New Beginnings

November 25, 2012 at 11:20 pm (Uncategorized)

The political season is over, I’ve moved all my stuff back to Camas from Moscow, and I’ve spent the past week in Seattle doing family things for Thanksgiving. Now that all of that is over, tomorrow really seems like the first day of the next chapter in my life. Definitely feels odd. On the job hunt for the first time in a while with all the nervousness about finding something that I can enjoy/is going to advance my career hopes/will let me make a reasonable amount of money.

I feel as though this step is a sort of inverse of leaving for college–the excitement I felt next big adventure has been replaced by apprehension. There’s no discernible difference between my life of the past year and half (out of school, working, living on my own) and my life going forward (outside of being back at home for a little while before I move into my own place), but for whatever reason I don’t have that sense of excitement I felt back then. Maybe I was just naive–but I think the largest part is the feeling of permanence that has settled over me. Life is here, and there’s no getting around it. No more being insulted by living in academia, or being in Moscow (which can be its own little world).


I feel like the words I want to say are just rattling around in my brain, but that this is all coming out as gibberish. It’s a first step, though, and that’s what the next bit will be about. First steps into the next big step. I’m not going to write well after spending no time writing, and that’s just the way it is.
Better topics to come?


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A Thought or Two about the elections

November 5, 2012 at 10:55 am (Uncategorized)

With the elections tomorrow, my job is pretty much done. We’ve executed the plan, and outside of GOTV efforts tonight and tomorrow (which mainly involves making a ton of phone calls) it’s over. Just time to wait for the results to come in and see what the people have decided.
I guess the first thing I want to say is that I love all of you, my democratic, republican, even my libertarian friends. I love you because of and despite your political views, and I’ll be the first to say that your political leanings cannot and should not be the full measure of you as  a person. Two quotes:

“If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.”
―Pema Chodron

“Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival.”
―The Dalai Lama
None of that changes because an election is here. These are some of the guiding principles I use in deciding who to vote for, but America is a beautiful country because we all have the right to our opinions, and the right to voice those opinions through voting, through activism, and by having a dialogue with our friends and neighbors.
I would hope that tomorrow you would look into your hearts and think about who is best for America, and that you would vote for them. I would hope that rationality and thoughtfulness would enter your decision, and that you will love and support the next group of politicians we elect. If Mitt Romney is elected president I will undoubtedly disagree with him on a great many issues, but I will support him because he is my president. I will try to make my voice heard on important issues and hope that he governs well. I would prefer that Barack Obama is re-elected, but if the outcome is not as I hope I will not let hate cloud my judgement.
I have many friends voting in Washington. I know many of you have voted–I have myself. Vote by mail is awesome. I think it’s worthwhile to reflect on the choice we have in our state to legalize gay marriage, and I can’t help but think about the homily Father Vogel gave at mass last night. The reading was about the section in Mark where one of the scribes asks Jesus what the most important commandment is. He answers “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
I don’t know about God–He might be up there, He might not. I am agnostic on that issue. What I cannot deny is the truth of Jesus’ second statement. Love your neighbor as yourself. I have so many friends, so many people I love, who are gay. And I cannot help but think what I would feel like if my love was treated as second-class, if expressing my sexuality and humanity was somehow considered sinful. If I am truly loving my neighbors as I am loving myself, how can I in good faith deny them what I want one day–A family, equality, the right to live without being judged. The right to the pursuit of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness–in whatever form that takes.
I would hope today that some of my friends look past their prejudices and see the Bible for what it is–a wonderful book that was written by flawed human beings. It certainly may be divinely inspired, but it is full of slavery and treating women as property–things which we now recognize as wrong.
The arc of history is leading towards justice, and I am confident that no matter which political party takes control of the country people will eventually see the light of love and truth. We shouldn’t have to wait, though–we should try to correct injustices now and alleviate the suffering of so many who see in our rejection a rejection of the beautiful persons they are.
Vote with your heart tomorrow, vote with love, and think about what you believe. Think about Jesus, about the Buddha, think about the kind of world you want to live in and the core values you find important.
Then call me and we can get a cup of coffee and solve the world’s problems.

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