If you are like me, your mind jumps a lot--a thought leads to another thought. Something I see or read jogs a memory, which in turn reminds me of something else. It's become something of an art form in the literary world.
I was reading the newspaper this morning about the Iranian conflict. Really, I don't know what to think or how to think about the whole matter. Part of me is heartened to see a people who seek change through peaceful protest. Part of me wonders, however, if the elections really were authentic. Can we ever really know in a democratic election whether every single vote was counted correctly? But, what do I know? Seriously. All I can tell is that people are angry and people want to see something different, and some are dying as a result of letting their voices be heard. What can I do, thousands of miles away from that different world tucked away in a tiny pocket of the US, but pray...pray for peace, to ask God to bring about in our hearts seeds of love and compassion towards all of our brothers and sisters? For an end to violence, for an increase in wisdom--that good may come from all of this.
I am just one man, concerned about his neighbors on the other side of the world.
As I continued reading, I came across an article about gang violence on Long Island. An innocent 15-year-old stabbed to death, for no other reason than that he may have been thought to be a member of a rival gang. A family shattered, a best friend wondering why. He was 8 years younger than me.
Even within the same country, the same city, so many of us are worlds apart.
That thought reminded me of my visit back home during Christmas. I went with my family to visit my Auntie's grave. The cemetery was strikingly radiant and festive during at that time, with nativity sets, bright flowers, candy cane decorations, strewn across the entire place. A can of Budweiser sat at the head of one the graves. I was reminded of this time because I was struck by the birth dates of some of these tomes--they were born around the same time as me. Most of them had Latino last names, and I could only help but wonder...
The article later talked about the importance of education, which somehow reminded me of the holiday that we celebrate today. My parents worked extremely hard for my siblings growing up, wanting the best for their children and striving to put all 5 of us through Catholic education. When I was younger, I carried the real burden of success, and I honestly hated them for placing it upon me. As I've grown older, however, I recognize and see the great, although imperfect, love that my parents had for us, of working their tails off so that we could have a better future. And, indeed, all of us are doing quite well and flourishing, and I know that would not have been possible without their sacrifice. So, I am very grateful for my parents, and I thought I would recognize them both since I didn't write anything for Mother's Day.
Well, that's most of what has been percolating in my mind this morning. A pretty normal day.