Saturday, July 17, 2010


I followed Lost since the beginning, on TV while home and however I could abroad. It was good TV and in the end, as profound as TV ever gets. The ending tied things up well and was quite satisfying. We can discuss the details maybe forever, but these are the basic insights I take away from Lost:

o The struggle between good and evil is real on the Island and in the world.

o This struggle never ends, some fall, others take our place.

o We are at our best when we are part of that struggle.

o The people we are closest to are the people we share the struggle with.

o Our guide in the struggle is -- as it was for Plato -- the light of the good. We can never grab that light but we can go where it shines brightest.

o We should do all we can to preserve the light, to do the good. That is the struggle.

o Life is a mystery and there are things that we will never be able to explain.

o Love is all that really counts.

The meeting in the Church at the end of Lost is just a bit of hopeful wishing. But who knows what comes after this life? Maybe there is a Valhalla.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A New Patriotism

The weather has been glorious these past two days. Went biking in Virgina this morning on the W&OD. On the way back, came to a stop sign on the trail where it crosses a road. A guy in a pickup, wearing a cowboy hat and playing country music on his radio, stopped, when he didn't have to, to let me go by without stopping on my bike. It was an act of kindness. Made me feel good and to realize how much we are missing when we don't try to treat each other with kindness and tolerance. What I think we have been missing for a long time now is the sense of being citizens, fellow citizens, comrades in a great adventure to see if government by the people, for the people and of the people can rise to the challenges that face us. We need a new form of patriotism in which we all recognize that whatever our different views, we are all trying together to get it right. This new patriotism - maybe just good, old fashioned civility - should start with recognizing each other as fellow citizens of this great country founded on the notion that freedom and democracy works better. Friendly kindness and mutual tolerance and understanding is patriotic and good for us.