Friends, Family, and Loved Ones.

As we prepare for this Memorial Day; a time to honor and thank all of those who sacrificed their lives to assure that our American society could continue, I would like to take a few minutes to propose a little thought experiment.

My purpose is to cast neither blame nor judgement but rather to inspire contemplation and encourage conscious choice in our celebratory behavior.

Many of us will gather in groups, Monday, to pay tribute to our fallen ancestors. Imagine you are there, in that gathering now, well before you actually arrive. Think about this example, and let your conscience be the guide to your personal behavior.

Picture in your mind, the celebratory environment you plan. Imagine the size of the crowd. Think about the personalities of the people with whom you will be gathering. Consider their occupations and the number of people they must interact with daily and the closeness of those interactions. Contemplate, based on those factors, how many of the people gathered will be wearing masks and how many will not. Honestly and fearlessly reflect on whether you or your immediate family will be masked or unmasked. Do you have that image firmly in your mind?

Now comes the hard part- please read the remainder with an open mind and do not assume any prejudice!

Imagine that at the culmination of the celebration, a time comes for everyone in the crowd to draw a handgun and fire all rounds straight up, into the air- kind of a all guns salute to the fallen. Appropriate, since we are honoring those who fell in battle to assure our freedom.

Thinking back of the image you formed earlier of your holiday crowd, imagine that all those wearing masks are firing blanks and all those without are firing live rounds.

Ask yourselves, in all honesty, would you wish that you and your family, friends, and loved ones were also wearing military helmets or had, even, chosen to celebrate somewhere else?

Haste, Yet Not Wasted

Oh! My wild cherry blossom,

In your haste, you’re doomed to fail

By booming so far out of season.

You’ll bear no fruit for man or bird.

Did you not know it’s winter now?

It’s nearly Christmas! That’s absurd!

But never fear, my flowery friend,

Your wild haste is far from wasted

For in this frigid winter place

You’ve brought a smile to this grim face.

An Electronic Model for Humanity

Holiday greetings to all!

UPS delivered to my son, today, his Christmas present. Nine boxes, 21 items, all electronics, and all totally useless. It will only be through patience, diligence, persistence, and great luck that these 21 items will come together into an awesome new computer.

As I look at this giant pile of boxes and contemplate the effort and the familial bonding ahead, I am struck by the similarity between this project and building a human community. All of these things are interrelated but without each other they are, individually, totally useless. In this way, they are quite like people. Each of us, has a purpose to serve, a mission to accomplish, and actions that we need to take in this life. Whatever that purpose may be, it require the interaction, assistance, and participation of other people to have any lasting meaning. In short without other people, we, like these electronic devices, are incapable of fulfilling our purpose and are thus, totally useless.

So, in this holiday season, this wordprocessing program has this to say to all of you out there: I need you, motherboard. I need you, CPU. I need you, sound card. I need you, video card. I need you, hard drive. I need you, ram. I need you, power supply. Without you, I can accomplish nothing.

Thank you all, for being other indispensable components of this amazing thing we call humanity. May we all work together, harmoniously, toward something spectacular!