Tuesday, March 20, 2012

OK, I'm human! Who knew?

I'm a big enough man--too big because of the post cancer treatment I've been undergoing for nearly a year now that makes it impossible to lose weight. The other possible side affects are growing breasts and hot flashes. I'll take being too heavy over those any day.

But I am a big man in other ways: Like I can admit to a mistake.

After my last post, all hot and bothered about racism, I got the following email from my high school friend and college roommate, Mike Miano.


I enjoy your musings and scan you site daily for something new to ponder. Thanks for your time and effort.

Most scholars credit Edmund Burke with: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

The above is most likely a summary of the following quote in Burke's 'Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents': "When bad men combine, the good must associate, else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.'

Also attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville.

The actual line of Burke's is akin to Benjamin Franklin's "We must all hang together or assuredly we shall all hang separately."

I used to attribute it to you uncle, Gen. Omar Bradley. The quote has also been followed by the names of John F. Kennedy, Peyton Linkous, R. Murray Hyslop, Charles F. Aked, John Steward Mill and may others who have studied Locke and wanted to be famous too.

Peace and Love,
Your friend, Milo

OK, some deconstruction is in order. Mikey put on the subject line: "Edmund Burke would strike you from his Christmas card list".

So, I did say Locke said the quote and am wrong. I can take that. As Walt Whitman said, "I am large, I contain multitudes!" (Find an alternate attribution for that, Mikey!)

Also, he calls me 'Brad'. My name is like rings on a tree. If I get an email or letter or Christmas card (which I won't get from Edmund Burke this year) that begins, "Jimmy", I know it is from someone in my family.

If someone calls me "Brad" I know it is from between the years 1963-1970. High school and college where I was, most definitely, 'Brad'.

Since then, most everyone calls me "Jim" or, for the really Episcopalian, "Father Jim" or "Father Bradley". Plus, now that I am, in my dotage, teaching at the Lifelong Learning Institute at UConn in Waterbury, more and more people call me "Dr. Bradley", academic and all.

But 'Brad' comes from a special part of my life--my 'young man' time. A glorious time, though you'd have to hold a gun to my head to make me re-live it. I love being who I am and how old I am. I like being in my skin. Back in the years 1963-70, Brad didn't always like to be in his skin. There was all than 'angst', all that teenage confusion, all the wondering about what came next and who I was...like WAS.

All that is long gone. I truly love 'who I am". I enjoy being me. Sometimes a change of name will do that.

I notice Mikey, as I know him, is now "Milo". Good enough. A good name to be in the skin of....

But I do, from time to time, miss being 'Brad'. And I truly miss "Milo" or "Mikey".

For those who read this and think I'm a tad crazy, I'm in A ball to Mikey's Big League Craziness back then. The stories I could tell.....

I think I've gotten crazier as I age. Mikey most likely used up his portion of Crazy long ago. He's become, I think, a Responsible Citizen. I've gotten crazier and crazier as the years go by.

Be well and stay well.

Shalom, Jimmy, Brad, Jim

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.