I’d like to think that I’m just a human. But then I guess that unless we define ourselves into rigid oblivion how can we exist in society together? Sigh….
By doing this. Writing this, I guess I’m not much different from the people I intend to quote here. I’m hoping that I can write this in a way that articulates my thoughts and don’t pass judgment on the writer’s or the target of their judgement. Elizabeth Edwards, who passed away December 7.
According to several posts Elizabeth Edwards posted this farewell on her facebook page.
“You all know that I have been sustained throughout my life by three saving graces—my family, my friends, and a faith in the power of resilience and hope. These graces have carried me through difficult times and they have brought more joy to the good times than I ever could have imagined. The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered. We know that. And, yes, there are certainly times when we aren’t able to muster as much strength and patience as we would like. It’s called being human. But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful. It isn’t possible to put into words the love and gratitude I feel to everyone who has and continues to support and inspire me every day. To you I simply say: you know.
With love, Elizabeth
Blogger Donald Douglas writes; “Being anti-religion is cool, so Edwards’ non-theological theology gets props from the neo-communists,” he said. “Still, at her death bed and giving what most folks are calling a final goodbye, Elizabeth Edwards couldn’t find it somewhere down deep to ask for His blessings as she prepares for the hereafter? I guess that nihilism I’ve been discussing reaches up higher into the hard-left precincts than I thought.” My question, is being a jerk cool?
Who knows? Maybe she did, but felt that aspect of her belief is/was personal and NO ONE, not ONE of us needed to have that information. Nor should we ask for that personal of a statement. Think about it, the rest of her life was out there. Maybe she wanted something for herself. Or for herself and her children. And not for Donald Douglas. But he made a statement, blogged it and several people commented. The comments are an extremely sad display of humanity. Who taught us to be so cruel. I can’t seem to comprehend the level of straight up mean cruelty that people will write in response about another human being. And so many commenting anonymously.
My first thought about all of it was, well who is she to think that she could ask that? For eternal life or a blessing. Like who am I to ask God to “bless Amercia?” Who am I to ask anything like that of a God or deity? An earlier quote of Elizabeth Edwards makes perfect sense to me. “I have, I think, somewhat of an odd version of God,” Edwards explained to an audience of women bloggers when asked how her beliefs inform her politics. “I do not have an intervening God. I don’t think I can pray to him — or her — to cure me of cancer. I appreciate other people’s prayers for that [a cure for her cancer], but I believe that we are given a set of guidelines, and that we are obligated to live our lives with a view to those guidelines. And I don’t believe that we should live our lives that way for some promise of eternal life, but because that’s what’s right. We should do those things because that’s what’s right.”
I went to the google for some definition to neo-communist. The Urban Dictionary says, A Neo-Communist per.se is pretty easy to define and hard at the same time. Great, that helps! Along with; A democrat. A person who wants to tax YOUR pants off and give the money to bums, bindlestiffs, and Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition. And :a current liberal (progressive) espousing communism without using its name. 2:a liberal advocating redistribution of your money in the manner they themselves think best; neo-com money not considered money in this case. A neo-communist will take your wealth but not the wealth of the future neo-comm leaders. Who is behind this Urban Dictionary? Maybe they should call it, make up words and make up shit to define your made up words. I have no idea what any of that meant. If you do, please help me out. Make a comment below. Oh and anonymous posts will not be acknowledged.
Back to the point of this post. The old conversation in my head. Religion, what am I? Where do I fit in religiously, spiritually? To be honest. I don’t think I’ve heard anyone in many years speak so closely in such a short statement to what may give insight to my belief system. We should do things because it’s the right thing to do. Be fair. Be generous. Be present. Be descent. Don’t judge. “And, yes, there are certainly times when we aren’t able to muster as much strength and patience as we would like. It’s called being human.”
The last few months have been challenging. Many unanswerable questions. Denial, denial, bargaining, denial, denial.
