Saturday, May 24, 2008

Living (off topic, but not really)

I am not a traditionally religious person at all, but this story of a street preacher in Oakland just blows me away. One thing that cancer taught me was the importance of living fully and authentically, with courage, following the deepest part of your soul. I also feel that there must be some meaning, some way that we build something that will outlive us--whether through creative works, or academic articles (me), or through the impacts we can have on others. Well, this guy is like the poster child. I just find it very moving.

Then there's this piece from the NY Times, which also moved me on several levels. First, it's an echo of The Wire, my favorite TV show, which depicts the complexities and heartbreaking realities of the life of a modern city. The show and the article both focus on Baltimore, on inner-city kids who don't have much of a future to hope for and about whom most of the world doesn't really care. The article, which is about a lottery for inner-city kids to get into a new prep school, reminded me also of cancer--of that lottery of luck in which your wheel spins agonizingly and stops, the black ball dropping into that slot and a year of surgery and chemo and radiation and weakness and hair loss becoming your prize. Such random fates distinguish the blessed from the forgotten. I got cancer, and lost that particular lottery; generally, in life, I'm quite blessed, and have the kinds of fortune that others might dream about. There's nothing at all fair about any of it, and nothing understandable.


Anonymous said...

I'll be "sitting down" and reading these articles shortly. TYTB for providing my morning reading. And ILYMTYLM.

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Gordon said...

Thanks for the link to the street preacher. We need to find a "meaning" in life.

Academic prowess gave lasting meaning for Socrates. But what about more ordinary mortals?

In my youth I designed two patented ideas for our Concorde supersonic jet. But their flying life was less than 40 years, I won't be remenbered for those ideas. I find a deaper meaning in knowing Jesus Christ and living for him.

Dr. Franciso Contreras at the Oasis of Hope Clinic in Mexico reckons if he had to reduce his cancer treatment program to just one therapy it would be prayer. He has a freely downloadable ebook here:

Morgan said...

Thank you for the blog and the part winning "the lottery" is a good one. I have also read “steet peacher” and find the meaning of life.