I’ve Got Better Things To Do

A couple of summers ago I had the great fortune to be able to help a friend of mine a few hours a week with her Montessori pre-school. As the eldest of six kids growing up, loving children and not having my own, this experience was a welcome break from my usual high-tech reality. What so amazed me was that each of these 20 or so 3 and 4 year olds was a vast and extraordinary universe in and of him and herself. All of humanity’s emotions, joys, despairs, and conflicts were played out every day in our little classroom.

My favorite student (and as much as teachers try otherwise, we all have our favorites) was a 4 year-old girl named Zoe. She sparkled with intelligence and enthusiasm and displayed unusual grace and maturity for her age. Everyone loved Zoe. So I was surprised one day when, during lunch, she asked to sit next to another student, Matthew (not his real name), and he ignored her, not letting her in. He continued to ignore her that day, even when Zoe asked him point blank, “Matthew, my feelings are hurt that you won’t play with me. What did I do wrong? Why won’t you play with me?”

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City Life

Last night at 9:00 pm a friend of mine was attacked while walking up Grant Street in North Beach. My friend is 6′ 2″, over 200 lbs, and a black belt martial artist. He was struck from behind in the head, fell to the ground, and was repeatedly hit and kicked in the head by several people. He never saw his assailants.

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The Vatican has better things to do

The Vatican recently (Feb 2003) released a tome condemning everything remotely connected with “New Age”. Apparently some group of researchers in Rome has been studying the Age of Aquarius for several years and has chosen this time, when Catholics world-wide have had their faith in the church rocked by widespread sexual abuse scandals, to denounce all progressive thought. Included in the list of baddies are yoga, acupuncture, transpersonal psychology, holistic healing, meditation, EST, Esalen, the Findhorn gardens, and Jung, all determined to be fundamentally anti-Christian. Absurd really. Galileo all over again.

A woman once asked a Tibetan Lama, how do I know if my spiritual practice is working? He replied, “it is working if you are becoming a softer, more gentle, more compassionate human being. If not, it’s not working.” This I think is the essence of living a Christian life. Practices that help develop this outcome are what should be encouraged, not condemned by Catholic leadership.