Saturday, April 19, 2014

I can't pray and text at the same time

We live in an increasingly digital and instant everything world.
I remember years ago hearing the question asked, "How often do you check your email?' because of the fear that we were becoming slaves to our computers.
Now that we have smart phones; checking email, Facebook and twitter is continuous,
Our phones call us with a vibration in our pockets like a call to prayer.
It's like the question of how many meals to I eat in a day.  Just one, all day.
People are starting to talk "digital."
Going "off line" no longer means turning off the computer and speaking face to face.  Now it means waiting to speak one on one instead of in a group of people.
One of the fears I have is that by always trying to stay connected, I lose the connections with people in real life, real in person human interaction.  Think of how often we check our phones while talking to someone
Another fear I have is that I lose the connection to myself.
Call it prayer, or meditation, or whatever you wish, but time spent on our spiritual selves is important and has been throughout human existence.
In our obsession to being "connected" let us remember the need to stay connected to ourselves, each other, and whomever we call our Higher Power.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

My Hebrew roots

As an Irish American I trace my heritage back to Ireland, and in my case, Scotland and England.
As an Irish Catholic American, I trace my spiritual roots back to the Middle East, to David, and Moses, and Abraham.

I am as much an Israelite as I am an Irishman.

The Irish story is well known, years of abuse from landlords, a potato famine, and mass migration to America for a new life of hope and freedom.
The Hebrew story is similar, enslaved in Egypt, freed to roam the desert until they finally reached the Promised Land.
The Irish faced discrimination in the country, the Jews faced the gas chambers and concentration camps.
But both have survived, both prevail, and both have done so because of a faith in a God we both share.

This week we celebrate both Holy Week and Passover.  Both speak of love of a God who never abandoned us.
Passover began the Exodus to freedom, a long trail that continues still.
May the God of Abraham bless us all, his children.
Happy Passover, Happy Easter.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani!

Today is Palm Sunday, the beginning of the Christian Holy Week. This week is also Passover.
On Palm Sunday, Jesus of Nazareth, the man Christians believe to be the Jewish messiah, arrived in Jerusalem as a hero.
He would celebrate the Passover meal with his followers, then he would die on a cross.
From hero to executed, all in one week.

Haven't we all felt that way at times?

While on the cross, near death, he would cry out, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
This man whom many believe to be both God and man, would have at least a brief wavering of his faith.

Haven't we all felt that way at times?

So many lessons from this week.
Perhaps one is that we all feel like giving up at times, that life is just too hard, that we can go from hero to persecuted so quickly.

Haven't we all felt that way at time?

On Easter, Jesus would rise from the dead.  He would again spend time with his followers, and when it was time for him to leave this world, he would not promise them or us an easy life, but he did promise that he would be with us always.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Finding time to write

I'm not sure if I've ever written a blog about the process of writing.
What makes one person want to sit with pen and paper, or at the keyboard, and put a piece of themselves out there for anyone who wants to see.
The explosion of social media proves that there are many who are drawn to it.
Others do it solely for themselves, in journals and diaries.
Both ways serve many purposes.
It's a form of self expression, like painting or singing.
It's a platform for one's beliefs.
It's a way of internally clarifying one's thoughts and feelings.
Sometimes, when I sit to write, I don't know where the writing will take me.  I don't know what the next sentence will be, until I write the one before.
Sometimes, I do know where I want to start and where I want to end, and the interesting part is getting from A to B.
I appreciate those who have elevated writing to an art form, those who's words are poetry, even if they are prose.
I also admire those who write often, such as those who write a daily blog.
My friend Bill Kenny is like that.
One of the best things for me is that writing forces me to slow down, to look inside, and to remember that as busy as I am, as important as all the tasks of my daily life may be, the world will go on if I take the time to write, or rest, or enjoy.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The next Wisconsin?

Yesterday morning Michelle Hayes, one of our eboard members, and I attended a gathering of several unions in Middletown.
Present were four guests from Wisconsin, who told of how in one election, Wisconsin went from being a pro-union, pro-worker state to one that stripped workers of even the right to collectively bargain.

Last night, our VP Melisa Hunter, delegate Dave Misiaszek, and I celebrated with our L+M brothers and sisters, on their victory over a hospital administration committed to doing the same to them.
Present there were one US Senator, one Lieutenant Governor, one state senator, two state representatives, the mayor of the city and several aldermen.

In Connecticut, our elected officials believe in a strong middle class, in Wisconsin, they do not.

Not so long ago, Wisconsin was like Connecticut.

The question is: Will Connecticut, and other progressive states, become the next Wisconsin?

Big money people spend billions to convince voters that unions are bad, that people receiving public pensions are bad, that people on food stamps are bad, that immigrants our bad, and so on.
This same big money underpays their workers, and denies them heath care insurance, which forces low income workers to need food stamps and government insurance.
They take advantage of immigrants by paying them less than minimum wage and providing poor and unsafe working conditions, because they can get away with it.

In my opinion these big money people line their pockets while relying on taxpayers to foot the bills they should be paying.
They are unwilling to accept their ethical responsibilities.
They divide us with distractions on hot button issues, so that they can continue lining of their pockets.

We have an important election this fall.
Please register.
Please vote.
Please remember, that there is nothing more important to our country's future, than a strong middle class.
Connecticut online voter registration link