I don’t intend to mock other’s beliefs here, but it will probably sound that way. I’m on Facebook. And I like many of you I am sure find it very interesting what people will post. All the varied “I am …this…post on your status if you are too.” Ones that really got my attention where; “I’m a Christian…repost if you are” and “I believe in Jesus Christ…respost if you do”. I admire those friends who are so open about that part of their life. I guess I was a long time ago too, but not anymore.
I’ve had sitting in draft my own version of that but I don’t paste it because I’m afraid it would offend those who are proud of their belief and post, I am a christian, or I believe in God. So here is my status post.
I am a human and not ashamed to say it!! Let’s see how many people on FB aren’t afraid to show their love for humans and accept each and everyone as they are! Each time you see this on someone’s status, think of all the goodness that exists!! Let’s get compassion in this country like it should be!!! If you agree, post this in your status update just copy and paste.
Yeah, I’m not brave. Haven’t posted that yet. It’s not that I’m afraid to put it out there. Like I said, I don’t want to offend anyone. My faith is in the people around me. The amazing circle of friends that are my circle. The people that I would do anything for. Even, if I were capable, change the course of fate, walk away, give up anything for some to still be here. But then that would be giving myself, making myself more important than I am. Somehow imagining that I have the arrogance to affect the set of guidelines that are before us. I know I can’t change that.
From David Gibsons article, Edwards said she had to move on from such magical and negative thinking, and she quoted a line from the Bill Moyers PBS special on the Book of Genesis, to the effect that “You get the God you have, not the God you want.”
She went on to say, “The God I wanted was going to intervene. He was going to turn time back. The God I wanted was — I was going to pray for good health and he was going to give it to me,” she said. “Why in this complicated world, with so much grief and pain around us throughout the world, I could still believe that, I don’t know. But I did. And then I realized that the God that I have was going to promise me salvation if I lived in the right way and he was going to promise me understanding. That’s what I’m sort of asking for . . . let me understand why I was tested.”
That’s what I think. Again, who am I to ask….
Religion as a noun is; a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
Maybe I’m a Humanist?
Secular Humanism is a non-theistically based philosophy which promotes humanity as the measure of all things. It had its roots in the rationalism of the 18th Century and the free thought movement of the 19th Century.
Some factors that most Humanists share:
~Either they do not believe in the existence of a deity, or have no opinion, or don’t care about the topic. ( that seems harsh )
~They believe that excellent codes of behavior and morality can be created through reason.
~They believe that humans created the many thousands of Gods and Goddesses in their own image.
~They are very concerned about human rights and equal opportunities for all. ( sounds good )
They tend to be at the liberal end of the spectrum on such controversial topics as abortion access; equal rights for gays, lesbians, amd bisexuals; transgendered persons and transsexuals (GLBT); same-sex marriage, physician assisted suicide, separation of church and state, etc.
Okay, so not really me. But almost.
All that I read and all my thoughts and life as it has passed by me over the last few years. I find myself here again, Buddhism.
“One fundamental belief of Buddhism is often referred to as reincarnation — the concept that people are reborn after dying. In fact, most individuals go through many cycles of birth, living, death and rebirth. A practicing Buddhist differentiates between the concepts of rebirth and reincarnation. In reincarnation, the individual may recur repeatedly. In rebirth, a person does not necessarily return to Earth as the same entity ever again. He compares it to a leaf growing on a tree. When the withering leaf falls off, a new leaf will eventually replace it. It is similar to the old leaf, but it is not identical to the original leaf.”
The Three Trainings or Practices:
1.Sila: Virtue, good conduct, morality. This is based on two fundamental principles:
~The principle of equality: that all living entities are equal.
~The principle of reciprocity: This is the “Golden Rule” in Christianity — to do onto others as you would wish them to do onto you. It is found in all major religions.
2.Samadhi: Concentration, meditation, mental development. Developing one’s mind is the path to wisdom which in turn leads to personal freedom. Mental development also strengthens and controls our mind; this helps us maintain good conduct.
