Five things I encountered today that were interesting, educational, beautiful, edifying or that I otherwise found to be…well, good. None of these are promotions and I do not receive any benefit from sharing them. I just like them.
This was a sad weekend for the world. Terror attacks in Lebanon, Iraq, and Paris that killed and injured hundreds, and since then scattered reports of acts of violence again innocent Muslims in other countries. Presidents Hollande’s declaration that France will wage a war of retaliation without pity made my blood run cold, as did the swift politicizing of the tragedy to promote everything from the pro-gun lobby to Islamophobia to banning refugees.
I fear the inevitable escalation by the West which will only made things worse for Muslims here and abroad, as well as for the rest of us. I don’t know what the answer is, but it’s not what we’ve been doing, that’s clear. I hope our leaders can find wisdom instead of vengeance and anger to carry us forward. I’m sorry for the solemn tone on a Monday morning, but there are still good things to be found in the world, big and little.
1) Although a few men did very awful things on Friday, many more people in Paris and beyond showed their kindness and courage amidst the tragedy. Here are a few stories, and I’m sure even more will be forthcoming.
2) In a moving show of solidarity against a different kind of religious fundamentalism, approximately 3,500 people resigned from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints yesterday, just blocks from where I live. This mass resignation was primarily in protest of new church policies declaring thos in same sex marriages to be apostates, and their refusal to baptize children of gay parents unless they publicly repudiate their parents’ relationships. Many were queer, but many more were friends and family of LGBT members who felt the church is making them choose between faith and family.
3) For various reasons in addition to the world news this weekend, I felt like I needed a stiff drink. I turned to my favorite prohibition-era cocktail, The Sidecar. Here’s how to make a perfect Sidecar. Just make sure you use good brandy, not wood alcohol – the quest for authenticity can be taken too far sometimes.
4) Feeling the need for some perspective? The universe goes on regardless of whatever we do to each other down here. Our own solar system has just been vastly enlarged. A new dwarf planet has been discovered, nearly three times as far away from the sun as Pluto. Our own neighborhood is so much bigger than we can even understand, and so much more wonderous.
5) Sometimes the right song can help. Or the right Gem. Nothing helps get me through better than Garnet’s song “Stronger Than You” from Steven Universe. There will always be hate in the world, what matters is our response to it.