It’s all a mystery to me sometimes. Why do we meet, drink coffee, smoke cigarettes and and talk? My friend Steven calls it The Most Loving Show On Earth. Usually I see him on Sunday afternoons. Today I’m spending what Gary Chapman calls quality time with my lovely wife. Happy Sunday Steven. At least I’m thinking about him. It’s all a mystery, a giant conundrum. But the mystery is about quality time and being of service really. What can I do for the man who is still sick? Often that’s me.
Sundays are pretty lazy in Malibu, but this weekend I’ve been working. I restored some SQL databases and transferred a WordPress site to my hosting company. Since I moved to the Big Bu things have been a little hectic. I haven’t been able to blog for almost a week.
Anyway, back to The Most Loving Show On Earth. I have been thinking of meetings a lot lately. It’s the people. I was in Mammoth a few weeks ago and my friend Mark was talking about his ‘higher power’. Everyone has a different view of their higher power, but Mark says his higher power has skin on it. Sounds funny, but when I think about it he’s right. The ‘God’ piece. There’s a little bit of it in everyone; some more than others of course, but even the most evil person I know, deep down under the surface has a little piece of God in them. Sometimes I have to scratch pretty deep to find him, but even the most devious, deceitful man I know has that diamond in him somewhere.
And what about those ‘character flaws’? I have been thinking about those too. Really, what are they but coping mechanisms? Coping mechanisms, skills, strategies, whatever you’d like to call them, are what we use to defend ourselves against an often hostile world. Usually Subconscious or non conscious strategies (e.g. defense mechanisms) are generally excluded from ‘coping mechanisms’ because usually the term coping generally refers to adaptive or constructive strategies, and we humans use them to reduce stress levels. Indeed there are maladaptive strategies I use, like those passive-aggressive strategies I tend toward. Nonetheless, they are strategies, and yes, they could be considered character flaws, except they’ve served me well in my quest to cope with the assholes I encounter.
And yes, there are assholes out there. There are a whole set of adjectives for those poor souls who are just as filled with maladaptive coping mechanisms. Try these: underhanded, deceitful, dishonest, dishonorable, unethical, unprincipled, immoral, unscrupulous, fraudulent, dubious, unfair, treacherous, duplicitous, crafty, cunning, calculating, artful, conniving, scheming, sly, wily (though that one reminds me of a certain coyote), sneaky, furtive, secretive, clandestine, surreptitious, covert, snide, crooked, shady, dirty and lowdown. How’s that for a description of an asshole?
But I didn’t start this post to talk about assholes, I started it to bring to light The Most Loving Show On Earth. Probably the opposite of those bastards I think of as assholes. That includes myself of course because I always have to find my part in the interaction. And I say that with the utmost contempt for myself. One of the lies I pass off is humility when often I know I’m far to proud to be humble. Every day though I learn something.
My friends get together every Sunday afternoon for the show. We talk, have coffee and pontificate. The topics are wide ranging, but we listen to each other, share stories, sometimes some pretty sad stories, sometimes brilliant stories. But there is a lot of love that comes with the stories, often wisdom, always compassion and empathy. Yeah, yeah, you say, sounds like bullshit to me. Maybe. Believe it or don’t; my friends and I try to comprehend the amazing gift we’ve been given. Most of us have at one point or another tried to throw the gift away, either consciously or unconsciously, but most of us do our best to unravel the enigma. Some day we might actually solve the mystery.
Until we do, we’re just members of the show, the most loving show on earth. Building a mystery…