3.Prajna: Discernment, insight, wisdom, enlightenment. This is the real heart of Buddhism. Wisdom will emerge if your mind is pure and calm.
And there are “The Four Noble Truths”;
Dukkha: Suffering exists
Samudaya: There is a cause for suffering
Nirodha: There is an end to suffering
Magga: In order to end suffering, you must follow the Eightfold Path
What I want to say is this. Be kind and speak of others as you wish to be spoken of. Believe what you believe. I won’t question you, so don’t question me. Be generous with your kindness. I think karma is real. Don’t question others intentions unless you were present and they shared those intentions or thoughts with you.
“We need other people, not in order to stay alive, but to be fully human: to be affectionate, funny, playful, to be generous. How genuine is my capacity for love if there is no one for me to love, to laugh with, to treat tenderly, to be trusted by? I can love an idea or a vision, but I can’t throw my arms around it. Unless there is someone to whom I can give my gifts, in whose hands I can entrust my dreams, who will forgive me my deformities, my aberrations, to whom I can speak the unspeakable, then I am not human, I am a thing, a gadget that works but has no ashes. ~Prather
It’s back she said, it was raw and as painful as anything I had heard in a long time. In my mind this isn’t how it was to play out.
Chemo, surgery, radiation… it was gone. Now it’s back
FUCK! (sorry Mom)
This is different. I’m lost to don’t know what to do.
I want everyone … to … slow … down.
Let’s not race to the next thing.
Let it wait for us.
Let’s not spread ourselves thin, let’s make it wide.
So what if you are late.
What is it really that we all have to get to?
Where is it that we are going?
And do we really need to hurry?
Stop … Listen … Watch … Breath … Sit.
I love this,
Cleaning for a Reason
I know that we can all say, at some point in our lives, “I have this amazing friend.” My life’s crazy journey crossed the path of another; that I will forever be thanking whom ever I need to for the rest of my life for. Today I cast aside all others and say that no one compares to my friend Colette. And I have some pretty amazing friends! (so temporary apologies to the rest)
On April 6th, Colette got that call that none of us want to get or deserve to get. You have breast cancer. From that moment she went into survival mode like no one I know. (previous post)
On April 17th, with a bottle of wine and the amazing Brenda at Mosiac, Colette, Melissa and I got our haircut and celebrated after with yummy food in The Pearl.
On May 5th she had her first chemo treatment and 4 days later we all walked in the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk.
May 21st a second cut.
May 24th, “Ladies, today is the day… No more hair… Michael shaved the rest of it off! I’ve got a beautiful scarf on, shades and a little sad smile…” And I know that sad little smile won’t last too long or that she will allow herself to let many see it. She might.
It makes the pit of my stomach feel that feeling that is so hard to describe. It’s not empty, it’s not turning, it’s up near my throat. It feels like your arm or leg just after it starts to wake up from being asleep from prolonged unusual pressure, heavy.
I’ve never considered myself a strong person. Although, I do think people think I’m tough. I just am really good at the mask maybe? I don’t know what makes me that way, somewhat closed off? I’ve been amazingly lucky with family and friends to love. With Colette and her family it’s no exception. Her strength carries us all. How will I ever repay her for her friendship?
I’m usually a bit more comfortable writing because I am a firm believer in the standard, write about what you know. I don’t know much about this. After several attempts I’m finding it difficult to feel comfortable because I know nothing about this. Not that I know anything really about the other things I write about here. But at least I feel I have some personal experience with the topics.
So bear with me, while I venture into some uncharted territory from time to time.
That’s Mel, Colette and me, from Christmas at the Krols! Friends indeed, two from a short list of about 6 of my dearest and nearest friends.
Two weeks ago Colette found out that she has breast cancer. I read today that more than 500 woman a day are diagnosed. Wednesday a CT Scan, Thursday the Oncologist, Friday the plan is to cut our hair. More later, and maybe another photo.