On understanding misfortune

Harvey Milk was assassinated for being gay. What did the shooter fear?

Harvey Milk was assassinated for being gay. What did the shooter fear?

I am hypnotized by the Weather Channel, and the predictions they are broadcasting about the coming hail, lightning, and tornados that will devastate so many people.

They have recently expanded their estimates of the duration of the troubles that arrive tomorrow. These storms bring us shared misfortune. The misfortune applies even if we are not in the line of direct fire. We all suffer misfortune from events of this magnitude. I feel pain through the people of Ecuador and their recent earthquake that devastated that impoverished state. I was stunned by the hardships in Houston caused by the floods.

Today I listened to a National Public Radio feature on Nepal, and their earthquake a year ago, and the paralysis of government that prevents any meaningful recovery efforts. Nobody can fix the Middle East. Tucson cannot fix its own homeless problem, or the massive number of little shacks with shabby landscaping that personifies the desperation and hopelessness of the people who live with it.

I label some of my circumstances an expression of misfortune. How dare I do that? How absurd I am.

The Earth is a churning ball of misfortune. Yet we have flowers, sunrises, and puppy dogs, but we also have tornados, diseases, and fast food. I think the central issue for us humans is to honor misfortune by enquiring into it. And when needed, embracing it.

Sean Penn played Harvey Milk in the movie. Milk was shot by a man trying to relieve his own sense of misfortune. It is important that we learn how to work with misfortune. One misfortune, or the perception of it, often brings another.

Your thoughts?

 

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