that is the question that I argued within myself this very morning, standing in line at the Starbuck’s counter in the Von’s store. On the floor in front of me was a crumpled receipt and there began the argument between my two brains.
I wrote a blog recently called the The Battle of the Brains in which I described the conflict of my left and right hemispheres. This is a very similar battle that wages in my skull, but it’s more of an emotional fight that isn’t quite as half and half. This debate comes from an ongoing question of what’s right and what’s wrong, when to be responsible and when to teach a lesson, and how many synonyms can I come up with for ‘battle’ in one paragraph.
So here’s how the conversation in my head starts:
<looks down at paper>
“wh-wh-wha-what’s this? Who dropped this? Why couldn’t they pick it up?”* That’s the angry man side. Then the side of me that is always trying to find the good in people, tries to find that possibility. “Maybe a mom gave a baby the receipt and the baby crumpled up the paper and then dropped it. That’s what kids do.”* Now that argument is usually ruled out, because a) it’s pretty lame, and really it’s only good for kids under about 3 that can be excused for not picking up after themselves b) if it wasn’t a baby in its mother’s arms, what are the chances that she saw it and could have picked it up? Or dad, no sexism here.
And so it goes. The race is on while question after question races around in my head. Why do people think it’s ok to just throw stuff on the floor? Why hasn’t someone else picked this up? Why should I pick it up? Why shouldn’t I? Why are we so lazy? Isn’t it this very laziness that causes global warming? Wouldn’t a cleaner environment lead to cleaner heads and cleaner hearts? Doesn’t this sense of ‘I’m better than everyone else so who cares where I throw my stuff’ contribute to the continuation of war?
And that’s just four minutes of my day.
And I did pick it up.
*These are not said out loud.
I’m sorry, I don’t know how to use this thing. I think John Bonham and Buddy Rich used it last playing drums.
Hey everybody, it’s God. Yep, the God. I don’t do this often but I thought we could have a sunset chat. I know you might be thinking this is an impostor, and I could mess up the weather real quick to prove it, but you all have been doing that too good as of late. Suffice to say wherever you go you won’t escape this announcement and let’s move on.
So sometimes the boss has to bear responsibility for his employees. I saw the big news in Chicago about new information of—well, putting it mildly—inappropriate behavior, of some of the priests, that wasn’t reported fully. Ok, so I just need to make it clear. That is not the Word of God. Ok. I am the boss, but I am not responsible for what my employees do in their off hours. Which, I know, as I say it is not completely true because they did it with altar boys.
This is just another thing where people forget that no matter where they are in the company, they reflect everyone. They make Catholics look bad, they make the church look bad, they make me look bad. I gave you free will, I’m not really responsible, but c’mon fellas. Really, though, this is not about me. I just thought maybe this was a teaching moment that couldn’t be passed up. Everything you do does impact everyone else —so boys pull your pants up, girls leave your pants on, and please, clergy, keep it in your pants.
Wow, I am babbling. I don’t know what I’m saying, I’m still tired from the Creation and I’m missing Jeopardy. Here’s the thing folks, I have faith in you. Always did. So start thinking about how what you do affects everyone else, start taking responsibility for all your actions. And act like human beings for Christ’s sake.
Ohhh boy, he’s not gonna like that. He’s still mad at me for having to die for everyone’s sins.
“Wow, where did that sigh come from?”
“I just realized I have nothing to worry about anymore. There’s no bills to pay.”
“Yeah that’s a good thing.”
“There’s no boss to answer to, there’s no CEO to impress and lift me up the corporate ladder.”
“That sure takes off the pressure.”
“I don’t have to worry what my family thinks of me, I don’t have to get anyone to like me. I can just be, because all there is here is love.”
“I’m glad you’re happy, now pass me that dish so I can dry it or we’re gonna get backed up before the lunch rush.”
My fellow Alive Things.
God here. The time has come for me to speak to you about the current status of Earth and the far reaching Universe around it. Number one, you all are messing it up. For those of you that don’t believe everything is connected, stop. It is. Take my word for it cause I made everything.
So let’s just proceed with that being a given and listen good. You need to stop polluting. And I don’t just mean with your emissions and gases and hair spray and pesticides. I mean with your words and your deeds and your thoughts. You think you all are in trouble because of stress? Just imagine the therapist that your planet could use right now? Can you imagine the Zanax pill Mother Earth needs to take in order to cope with all of your craziness? Give her a break. Just like your teachers gave you “time-outs” as young children, take a time-out right now. Stop talking about each other, slinging rumors about each other and making it more of a headline to slip a nip than it is to do something for someone else.
And don’t think that I’m not talking about the chemical pollution as well. Some of you are going to have to bite the bullet and just live on that $20 million this year and not get a bonus. Some will have to cram the kids into a hybrid instead of a big wasteful mini-van. And many of you, dare I say most of you, will have to remember what things I put on that planet for you to use as food and use those legs you’ve been given to work off that fat. If you don’t understand how that’s connected to global warming, just give a quick read to the ingredients panel on that bag of chips.
You see what you do does reach everywhere else. And if you don’t want to take my word for it, keep it up. And your future will look more like the Terminator and less like E.T.
Up to you, you still have free will.