Sunday, June 9, 2013
In truth I am nothing more than a Dogtag Catholic. If you want to know what that is, ask just about any GI that has at least a room temperature IQ. He'll tell you it is a guy that had 'Catholic' put on his dogtags to keep his family off of his ass.
I have not been in church a lot over the past 45 years or so and can say that I got more of a religious experience from waking up on a Christmas morning anchored near the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor. It was a glorious crystal clear day, too.
I sometimes imbibe more than I should and I have fought a battle with nicotine addiction for 45 years, sometimes winning, sometimes losing.
I really do not know what I am yet I am a minister in the Universal Life Church.
When I look at it, there seems to be no conflict whatsoever with Catholicism, or for that matter any of the other major religions I am aware of. I simply took a vow to support freedom of religion and to always try to do the right thing.
The first part of my vow is pretty self-explanatory. It is the second part that is pretty much open for interpretation. I suppose I could hit somebody on the head with a baseball bat in some circumstances. Lord knows there are cases where administering a hickory shampoo is the right thing to do even though it would be under freakish circumstances.
Still, doing the right thing is pretty much a difficult thing to pin down. Pulling a person out of a burning building is generally regarded as the right thing to do. I suppose picking up a hitchhiker would also be the right thing to do if he isn't a dangerous character.
Sometimes doing the right thing doesn't look like the right thing to do. I see a lot of panhandlers in the Philly area and while some I suppose are genuinely poor and likely could use help, most are just con men that are too lazy to find something to do and prey on the goodness of people.
I think the right thing to do is to be kind but not allow yourself to be taken advantage of. One of the other things that is the right thing to do is remember the old saw, 'To thine own self be true'. You have to take care of yourself.
One of the things I am going to do is stop being in such a rush to defend myself when I know that if I am patient that the person that is trying to do me dirt will simply hurt themselves if I stand back and let them. It doesn't take a whole lot to let someone cut his own throat.
Anyone that has studied any of the martial arts is familiar with a couple of them that cannot be used aggressively. That is because they are based on using the aggressive energy of the opponent against him. In short, the harder the aggressor tries, the more he hurts himself. I think that I will simply run along these lines and let anyone that intends to harm me to harm themselves.
Actually I have been doing this off and on for years.
The vow to try and do the right thing is probably going to make my life a little more challenging.