Searching For A Common Humanity
From Thomas Lynch, a funeral director who knows more about death than some:
We both went into our fathers' businesses: he does leadership of the free world; I do mostly local funerals. Neither of us went to Vietnam, and we both quit drink for all of the usual reasons. I imagine we both pray for our children to outlive us and that we have the usual performance anxieties.Amen to that.
The president works out a couple of hours a day. I go for long walks by the sea. We occupy that fraction of a fraction of the planet's inhabitants for whom keeping body and soul together - shelter, safety, food and drink - is not the immediate, everyday concern. We count ourselves among the blessed and elect who struggle with the troubles of surfeit rather than shortfall.
So why do I sense we are from different planets?
We may be irreversibly committed to play out the saga of Iraq. But each of us, we humans, if we are to look our own kind in the eye, should at least be willing to say we're sorry, that all over our smaller and more lethal planet, whatever the causes, we're still killing our own kind - the same but different - but our own kind nonetheless. Even on vacation we oughtn't hide from that.