Why do people hate California? In a recent poll the most hated state in the Union is California. Is it the weather? Is it movie stars? Is it that we have the largest ocean lapping at our shores? That we are thinkers? The 9th Circuit Court? Fabulous clothes? Is it because we have fewer children living in poverty than the rest of the nation? Maybe “hate” is the wrong word to use. Maybe it’s jealousy. But that’s a discussion for another time I suppose. Meanwhile, back at the ranch (this is California after all) we are in Day 4 of Lent (how’s that for a segue?).
The Reading for today comes from Isaiah. How come guys in the old days were wiser than us? They seem to have a better grasp on how to live full lives of hope. In my next life, I plan to be Elijah and fly around in a chariot of fire and never die and say sage stuff all the time. Anyway here is a sample from today’s readings:
“If you remove from your midst oppression,
false accusation and malicious speech;
If you bestow your bread on the hungry
and satisfy the afflicted;
Then light shall rise for you in the darkness,
and the gloom shall become for you like midday;” (Isaiah 58)
Without making a generalization across the board, I believe many of us have bad days. Maybe today is a bad day. Or yesterday. I use the word “bad” to indicate a day which for whatever reason has started with grumpy thoughts. Yesterday was a good/bad/good day for me. (Up and down,like Romney’s poll numbers) The good part is when I get to go to the language school in the morning to teach “newcomers” how to survive living in America by learning English. Since I started at the school in November I have taught, Turks, Chinese, Saudis, Congolese, Thais, Russians and everyone in between. No matter what kind of a day I’m having the students always boost me up. They try so hard to learn our crazy language and are in good humor about it. I admire them for their courage and humbled every day by their progress. The ages in my class room vary between 13 and 42. We laugh a lot. That is always good.
Then, of course, the bad dip. After school yesterday I caught sight of a sign, which I have seen before on TV showing Obama with a Hitler moustache. Stuff like that bugs me. Yeah, yeah yeah free speech and everything. I went over to the table and asked the woman who was handing out literature if she understood the meaning of the sign in terms of history. They were Lyndon Larouche followers. Remember him? You can check out the picture that disturbs here (but only if you must). That was the bad part of the day kinda like the first part of Isaiah’s quote. After a few words I realized that I was chatting with a history-challenged individual (challenged meaning no grasp of history…sort of like the thought processes of the Republican Party). As “the light rose in the darkness” I realized that I was wasting my time trying to enlighten the un-enlighten-able. I think I was more upset at myself for all the wasted energy I spent on these silly people. I drove home and texted with my daughter to make things better. The gloom became as midday.
I realized that there are a bunch of ignorant people out there and there are a bunch of dumb people out there. The former group can be instructed and through discussion come to an understanding like learning English. The latter group wouldn’t know the truth if it bit them on the ass and like fundamentalists one is wasting one’s time trying to convince them that maybe they should revisit their long-held beliefs.
and so it goes…