Divine intention


— Bumper sticker of the week: Alive is better than dead, as far as we know.

— Quotes of the week: “If life were fair, Elvis would be alive and all the impersonators would be dead.” Johnny Carson

 “I have a different vision of leadership. A leadership is someone who brings people together.” George W. Bush

— What does right-wing fanaticism and a one-way street to hell have in common? This was lifted from one of Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition shindigs: Democratic Party = “godless democrats”; pro-choice = “baby killers”; health-care reform = “socialism”; gay rights advocates = “sodomites.”

That should give you an indication of the level of idiocy we’re dealing with. And their King is President of the most armed and dangerous nation on earth. The moral of story: the election this year is only the beginning of their decline. We cannot let up for a minute. They are still firmly in the driver’s seat. Let’s make sure the road they’re on is a one-way street to hell.

— Retirement: I’ve been adjusting to retirement. Twenty-five years as a mental health and substance abuse counselor. Keeps you busy. Unfortunately, there was always plenty of work. What happens to people hasn’t changed so much over the years, but the environment surrounding the counseling business has.

I was trained as a family therapist, which was somewhat unusual for the time. When I went to graduate school, there were only two in the country certified as family therapy training programs. My style was to go slow, take the time I needed, and by the time I was done, hopefully I was able to change something about how the individual, couple, or family were handling the situation. I may be ten minutes with them, or two hours.

Today, it’s all about speed and how many people you can see in a day, or week. Praises come from high productivity and fancy computer generated goals and objectives, most templated to fit some accrediting agency’s idea of what it is you should be doing. There is no time to teach or supervise the younger, beginning counselors. I think management is worried about what it is you might say to them about today’s priorities. For me it became all show and no talent. Emphasis moved away from the clients and settled on the amount of money you can generate. Of course you need to make money, but someone needs to measure that against your mission, which I continue to believe is to do whatever you can to help people who are having difficulties with their lives.

Maybe the times passed me by. Maybe the old school is not compatible with the new. Whatever the case, I don’t regret retiring. I would rather struggle with what to do with my time than to wake up at night worrying that I didn’t have enough time to convince my client that living is more worthwhile than killing yourself. Or, staying married, while difficult, is in the long run a valuable lesson about life and intimacy. I can definitely sleep better.

— How to cultivate a spiritual life:

Attend church irregularly.

Spend more time practicing good. Get rid of the racial talk and jokes. Accept diversity. Give up the idea that your way is the only way.

Rather than collecting possessions, collect friends.

Don’t believe everything you hear, even if the messenger is wearing a collar, a robe, or a designer suit. In fact, be especially skeptical if they’re wearing any of those.

It is better to approach faith inwardly rather than outwardly. That way, you can own it rather than buy or borrow it.

If you think your God is bigger and better than mine, how about letting me see you walk on a bed of red-hot coals, as a sign?

If you’re practicing right-wing, Christian, Republicanism, get out. It’s a cult. You been brain washed. Well, maybe.

We are each fashioned after the Divine, which I interpret to mean we each have a touch of the Divine in us. We should treat ourselves and one another accordingly. Thus sayeth the Gospel According to the Peever.