Oh, Happy Day!
By R. D. Flavin

12-4-2015

Oh, happy day
When Jesus washed
When He washed
My sins away, yeah
He taught me how, how to wash
How to fight and pray, fight and pray
And living rejoicing everyday
Oh, happy day
When Jesus washed
When He washed
My sins away, yeah
Oh, happy day
My happy day
Lyrics by Doddridge and Rimbault, melody by Freylinghansen and Rimbault, modern arrangement by Hawkins, and abridged lyrics (based on Hawkin's arrangement) by Flavin.

     Optimism, pessimism, or reruns of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit? Why not all? As I write this, I feel very good and it is “My happy day.” Did I win lots of cash? No, unfortunately. Did I publish the 'Great American Novel” or a provocative academic paper in a peer-reviewed journal? That would be a ...not yet. Have I stumbled upon a cure for cancer or discovered a means to achieve cold fusion or market a reliable and a non-polluting energy source? Negative to all, sadly. Did I score with one of a dozens girls of my dreams? Yes, in my dreams, but 'no' in real life. Why do I consider this “My happy day,” selfish and surrounded by sickness, poverty, bigotry, sexism, crime, war, and FOX NEWS? Because today my blood pressure was 120 over 89... I've been taking an experimental chemo drug for 2 ½ months, but had the dosage raised a few weeks ago and rocked a 140 over 109. I've switched to decaf, stopped smoking, and have been moderately successful in not letting the idiots around me get under my skin. Yeah, I'm still tempted to play Atlas and take the weight of the world on my shoulders, however I believe I'll soon accept the things I can not change ala Schiller (contra AA's “Serenity Prayer,” but first expressed by Friedrich Schiller in 1801 with “Wohl dem Menschen, wenn er gelernt hat, zu ertragen, was er nicht ändern kann, und preiszugeben mit Würde, was er nicht retten kann,” that is, “Blessed is he, who has learned to hear what he cannot change, and to give up with dignity, what he cannot save.”). I'm not made of rock, yet my heart soars with “Oh, Happy Day!” And, may peace and happiness be upon you and yours, as well.

     We live in a time of villains, perverts, hate-mongers, simpletons, and those without class in both manners and status. I'm under the impression it's been this way since some arbitrary Day One, it's just we're better statisticians today – easily citing the Preacher in Ecclesiastes 1:9 (as well as the lyrics Sting borrowed from): “There's nothing new under the sun...” While not entirely accurate, with poetic license, it's basically correct. There's always been bad guys (and gals) who do bad things. Conversely, invoking and expressing my optimism, there have always been heroes, those with a healthy sexuality, folks who live, practice, and preach peace, wise-folk, and those who believe more in community than a bigger car or the newest this-or-that. Although,being crudely honest, it's the bad which shouts the loudest and gets the attention of historians, gossipers, and 'journalists'.

     Some have turned away from newspaper, television, and online 'news' because nearly EVERYDAY something horrible happens in either America, the rest of the world, or both. However, and may I be as clear and accurate as possible – we became human because we cared for our sick and elderly, and we became civilized by our compassion, fairness, and willingness to adapt and learn. Not all humans have certain 'politically correct' attributes, and, of course, not all humans are rich and fashion models. Yet, us Homo's are all one species. Race? Scientists disregard the category as insignificant as there are too many shared traits (skin color, hair texture, skull size, and such), and despite superficial differences, we're all one people or species, if you will. Let's discuss the norm, the heroic, and the odds there will always be some good and some bad.

     During the atrocious horribleness of San Bernardino, Colorado Springs, Roseburg, OR, Charleston, S.C., Lafayette, LA, Paris, Mali, and so many more, there have been heroes who have given their lives so others may live.. Such behavior reinforces my trust in human nature and, when swearing an oath for the Mass. Army National Guard with“I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same;...,” I pledged to do the right thing.” Yeah, it was a happy day, to swear to be a good guy. However, I won't be so egotistic that I'm the only good guy – there are many, so many it makes everyday a “Oh, Happy Day!”

     Its long been my opinion Americans and its judges (yeah, even the Supreme Court) misread the Second Amendment to the U. S. Constitution and its “right to go sleeveless ...err, bear arms.” We didn't have the well equipped police force we do now, nor our trained National Guard, Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard. We did, however, have a lot off pissed off Native Americans which we continued to lie to (right up to the present day). To have a gun for sport or personal protection is fine, as long as background checks are extensive, the guns are for non-military purposes, and trigger guards or finger-print activation devises are used. Yet, the N.R.A. has spent too much money preventing common sense to be our guide and our government to protect us. There would be many more “Oh, Happy Day!” sung if our well-meaning philanthropists used their money against the N.R.A.

     We have family, friends, loved ones, and some of us have good health. Belief in a god or gods and goddesses are not my concern here, rather it's belief in ourselves which matters most. One day, FOX NEWS and “reality television” will be gone, our holidays based on real events and not on legends, and we can all join hands, not to drink Coca-Cola, but to sing, “Oh, Happy Day!”

still smiling,


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