Perhaps what I like best about religion is the dictionary it creates for its proponents. I do love seeing people of like minds acknowledge each other, and create belief and understanding, merely by using common terms.
Of course, this is its major drawback, as well: the ease of labeling and criticizing non-believers by virtue of this common tongue. In the place of “religion” in the first sentence, substitute any culture you like.
Listening to a popular morning show during the one-hour commute this morning, I realized two things. First of all, I dislike traffic. What is normally a fifteen-minute drive turned into an hour-long fiasco. Whatever. Everyone deals with it. Secondly, I dislike listening to strangers talk about boring things. The key word in that sentence is “strangers”; if I talk about boring things, or if someone I like talks about boring things, I’m still likely interested. Lately I’ve been unusually irritated by standing behind people in lines who are talking about their lives. This morning it was the inanity of this radio show, the hosts babbling on and on about the differences in their shopping habits, which of course they distilled into “men and women shop differently” – ooo, how thought-provoking. This same subject has been treated in eight different Oprah’s club brand “chicken soup for the soul” self-help diatribes and “Gross Generalizations for Dummies” already. Move on.
So I switched to NPR, as I have been doing lately, and although the reporters are still strangers, the subject matter is rarely boring. To me.
Only five days between now and my birthday. Maybe someday I’ll get tired of celebrating it. Not this year. Bring on the candles!