Thoughts And Prayers, Redux…

Every morning, usually within 3 to 4 minutes of waking up, I begin my ritual exploration of who I really am. Don’t be too impressed, I don’t put a lot of effort into it, usually don’t come to any profound conclusions, and due to my susceptibility to the distractions of my pets and my phone, this process has little influence on the outcome of my days.

On those days however, after major natural disasters, news of the bombing of dozens in a public square, and especially on those days when we hear of yet another school shooting, I will dig a little deeper and ask myself some hard questions, seeking what I hope are honest answers.

IMG_4376

I simply wish to discover, for better or for worse, who I really am. Not the person I want to be, pretend to be, or strive to be, but who I really am right now at this moment.

When I ask myself the hardest question though, that’s when I freeze.

Am I a man of action…?

I suppose that all depends on how we define action. I want to believe I am a man of action, and with some circumstances I can be. In most instances though, and on the heels of great tragedy, I get very contemplative and even reflective, but action — well, I usually just leave that to the powers that be. I mean, my voting is supposed to take care of my action anyway, yes…? But it hasn’t always worked out that way.

IMG_4305

On the heels of tragedy, I’m a person who still sees good in the world more than bad. I’m a person who still sees society on an upward and more positive trajectory — an arc of increasing social cooperation and morality. I’m a person who favors love over hate, forgiveness over revenge, and decorum over screaming — every time. And I hope that I live in accordance with those conclusions. I’ve come up short though, on taking much action aside from my voting.

I’ll be chewing on all of this in the coming days and weeks. I’m certain little or nothing at all will come from my inward search, but maybe.

IMG_4297

I suppose the only thing I really feel this morning though is that, despite the ridiculous criticisms to the contrary, sometimes thoughts and prayers are all we have. For many, those thoughts and those prayers are the only immediate action we have to take as we seek shelter from the storms…. Jhciacb

_______________________

 Please this a like and a share. And please check back in a few weeks to see what happens when I push the STOP  button on the blender in my head.  Oh, and there’s this from Chuck Prophet. Enjoy…! 

A Measure Of Speech…

On Sunday, not anticipating the events that would unfold in Las Vegas later that day, I listened to the July 24, 2008 episode of Speaking of Faith (now On Being), hosted by Krista Tippet.  Tippet’s guest for that episode was Dr. Stuart Brown, who is the Director of the National Institute For Play.  Brown is educated as both a neurologist and psychiatrist.

I had listened to this episode a dozen times or more.  The purpose of Brown’s institution is to generate new research, gather existing research, and correlate data about play, as it relates to the modern human condition.  I have always appreciated Brown’s view that play among children, often rough and tumble play, is a necessary element in preparing a child for the rigors of adulthood.

Brown, by the way, was part of the psychiatric team who attempted a postmortem profile of Charles Whitman – our nation’s 1st, but no longer the our most successful sniper of innocents.  So, Sunday night when I began hearing cursory details of the tragedy in Las Vegas, thoughts of Charles Whitman were fresh in my mind.

Brown, who has studied more death-row inmates than any other psychiatrist, suggests that an absence of play as children, and subsequently as adults is one of many commonalities that premeditated murderers share.  As I was chewing on this, and watching the body count rise, I reflected on all the play I did as a child, and all I continue to do each day of my life – and I am grateful for play.

21462803_530429913968560_8359673166387867271_n.jpg

On Saturday – the day prior to the tragedy in Las Vegas, I had listened to an interview with Martin Amis.  Amis, after the events of 9/11, wrote a series of essays for the New Yorker incorporating facts and a fair amount of conjecture about the men who perpetrated the attacks on September 11, 2001 in the days leading up to those tragedies.

In this interview, Amis spoke about his need to wait a fair amount of time before writing about 9/11.  He suggested that a good deal of time is necessary to allow the soul to cool to an even place, and to provide opportunity for facts to solidify.  In short, Amis suggested that after great tragedy, one should be measured in their speech.

So, I here I sit this morning, with all kinds of thoughts about Las Vegas, our country, our cultures and subcultures.  I am desiring to speak intelligently, but am still unable to think clearly.  So, as Amis suggests, I’ll allow time to pass, facts to solidify, and my emotions to stabilize.

21192731_524297417915143_8320288654538242812_n.jpg

I am though, struck by the this…

In the two days prior to Las Vegas, my mid was already on tragedy – on mass killings in particular, and in the need to be measured with my speech in their aftermath.  I guess that’s just where we’re at…  Jhciacb

_____________________________________________

If you are not already a subscriber, please scroll up and do so.  Tell your friends about me — about what happens when I push the STOP button on the blender in my head. Oh, and there’s this from Pat Capocci and friends.  Enjoy