Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Happy (?) Ash Wednesday

I was listening to the Ron Reagan show on KTLK-AM yesterday, and he interviewed CNET writer Lindsey Turrentine, who asked whether people should give up their social media for Lent. Today, February 25, is Ash Wednesday.

I am an atheist, and of course I do not do things to please an imaginary god. But I did ask myself what would motivate me to give up a little joy (like chocolate, tea, soda, or wine -- writing, reading, art, photography and Two Dogs are BIG joys and are off the table) for forty days.

If it was a matter of life and death, I would. Good old cash would do the trick, too -- oh, say, a million dollars (I might settle for $100,000).

Seriously, I wonder if I am missing something by not making a personal sacrifice. It makes me question my resolve and self-discipline. But that is a common criticism from those who believe to those who don't -- "Your life isn't as meaningful."

If you live your life doing no harm -- or as little harm as possible in the act of surviving -- I feel you have fulfilled your obligations to humanity. Everything else -- charity, heroism, good works -- is gravy. The hermit hiding at the top of the hill does more for the common good than the guy next to you in traffic who makes his vehicle (and yours) vibrate with the latest from Jay Dogg or 50-Z or the rapper du jour. (Strangely enough, you never hear Glenn Gould on the street.)

Today is the also second anniversary of the day Two Dogs and I met, at Felix Continental Cafe in Orange (go there, if you're close, for fine Cuban and Mediterranean specialties at a good price!) He is a gift in my life, a gift to cherish and think of always with gratitude and love. Love is the real miracle in life.

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