Friday, February 17, 2012

The Greatest Hour You Could Spend

My apologies for the long delay in posting. I am back and ready to get back to it!

There has been an awful lot of religion and government intersection in these last few weeks, from birth control, to abortion, to prayer banners in schools, to marriage equality and it just becomes so frustrating to see people continually trying to inject their religious beliefs into public policy for everyone... Sometimes you reach a certain level and you just need to take a step back and take a deep breath or you can drive yourself crazy. I'm not saying that we should pause from fighting these inquisitions or standing up for what's right, but sometimes you do need time to take mental breaks, return to a bit of reality and re-calibrate yourself. Take some time for personal reflection and mental and emotional growth. There seems to be only one cure for me, and that is communing with people that make you think differently, who challenge you to think outside the box. My wife does this for me, she is terribly therapeutic and helps ground me and give me perspective. Listening to a Neil deGrasse Tyson lecture, or reading his books, is almost a form of meditation for me as well. His concepts and delivery are soothing to the "soul" and approachable for even the least educated of us. He makes me want to get out those old physics and calculus books and solve some problems! He also makes me rethink how I wish to approach the precarious relationship we find in our society between science and religion and how to engage people on these types of taboo topics without devolving into vitriol and personal attacks and feelings of disdain and inconsideration for others.

Every time I get frustrated with people and ignorance and hate and fundamentalism, I turn to Neil and he just has this way of putting things into proper perspective. He has the unique ability to connect the dots, see the larger picture, and share insights with such clarity and simplicity. If I could recommend viewing any clips on youtube for every single person on this planet, these would be them. If he doesn't get you excited about the universe, then no one ever will. This may be the best hour you spend today :)

Neil deGrasse Tyson at Beyond Belief 2006

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