In between all the work and home activities, I found a human being on this planet who is really striving to do good despite a galaxy of negativity and despair around him.
I found this human being first through a random search for an unrelated topic on Youtube, where this human being had addressed a group of atheists in San Jose.
I usually don’t watch these atheist videos anymore, as I don’t feel the need to hear another story of how Christianity is ‘wrong’, and Atheism is ‘right’.
I used to though.
I used to ‘devour’ these videos, and other media, hungry for reasons to combat, at the time, what I thought was the dangerous theology and dogma of Christianity.
I even created a website to vent all my frustrations.
Haven’t written anything in quite a while at this site. That may change soon based on this recent discovery I am writing about today.
After watching this human being’s Youtube video though, I was inspired to learn more, and I searched out this human being’s podcast.
Then I found a New York Times article written about this human being.
Then a recently published book, and finally I directly connected with this human being via email.
The power of the internet to connect us all in full force.
This humanized being is Bart Campolo (pictured above at work as the Humanist Chaplain at the University of Southern California).
And if you have never heard of this person (which until a few weeks ago I hadn’t), I think you will be hearing more of him in the near future.
This person is just an absolute tornado of goodness, and positivity.
It’s hard, in my opinion, to not come away inspired after listening to this human being speak.
Bart’s podcast called ‘Humanize Me‘ is where he shares stories and experiences of hope and community, and how to live a meaningful life even if you’ve renounced your beliefs in the Christian God, or any supernatural being or beings for that matter.
If Bart’s last name sounds familiar, it may be because his father, Tony Campolo, is an evangelical Christian theologian who’s counseled Presidents of the United States, and many others, and continues to do so, even into his eigth decade on the planet.
Bart’s recently published podcast on praying for Trump, while at first glance, seems like an epic waste of time, really got me thinking about alot of different things.
Mainly, that our perspectives on this election, and our current president, should not counter our ability as humans to try and reach across the chasm of our differences, and still maintain civility, and hopefully somewhere, a dash of humor, in dealing with people who didn’t vote the way you voted.
I know it’s hard.
I know there isn’t much to laugh about these days.
There is much that is concerning about how our current leaders are conducting themselves in the public arena.
At times, it seems our democracy hangs by a thread.
At times, I cringe watching what comes out of the mouths of our elected leaders.
But, even admist all the disgusting weildings of power, you and I know what we need to do to make this world a better place, to save this planet, to save ourselves.
We don’t need a government to tell us this either.
We all know.
And Bart’s podcast touches on it.
We all know that it all comes down to compassion and kindness.
And we all know that every day, we all have the same 24 hours to practice this compassion and kindness.
On others (including others we don’t like, others that don’t look like us, others that may not even be humans like animals in a feed lot or cage).
On our planet.
Rinse and repeat.
Compassion and kindness with ourselves leads to compassion and kindness towards others, leads to compassion and kindness towards our planet.
Rinse and repeat, again.
This is our challenge.
This is my challenge.
I fail miserably everyday at it.
I get beat up like Rocky in the ring, and have to pull myself up using the ropes and voices like Burgess Meredith’s telling me to never give up.
That compassion and kindness towards myself, towards others, towards our planet, is worth pulling myself up again for.
I want to thank Bart Campolo for introducing me to his ‘brand’ of goodness, and a group of people, a community, striving for goodness in this world where there often isn’t alot to go around.
Thank you, Bart.
Thank you for Humanizing Me, and being a shining light to others with your message of hope.
May we all pray in whatever way makes sense to us for our president, and for each other, and for our planet.
And may we all start practicing compassion and kindness today in a way that leads to real change in how we do things here on this Pale Blue Dot.
As always, thanks for stopping by.