Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The One Who Feeds Him

Who doesn’t love a good horoscope or a fortune cookie? Here’s my horoscope for today, (we didn’t eat Chinese last night).

“It’s a fine day to fight for a cause, even a hopeless one. There’s something noble about sacrificing your time and energy for a seemingly futile purpose. Later, you’ll see how meaningful your actions really are.” Holiday Mathis from the Washington Post.

Here’s my guess, Holiday is a perfectly nice person. I do prefer the NY Post horoscope because it has more of an edge, and horoscopes are nothing if not edgy. I have never had a favorite horoscope but it’s a toss up between my two favorite fortunes. My favorite so far, in my whole life, was one that said “ You are a perfect person.” And my next favorite said, “What if the hokey pokey really is what it’s all about.” It’s not clear who writes the fortunes in the cookies, but creating a 12 horoscopes everyday has to be fairly tedious. Holiday is probably exhausted creative and well intentioned and since I use the advice merely as a guide, (the fortune cookies are much better at predictions and wit) that’s enough. However, I also think holiday is probably under thirty and has never worked for a hopeless cause (which one of them isn’t) and additionally has never had any course about the meaning of words. What for example, is a fine day? Is she talking about the weather? Does she mean I will finish all my work on time? Does she know I now can’t get that damn song out of my head? And how do you talk about futility and noble in the same horoscope? Is feeling noble the only motivation for helping to do ‘good’? We Scorpio’s understand and, in fact, revel in both concepts -- but it sounds like Holiday wants more from us than we can give. Do you think I’m overreacting?

Most of my career has been spent in public service. Well maybe some people wouldn’t consider protesting everything from war to civil liberties, to civil rights to women’s equality, service but I can’t find a better category. Teaching, working for the government, trying to change the world, creating 501c3’s. (Those are organizations which are designated as non-profits – and I can guarantee you I have never made a profit,) working for peace and equality—those are for the public good if not public service. But it’s a little complicated even when you think you’re doing a good thing, to make grand statements, about single issues. At least I have some trouble with it. Like immigration—remember we blobbed about that last week. I suggested that the immigrants were going about making change without much thought about the consequences of their protests. Some blobee’s (people who read blobs) commented that they were surprised at the harsh tone of the blobber. So I tried to find something that I thought would best express what average Americans were feeling in reaction to the protests. And I found that Teddy Roosevelt said something in 1907.
"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith, becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American... There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

It is important to keep your tradition and culture alive and ongoing. Can and how does that reconcile with what Teddy says? Every person has to find their own way but I don’t believe any parent wants their children to do it by remaining on the fringe or as a second class citizen. So we need to find a better way—Hey, there’s a futile but noble cause! Let me stop blobbing with this story I heard from my Pal Karen:

An old Cherokee is telling his grandson about the fight that goes on inside all of us. He said it is between wolves.

One is evil: Anger, envy, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt,
resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride....

The other is good: Joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness,
benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith...

The grandson thought about it for a minute, and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied,

"The one you feed."
We’re Just Sayin…


Anonymous said...

I love the "hokey pokey" one. The best. Read in the papers a day or so ago that horoscopes are totally bogus. Well, duh! Yes, they are but we all need to believe there's an explanation for what happens to us.

Iris&David said...

Note to DI in seattle:

Yes, it went thru
Yes, it was read
Yes, it was Holiday
Not sure about all the rest of it, but therein lies the amusement.


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