Am I smart or am I a coward?

This last week has kicked my butt. All over the map. But before we get there a little story.
I spent about three weeks in Thailand in late October and early November shooting a documentary which I hope will be shown in film festivals next year. If you’d like to follow the goings on of that progress please visit http://www.rideoutmovie.com
While I was there I was in the bliss of ignorance as to the news of the world. It was refreshing. I was reminded of the encouragement of writer Tim Ferris when he explained in his book, “The Four Hour Work Week” that we actually don’t need to consume all the news we take in. He, in a nutshell, says if something is important we’ll hear about it. We don’t need it to be the thing we spend all our time watching and listening to.
I admit I did a little checking here and there of Facebook but for the most part I was present in the moment and life just kept moving along. News happened and I, like a child, meandered through life without a care in the world.
The last day I was in Bangkok I decided to look at the news. Two stories caught my attention.
The first was that we landed on a comet! Not we, the Americans… Humanity landed on a comet.
I sat and stared at the words on screen and thought about the aptitude, the excellence, the achievement of humankind to be able to do the unthinkable. I was so happy in that moment for our ability. We landed on a comet. Ten years in the making, we landed on a comet.
Next up, Kim and her Kardashian plastered on the pages of a magazine.
“And we’re back,” I thought. Back to the not so excellent any longer. Not because she posed. I don’t really care about that. News flash, Kim Kardashian has boobs and a butt.  Shocker, right?
“And we’re back” refers to our fascination for such a thing to be so news worthy. Someone posted on Facebook that Kiera Knightly showed her bare chest in a magazine without any photoshopping as a statement against the unrealistic expectations we put on women. Okay, great. Kiera’s breasts are a bit uneven. Most people’s are. Some people likened it to porn.
Settle down y’all.
A while back I posted this. A year ago I posted it. Wow, talk about your full circle.
Then Ferguson. Now, I have to smirk a bit with that last incomplete sentence but only because of the word “then.”
Ferguson happened months ago and many would say it’s been happening for decades. But with the decision from the courts the intetwebs erupted in an onslaught of hurt and pain pressed up against “you people” and  misunderstandings.
My heart hurt. I read things from people I’ve loved and still love that made my body ache and my mind swim in a sea of unknown pain.
Then, black Friday when the very news organizations who made a circus of condemnation out of the Ferguson tragedies made jokes about people fighting in stores for a new blender or something for $29.99.
Fast forward a couple of days as I read post after post from people not wanting to attempt at understanding anything on Facebook and I sat in bed thinking my life was just so much easier when I didn’t know.
Then tonight… Oh, tonight. I had a conversation on the phone with a friend I love very much about the whole mess and he called me out on it. By the end of the conversation I felt embarrassed about my decision. This doesn’t mean I’m back to Facebook. I’m still off but I am going to take what he said to heart.
So I will begin right here and now for the four of you who may happen upon this post in the next few years.
I’m a Christian. I’m a husband. I’m a white guy. I voted for Hillary. I love pork and this confuses some of my Muslim friends. I love talking to them about Allah and sharing with them about why Jesus is the end all be all for me. They respect me and love me and I’d willingly fight for them any day of the week… except Thursdays. I like that to always  be my day. Just kidding.
I read scripture and find deep meaning in it while wrestling with what should be taken literally and what should be seen as poetry or parable. I remember standing at the Grand Canyon and thinking about the poetry in Genesis 1 thinking about all the layers of rock and years it took to be that way and remembered a beautiful quote from a Rabbi that said, “It’s not HOW God made the earth but THAT God made it.”
I find it difficult to balance a God of infinite Love with an eternal punishment made for the billions who don’t call Jesus their Lord and Savior. Especially when the texts about such a place can be read so many different ways.
I have friends who are committed to one another in love who happen to be the same sex. I love them and couldn’t imagine them with anyone else. I trust them with my life.
I love reading the teachings of philosophers from all religions and I am fascinated with the similarities in their texts and the ones I find in the Christian Bible.
I have atheist friends and agnostic friends and sometimes I understand them better than the people I sit with in churches.
I have Christian friends who I know would stand in gaps of injustice at all costs to see everyone treated equally.
I know gun toting folks who stock pile their arms and I’ve gone shooting with them. I don’t own a gun and have come to the conclusion I don’t want to take anyone’s life. Ever.
And tomorrow I turn forty. This may be some sort of crisis of age right now. A cathartic rant which will help me sleep tonight or maybe keep me up ’til morning worrying about how someone might read into something I’ve typed.
So, I’ve ranted on Facebook. I’ve posted things I know others didn’t like reading. I’ve been responsible for posting argumentative replies and I’ve fallen into the vast chasm of I’m right and you’re not!!!
Then there’s twitter and instagram. With Twitter you have 140 characters so you gotta make ‘em count. With instagram I get to see pics of a cool yoga pose or someone’s dog being cute. I know the selfies are prevalent but I can deal. Heck, I’ve been guilty of posting a few myself.
So, I will post here. A place where I get to say what I want and you don’t have to worry about it coming into your news feed.
See you tomorrow, when I’m older and probably not any wiser.
Goodnight thirties, you were good to me. I’ll try harder to not be a coward in my forties. I’ll try to write from the heart and not worry what others think. As for the smarter part, I’ll keep reading them books.


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