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Saturday Overnight Open Thread (12/23/17) There Still Is Time Edition | Main | Sunday Morning Book Thread: 12/24/2017
December 24, 2017

EMT 12/24/17 Christmas Eve Edition

My daughter is almost 4. It is a singular experience to try to explain to her why the Grinch had a change of heart upon hearing the Hoos in Hooville sing even with no presents or ornaments or trees or roast beast.

It is difficult to explain my relationship with God properly, other than to say I decided at a young age to make my way without a direct relationship with Him.

Let me also interject here: I don't mean any of this to be a theological debate; it is merely my own observations based on my own myopic existence.

I have never been angry at God, outside of what in my ignorance I took to be a betrayal that started our estrangement. Angry at myself many times thereafter, certainly: At the root of almost all anger, one must despise one's own choices that led to one's discontent, irrespective of how much one utilizes projection and displacement to alleviate one's sense of guilt.

And now my daughter goes to a Christian preschool because, my life notwithstanding, there is not another institution secular or otherwise that I would entrust her to.

So despite my spiritual distance, I do my utmost to tell her the true meaning of Christmas to the best of my ability, and why it can change even the greenest and meanest of avaricious hearts into one of forgiveness and caring and charity.

All things, good or bad, happen, period. I don't care to say they happen for a definable reason -- it seems to me such reasons are subjective at best if human constructs, and inscrutable altogether if inhuman.

What is important to me is not that we learn some absolute metaphysical truth as a consequence of some experiences, but that we are given the gift to experience an incredible spectrum of things and to then choose our own paths to reconciling those things with our conception of existence.

God, or whatever you use as an analogue short of those that demand absolute obedience, gave us the gift of free will to do precisely that.

I am reminded of that every day with my little girl, quite often to the detriment of my own blood pressure.

But there it is, and there it will always be. How we use our free will to reconcile those experiences with reality and incorporate them into our values and behavior defines the quality of our existence.

No citizens of any country in the history of mankind has enjoyed the latitude to enjoy that gift more than we in the U.S.

Enjoy the bounty that is our lives. Seize the gift and embrace both the freedom and the responsibility that gift bestows equally.

Merry Christmas, my friends.

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posted by krakatoa at 06:00 AM

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