I imagine that when man first decided a long, long time ago that there might just be a higher power that needed to be mollified in some way, he decided that paying homage by himself to whomever or whatever was not going to be enough so he decided to recruit one or more additional people to join him and ergo the worlds first religion came into being. Once there were enough people in his "religion" he and his friends decided that anyone who was not participating as they were, had somehow transgressed, and the world has been "screwed up" ever since.
One of my own personal initial rebellions was against organized and orthodox Judaism. I gave that up when I was about fifteen when I told my Father that I did not believe in God and if I did, I would not participate in what I called "the mumbo jumbo" or "show business" aspect of talking to an invisible God in a language that I did not understand being guided by a man who learned about the rituals and all of that stuff in Rabbinical school.
Boy was my Dad ever upset with me. I don't think he cared that much, but rather knew he would have to deal with his very orthodox and very strong willed Mother when he had to explain to her what was going on.
It was well over 20 years ago that my then "new age" and self designated "spiritual" wife decided that we all were to go to a plateau overlooking the Pacific in Malibu with a large number of kindred souls in order to experience the Harmonic Convergence. This had to do with some sort of planetary alignment.
The event had been predicted by author Tony Shearer in his book Lord of the Dawn. The date marked the end of twenty-two cycles of 52 years each, or 1,144 years in all. The twenty-two cycles were divided into thirteen "heaven" cycles, which began in AD 843 and ended in 1519, when the nine "hell" cycles began, ending 468 years later in 1987.
All of this is/was big time mumbo jumbo to me. I did not understand it then nor do I understand it today.
Believing in the adage that "it is easier to ride a horse in the direction that it is going", I agreed to do whatever I was told to do in this regard by my wife. We spent about six hours with a gazillian other people from about midnight until dawn. No one said anything and no one did anything. We all just sat on our blankets sharing the nothingness of the moment.
As the eastern sky began to glow, most of the people quietly formed a huge circle in the middle of the field and silently greeted the sunrise. It was a meaningful moment for some and a meaningless but calm moment for me.
Cynic that I am/was, it was all very nice until the magic of the happening went away, taken by a woman who decided to organize everything by telling people where to go, to form smaller circles, begin to chant, and such. The sweetness of the moment was gone and people drifted away, much to the chagrin of the organizing lady.
A recent New York Times editorial ran the following.
"... Since 2002, victims' family members and friends have joined with community nonprofits, faith-based anniversary of the attacks with useful volunteer service. Under a provision of the larger national service measure signed in April by President Obama, Friday will be the first 9/11 anniversary to be commemorated as a National Day of Service and Remembrance."
"The simple goal, explains David Paine, a co-founder of MyGoodDeed, an important mover behind this initiative, is to pay tribute in a forward-looking way to those lost and injured in the terrorist attacks and to the ongoing sacrifices of members of the armed forces. By joining with those already planning to take all or part of the day to aid their chosen cause or charity, Americans can show their patriotism and help recapture the spirit of community that saw so many people volunteer to help the families who lost loved ones in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 horror."
Not everything we do needs to be orchestrated and organized.
I do not need Mr. Paine nor do I need the New York Times to tell me what I need to do to "...show my patriotism." This in a way is a "feel good" suggestion not too dissimilar to the countless email messages that request people to do something or other or their pinkie will fall off. Unlike Mr. Paine, I will support members of our Armed Forces my way and do not need MyGoodDeed to advise me on "when and how" to do this.
The editorial went on to say:
"We find it baffling that some commentators on the right are criticizing this call to service as somehow inappropriate and soft on terrorism. They have it backward. What is truly inappropriate is to suggest that there is something wrong with devoting a day to helping out at a food pantry, working with schoolchildren or other volunteer activity destined to make our nation stronger. Showing the nation's strength, resilience and unity is the best way to stand up to terrorists of all kinds."
I too object to the "organized" day devoted to anything. Even though I do not hang out with those "on the right", the Times is trying to "organize" the moment and tell its readers what to do, or more accurately tell them that what they are all doing is OK.
I wonder why everything ends up being organized by people who do not seem to "just do it" and need to organize others to join with them to "do it together."
LET US PRAY.
Now swiftly changing gears and moving along.
The extremists in our Congress need to stop behaving like uneducated and uncaring people. Wanna speak about organizing stuff how about the following?
The President speaking to our Congress about health care in our country is NOT A PARTISAN ISSUE yet the Republicans behaved like 11 year olds who got together before the speech and agreed that whatever the President said was to be greeted with stony silence and disdain.
He was not asking the Congress to fund abortion on demand or have condoms passed out at pre-school assemblies. He was suggesting that it would be a good thing if every American had access to medical services. Now how revolutionary is that?
The way the Republicans acted was as if the President was trying to nationalize all industries and impose socialized medicine on us all.
They could have taken the opportunity to cheer the President and his plans and look good to the populace and returned to their obstructionist ways in congress.
They appeared like spoiled petulant children.
Now how shameful is that?
I am organizing a huge event to celebrate Arbor Day at the Forum and we will all hold hands, hum, and sway together to honor "plants".
Please come and bring fertilizer.
In any event, if you do not forward this message to at least five people in the next five minutes, all of your nose hairs will fall out!
And if they do, it will serve you right!