August 2, 2012
Have you ever had one of those thoughts where you judge somebody before you get to know them? Maybe because of their skin color, sexual persuasion, the way they dress or where they live—or their religion?
On any given day you can search the news and find horrible stories of prejudice, hate crimes, and religious strife. It’s a sad thing, but it happens all the time, and it happens way too often.
I was raised in a neighborhood that was primarily Catholic—almost exclusively Catholic. The Catholic school and church sat at the top of the hill and towered over the whole neighborhood. No matter where you were, even in an alley on the farthest street, you could see the church steeple, and you could definitely hear the bells when they rang. And those bells always seemed to ring as we considered doing something wrong. In hindsight I wonder if that was coincidence or not.
Circle of Friends
Everybody I knew was Catholic—except my mother. We were raised Catholic though, and I was even an altar boy for four years. But every Sunday my mother went to worship in her Methodist church. In the fifty plus years I knew that woman she never once said a single bad thing about Catholics, or for that matter, never said anything bad about anyone.
Some of her views on religion and life must have rubbed off. I married an Episcopalian, and we have three kids: one agnostic, one who converted to Judaism, and my youngest follows the teachings of Buddha. So at family get togethers, we have five different religious persuasions—but never once is there an argument about religion. There isn’t even a discussion about religion.
So What’s the Secret?
I’ve given this a lot of thought. We don’t avoid discussing religion. There’s no house rule, or agreement. The subject simply doesn’t come up. Maybe because we’re too busy eating. And now that I think about it, we are usually eating lasagna. So, using logic taught to me by the wise nuns at St. Elizabeth’s, I’ll attribute our fortune to the lasagna.
I don’t know if this constitutes scientific observation, but if all it takes is a few billion plates of lasagna to settle the problems in this world, I say we get busy. My wife can’t make it all, but I’m sure she’d do her share.
What Do We Do Now?
While we’re waiting on all this lasagna to be made, let’s all try to do our part. The next time you have one of those thoughts—you know the ones I mean—think of eating a plate of lasagna, with garlic bread on the side, and some cannoli or sfogliatelle to top off the night. If that doesn’t settle your thoughts…I’m afraid they’re isn’t much hope for you. I’ll leave you with this thought:
Would you rather have this:
I know life isn’t that simple, and I don’t expect to solve the problems we have with this silly post, but…wouldn’t it be nice if just one person—one—thought about this and said to themselves…
“I’m not going to think that way today.”
Ciao, and thanks for listening,
For those of you wondering whether Mikki’s lasagna is really that good—why else would I have kept her around for 43 years?