Friday, January 05, 2007

I hold fast.

Jeff, Melissa, Sam and I had a rousing debate our last night together at a little Italian restaurant (where I believe the waiter was somewhat nervous to interrupt us and kept our check an hour after we had finished eating).

Over our bits of pasta, remnaents of bread and sauce we solved the world's problems. Or tried, at least.

We argued the ability to change the course of this world we share. Government versus individual action. Pandemics versus hope. Class issues, race issues. Bigotry. Apathy. Selfishness.

General American attitiudes. The rest of the world. How it's not so far away anymore.

We ran the gambit from historical references and evaluating the industrial revolution on modern times to the effect of India and China's growing work forces. The world's growing forces. The inevitable shifting of power.

We debated intently. I had tears in my eyes at one point - not from hurt feelings, but from sheer passion and belief. Fists landed on tables, chairs turned inward, voices raised and lowered.

It was invigorating and wonderful and felt, well, a good way to start the new year; analyzing, figuring - not sitting quietly. If we can still sit and discuss all these things, then all these things are still negotiable. Still able to be contended with. I sat this morning listening to the news, about how the majority of congress has changed their minds about Iraq. All I can think of are all the lives lost. Over a decision people now feel was ill-founded.

But then that story is followed by the man who threw himself in front of a speeding train to save the life of a stranger. How now, though he denies what he did was anythign special - people are clamoring to recognize him. To salute that small act of courage and kindness in a city filled with strangers. Or how two men reached out for a baby falling from four stories up, catching him. Not letting him fall. Returning him safely to his family asking for nothing in return.

And I hold fast. That someday all this chaos and sadness will be overtaken by all the smaller things. I hold fast. That as humans we are truly meant for kindness and love. For peace.

As hard as it is on days that news spots on the motorcycle honor guard that arrives at all fallen soldier funerals has tears running down my face.

Broadcast me a joyful noise unto the times, lord,
Count your blessings.
We're sick of being jerked around.
We all fall down.
. . .

Broadcast me a joyful noise unto the times, lord,
Count your blessings.
Ignore the lower fear
Ugh, this means war.
. . .

It's been a bad day... - R.E.M.

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