Now that I’m in such a better place when it comes to my overall outlook on life, I think about what it would be like to be in a good healthy relationship. I’ve definitely encountered a lot of women lately, many of whom I would be very interested in pursuing. But the impetus just isn’t there. It’s kind of hard to pin point exactly what it is that is or isn’t working for me. I’m definitely physically attracted. I just feel emotionally distant. I need to finish rebuilding the foundation of trust, honesty, and confidence within myself before I can move on to being able to share that with someone else.
I originally posted this on my blog last year. My sentiments have remained the same. Hopefully this will give you something to think about.
This is always for me a very conflicting and intriguing time of the year. I am not a big fan of audacious, showy, choreographed outpourings of emotion. They reek of insincerity to me. So every time I see someone raising a flag or writing “god bless America” on a hat on September 11th, I begin to wonder if that person is only doing it today, because they are supposed to remember today, or if they do it everyday, because they actually do remember. It just always strikes me very viscerally.
For some people, September 11th strikes very close to home. I had a friend in high school who upon hearing the news in class frantically called to see if his mom was OK. She was. An alumni from my high school was on one of the planes. So I know that even discussing some of the frank realities regarding this event, especially it’s relationship to the concept of god and religion, becomes even touchier than it normally is. It would certainly be easier not to think about it at all if possible. However I do not have that luxury of being able to not think.
The reason why this is so intriguing to me is a certain attitude that I have encountered time and time again. The idea that “God was looking out for X” where X can stand for an individual, your family, your friends, loved ones, this country, etc. So whenever someone uses that phrase, I get this really uneasy feeling in my stomach. Hypothetical situation: “I’m so glad God had his eye on my uncle and let him get back to his family safe and sound that day.” This statement, and ones similar to it, indicate to me that god does something really petty. He plays favorites. Why must he favor one person’s existence over another’s? That’s the kind of behavior in which human beings engage. Isn’t god supposed to be above this?
This then leads to something else in my mind. Suppose god had intended to look out for everyone, then nothing would have happened that day at all. If his goal was to make sure people got home safe that day, those planes would’ve landed at airports and not in buildings. But then I guess getting people home safe would’ve required eliminating all of the other precarious aspects of human life. What good is not getting hit by a car if you get hit by the bus in the next lane?
This may seem like I am trivializing what role god plays. I’m not. I’m just taking one of the most familiar aspects of his being, the role of god as the protector of his loved ones, supposedly all of us since he loves us all.
Take for example the story of Gunther Link. You are probably not familiar with it. That’s OK. It happened in Austria, within this week. Gunther had been trapped in an elevator. He prayed for his release and safety. As soon as he was pulled out of the elevator, he was so overjoyed, and being a very devout Catholic, that he immediately went to church to thank god for getting him out of the elevator. In doing so, he got a little too attached to a stone pillar at the church, which proceeded to fall onto him and crush him to death. Here’s the link if you’re interested.
Why does this story matter? Because it highlights the absurdity of believing that god is looking out for you (aside from the fact that god most likely doesn’t exist and believing in anything related to him and his actions is a little ridiculous)? You can see the parallels already. There has to be two outcomes here. Either god is looking out for you but he does a really shitty job or there is no god and you need to be careful. Granted, even if you’re careful, there are things that are outside of your control. That is the nature of life. I suppose I could fly if I had wings, but I don’t have wings. That’s not under my control. So you have to adjust your life accordingly based on the fact that life is not under your control and not be so needlessly self-serving and solipsistic.
So before you go running around thanking and praising god for giving you or someone you love a second chance, stop for a second and think about this: Would you say that in the presence of someone who actually did lose a loved one on September 11th? What about them? Were their loved ones not worthy of a second chance from god? Or could you quietly admit that there probably is no god to do any saving or protecting, that what happened that was terribly unfortunate, and provide condolences and sympathy? I’m going with the latter.