Okay, so most people know how I am about remembrance type days. Memorial Day is no exception. Its a day when most people don't even think about why the holiday exists, they just go out and do what they do. I honestly don't expect much more than that from the general population. Most are too wrapped up in their own little worlds to care about anyone else. And the service members who've given everything for something they believe in would probably not worry too much either. Those of us in the military who've lost friends, know this is part of what we signed up for. But what I wish, more than anything else, is on this day, you remember their families. The ones that have to continue life without their heroes at home. The kids who will never get to hug Mom or Dad again, the parents that will never get to hug their children, the spouses, especially the spouses, who have not only lost their worlds, but must continue to be the strength for the children, driving on as best they can, with broken hearts, broken dreams, and broken love. I've lost friends and loved ones in my life, everyone has. But the pain the spouses and families bear is beyond my imagination. They continue on, doing what they must, while in their minds and hearts is a void that cannot be filled. So this weekend, send a prayer to the lost heroes that have given their lives, and then give hugs to the nearest military families you can find, and thank them, hug them, buy them a drink, whatever you feel is right. Its Memorial Day.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Monday, May 9, 2011
So, got onto the subject of religion the other day with a friend. We were discussing the many forms and ideas associated with various religions across time, and the world as well. It occurs to me that while I may not believe in many of them, their base ideas are quite similiar. All of them seem, at their very basest core, to be about being good people, taking care of each other, and living life in the best of ways. It astounds me, though, on how, when they expand on these base ideals, they go so far as to reach the point of insanity. Intolerance of others, violence towards those with different views, destruction of all other religions for no other reason than total control, its just crazy. Now, I'll never say that religion is wrong, nor is it a bad thing. On the contrary, I think it serves a wonderful purpose for most people, and I am a huge proponent of leaving each to their own beliefs. For me, however, I find it difficult to fully accept many of the religions. I've seen enough research, delved into a few of them, and know enough history to know that many of them simply added many of their teachings, values, requirements, etc, for control. Many of them simply started with a base, borrowed ideas and ideals from various other religions, and thus was formed an entire church. If you can get people to accept something, its amazing the type and amount of control you have over them. Going back in history, you see many cultures that accepted things like polyamory, bisexuality, homosexuality, idol worship, polytheism, and other practices, as not only acceptable, but completely normal parts of existance. But along comes one person that has issue, they form a religion, get a few followers, and BAM, suddenly what is normal is completely unacceptable. Nowadays, we have battles over marriage, sexuality, personal freedoms, who is deserving of what rights, its crazy. Why are there such huge battles over what is the correct form of thinking? Venturing back to religion, I'll use this example. I subscribe to the views of a religion called Asatru. It bases itself on something called the 9 Noble Virtues. There is no heaven or hell, and no sin. There is right and wrong. But, what is right depends on the circumstances, and the way you handle it. What is right in one instance can be totally wrong in the next. But you're judged on how you handle each, as well as your motives. As well, for us, God is not an omnipotent being, he is our ancestor. On the day of judgment, we shall atone for our actions to our family, and they will decide if we have earned entrance into Valhalla. But this also focuses us on this life, not the next. We are not concerned with the hereafter. Many would call it blasphemy, heresy, or other things. But, its my view. Right or wrong, I'll not change it, nor will I tell someone else its better than theirs. It fits my life, and my way of thinking. I do my best to accept people for what they are. I don't base my opinion on their religion, nor their views of the world. As a matter of fact, I find it quite wonderful to be able to have discussions with people whose views differ from mine. Its a dangerous thing at times, to be sure. But finding someone who can discuss their views without getting defensive is an awesome experience. Discussing differing viewpoints, why we believe them, what brought us to them, and just everything associated with them, I have found to be a wonderful experience. I've discussed religions with many, such as a Catholic Chaplain, a Rabbi, Wiccans, Muslims, Buddhists, and a few others. We had wonderful conversations, and I'm proud to call many of them friends to this day. I've always thought if you just put the personal crap away, listen a little, you'd be amazed what you find. But, alas, most of humanity is emotionally driven, and I don't see it happening on a large scale within the next 5 or 6 generations. Too bad for us.