Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve, 2010...

...not on a boat yet, maybe not by Christmas Eve 2011, but 2012?

I am not a believer, but that doesn’t mean I don't have things to celebrate during “Religious Holidays.” For me the biggest plus for Christmas is that family gets together. Harder and harder to pull off as each year goes by, but this season, at some point, all three of my daughters, both my Son-in-laws, and all five of my grand kids will be at the same place, (my house) at the same time. (If we ever hope to gather them all on “the boat” well, it will have to be a pretty big boat!)

There is a theme to Christmas, fading though it may be in our increasingly violent and self centered world, that I really like. “Peace on Earth, Goodwill to all…” (I know I changed that last bit. Women and children are as deserving of goodwill as anyone else.)

I have a friend. (Several actually, really!) He is very conservative, eats lunch listening to Rush Limbaugh, has dinner with Glen Beck. He thinks Fox News is actually news. He is also very religious following, (as one might guess) an American Protestant branch of Evangelistic Christianity; one of the “this is a Christian Nation, Jesus loves the NRA, would vote Republican in every election, and will reward you with prosperity if you pray right,” frame of mind. (Well, I’m a little unsure of that last part, maybe you have to do something besides pray right…I’m not really an expert.) If you knew me very well you might assume that we are locked in near mortal, verbal combat every time we cross paths. But here’s the thing; in spite of his rhetoric, in spite of his ideology, he is, in fact, a man of goodwill.

We are not allies. I do not want to live in the world he thinks he wants to build, (part of the reason for moving onto a boat). Oddly enough, he thinks he is being forced to live in the world I would like to build, and is not happy about it either. (Little does he imagine…in my perfect world no one could coerce another person in any way for anything…no one would profit from the labor of another or at the expense of another…ever. And universal civil rights would be exactly that; universal, civil, and rights.) Yet in his day-to-day living he is good for the people around him. He blows a small gasket at the idea of gay marriage, but he would not fire a gay person who worked for him or derail their career in any way. He thinks kids should pray in school, (as if that doesn’t happen before every math test) along with hearing some New Testament readings every morning. But he is horrified at the idea of bombing a mosque or forcing a synagogue to close. He might even believe that the cosmos is only 10,000 years old but, when family or friends get sick he will give them a ride to the hospital. (And it wouldn’t surprise me at all if, sometimes, he helps pay the bill.) I'm not sure why he loves his ideology, though he clearly does. But when it comes to actions, what is good for the person who is in front of him, their body, their feelings and emotions, will be his true guide. Because of that, though we may not be allies, we remain friends.

Anyway, to all people of goodwill, of whatever creed or color, and especially to those who have made the break from land, anchored off whatever beautiful beech you may have found your way to…Merry Christmas!


Latitude 43 said...

Nicely written.
Enjoy the season.
Sodus Point NY

TJ said...

Thanks, I'm glad you stopped by for a read. We've looked at the Morgan 44 and think it is a really nice boat. Once in a while I fly over your part of the world and always think it would be a nice place to explore by sailboat.