Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Meaningful things on my birthday that reflect my values

What do the Beatles, Franklin Roosevelt, and the Three Holy Hierarchs- St. Basil the Great, St. John Chrysostom, St. Gregory of Nazianzus- all have in common?

Today is my birthday, and there are at least very meaningful things about my birthdate, that reflect my passions and values:

1) My favorite music group of all time, the Beatles, played their last live performance on the roof of Apple Records on this day in 1969, 47 years ago. The Beatles are such a huge influence in my life. I play bass because I am an avid Paul McCartney fan, and my main instrument playing out is a Hofner Violin Beatles Bass. I have all the Beatles music, electronically, on vinyl, and on CD, and their music has been so important in my life. I remember being in a deep depression once, and I did not have energy to clean my home. But then I put Rubber Soul on the turntable, followed by Revolver, and within a short time I had a clean house. The Beatles music is filled with a joy that can often lift my spirits.

2) Franklin Delano Roosevelt also was born on this day. FDR is the greatest U.S. President in our nation's history. He was elected four times, help lead us to victory in World War II, brought us out of the Great Depression, and created Social Security and the New Deal. His policies brought our country close to a democratic socialist state, which reflects my political values- I am an unabashed democratic socialist, and believe our country should have universal health care, free at the point of delivery, free public higher education, employee ownership of corporations, and a highly unionized work force. No one can tell me we can't can most of the western industrialized world already has all and most of those things. We lack not the way available to us, but the political will.

3) Today in the Orthodox Church, is the Feast of the Three Holy Hierarchs - St. Basil the Great, who is my personal patron, St. John Chrysostom, and St. Gregory Nazianzus. I adhere to a Patristic understanding of the Holy Mysteries (sacraments) of the Church, the Holy and undivided Trinity, the Incarnation of Christ, and, in nice harmony with my political stance, the social teaching of the fathers on wealth and poverty. St. Basil and St. John Chrysostom often inveighed against the wealthy, and called for a sharing of the wealth. What socialism and Christianity  have in common is a communal ethic. Because of my socialist and communitarian values, I took St. Basil as my patron when I joined the Orthodox Church on my birthday in 2010.

I feel that there is a spiritual synchronicity between my date of birth and my values. I therefore celebrate my date of birth as an affirmation of my arts, passions, music, philosophy, and social values.

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