Random Thoughts from a Restless Mind

Dr. Darrell White's Personal Blog

Cape Cod

Easter musings…

1 Vacation. Slept in yesterday. Took a walk. Had a drink. Declined to open up my laptop and type. The dogs napped.

We let them lie.

Here is a vacation edition of “Sunday musings…” with a couple of lightly edited entries from Easter weekends past.

2 Role model. It’s Easter Sunday, the holiest day in the Christian year, falling this year during both Passover and Ramadan. As Christians we “celebrate” the ultimate sacrifice, the ultimate expression of altruism in the “history” of mankind. Men and women are tasked with following Him as the ultimate role model for how we are to live our lives.

If one does, indeed, believe, and if one does follow Him as the role model in one’s life, then all other talk of role models is irrelevant. Like so many other goals and targets, though, the Lamb as role model is ultimately unachievable by any and all, and thus we have the all too human phenomenon of other, human role models.

What then constitutes a role model? Who is qualified to fill this role? Who would be willing to do so? How do we find these people, these role models?

In a world that was much less heterogenous, where people of all stripes had more in common than not and acknowledged that fact, role models seemed to be a little easier to come by. Audie Murphy. Stan Musial. Jackie Robinson. Heck, even a politician or two filled the bill. Every town had a teacher or a coach or a cop who everyone looked up to. Why then and not now? Partly because of that sense that we were all more the same than less, but partly because we only knew the good stuff about our role models, and on top of that we only really wanted to know the good stuff, ya know?

Once upon a time to be a role model meant to be always trying to do the right thing for the right person at the right time. We forgave the occasional slip because we saw the effort and appreciated the ongoing effort. It inspired us to do better ourselves. We forgave the occasional failure because we knew how hard it is to always look to do that favor, to offer the helping hand, to put forth the best effort. Our sense of our own humanity was extended to our role models as a gift to them such that they would continue to lead us.

The perceived lack of role models in society today says more about us than it does about any role models that we may have and ignore, or have and have discarded. We accentuate our differences rather than our commonalities, no matter how far on either end of the curve lie those differences. We not only accept too much information about our all too human potential role models, we actively seek the “smoking gun” that will bury them. We are all the lesser for all of that, for we deny ourselves the potential that could come from having a role model just a little bit better than ourselves. Someone to look up to, perhaps to guide us, or at the least provide us a living example of how we might be even just a bit better at the task of being human.

In our world of imperfect humans we will ultimately fail in any search for a role role model living unblemished among us, for the only perfect role model, at least in the Christian world, continues to set an unachievable goal, however noble might be our efforts today.

And He has been dead for some 2000 years now.

3 Death. Death continues to stalk our Clan. This makes us no different from Clan You; death comes for us all. Rare among us is the one who knows when the knock will come. Yet come it will. Beth’s Uncle, the last remaining of either side of the previous generation of her bloodline, resides at the moment in an ICU. It comes for those of every age. A year ago it came for a work world friend’s son. Seven years ago yesterday it came for a little girl who was a part of our horse world, taken at 12, alone in the gloaming, an unseen calamity leaving behind, well, everything and everyone. In this there is nothing special about our family. It is simply our time, our turn for Death to stalk our circle. Death takes us all, and we have very little choice about when it will inevitably come for us.

Life, though, is a very different thing entirely. Life, you see, can be taken by the reins and ridden for all its worth. We need not sit back and let life come to us like a horse at the far end of the field. It may, come for us that is, but it just as well may not. Like that horse, though, we can go right over and get it, hop on, and ride like hell. That’s the beauty of life. Of living. Being alive is a full-contact participatory sport. Every day you get to wake up is just chockablock filled with literally herds of horses just there for the riding. Some days you’re ready for literally anything and it’s off after that fire-breathing stallion and a gallop for the ages. Others, it’s all you can do to pull yourself into the creaky old saddle of an ancient herdy-gerdy pony barely able to put one foot ahead of the other. No matter. You’re alive. You woke up again and you looked into that pasture at all of those horses, chose one, and started to ride.

Death may indeed be stalking us, stalking you and me, but today is not our day. Uh uh, not today. Today we are alive. We are surrounded by our people, here and everywhere. Our circle is full. Today you have your people, and your people have you. This is not a day to be “not dying”, this is a day to be living. Choose a horse. Take the reins.

For today, we ride.

I hope you enjoyed my little vacation “look back”. I’ll see you next week…

2 Responses to “Easter musings…”

  1. April 19th, 2023 at 10:31 pm

    Lisa Gilles says:
  2. April 20th, 2023 at 2:13 pm

    drwhite says:

    Lisa I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Peace to you, your family, and everyone who loved your husband.

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