heard Adele’s new album? There are halos around those songs. Listen to Leonard Cohen. His music is holy because it’s honest. It’s so honest it hurts. And hurting can be sacred too. I believe in poetry. Poetry is hallowed when it is written well. Poetry elevates the spirit and makes things clearer. And whenever things are clearer and your spirit is elevated you’re in the sacred. I believe in asking questions. I believe in learning more, a lot more. I believe in equal rights for women, for minorities, for the disabled, for the vulnerable and the forgotten. I believe Black Lives Matter because white lives already do and always have. I believe my fellow citizens here and around the world, people of all races, cultures, and religious beliefs, are my brothers and sisters and we have a human obligation to respect them and hear them and know them and embrace them before we fly off the handle and want to judge or attack or condemn or kill them. I am an optimist with a healthy cynical streak. I trust with reservations. I have longings but not without limits. I want more than I can deliver. I keep hoping you will deliver and help me get there. I have issues I’m working on. I believe we’re all unfinished and always will be. I don’t believe being a Christian makes you better than others. It ought to make you more loving though. I don’t think Jesus died for our sins, I think he died showing us how far love will go. And it’s intended to go a long damn way. I think he invites us to try it. None of us have ever stopped sinning so let’s stop pretending we’ve been saved from that. We have not. I believe in friendship, but friendship costs something and my friends are few and cherished. I believe in family even with all of its messiness and mine has had some of that over the years but my family has greatly narrowed now and I have the ones I need because they love me in spite of and because they are there for me and always have been and always will be and I adore each one of them. I know we should all be healthy and treat our bodies well and exercise and stay fit and I believe in that but I also believe there’s nothing wrong with a bowl of ice cream now and then and a good cigar and a cocktail with friends. I believe in connection, in feelings, in holding people you really care about close until there’s nothing left but whispers and silent words and acts of caring. I believe in America. I believe in its core values. I believe it’s good only when we are. I believe it can be a beacon of light in the world but only if the fuel is decency and smarts and the courage to be human. Otherwise the light flickers and goes out. And then we’re all just beasts in the dark terrified, brutal, violent and self-destructive. I believe in the end all that we leave behind of any worth is the love we shared. And our laughter.

© 2015 Timothy Moody 

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