From the time I was very young, I have often pondered the question: What is it all about?
Since I am made up of the atoms from an exploding star, am I merely nothing more than the Universe struggling to make sense of itself? Are all of us extensions of the vastness of creation experiencing itself consciously?
Why is there anything?
These thoughts often occur to me before my morning coffee and fade away into the shallowness of my daily existence before I take them on again each night before I fall asleep.
I’ve seen people kill in the name of religion. I’ve seen them hate each other and we’ve all been part of the petty bickering that can take up our tenuous existence on this planet.
I know many find solace in religion and I’m thankful there are those who do.
That being said, it has never been me. I do find solace in family and friends, a good time out on the town, shared words of affection and genuine caring.
John Lennon, Gandhi, Einstein and a few others expressed similar views. I enjoy them all – but take a special joy in the curmudgeonly advice from the sage of Baltimore – H.L. Mencken. And as a former altar boy who once considered the priesthood - until a chance encounter when I was playing a department store Santa Claus (that's another story) I am also a fan of the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount.
So, when I saw Sean Spicer and his family walking out of the West Wing following the White House Easter Egg Roll, I could not help but smile. His children in tow, Spicer had an uncharacteristic grin on his face. His 6-year-old boy was dressed in the same suit as his dad and looked happy to be going with his pop to someplace as magical as the White House.
I remember taking our kids to the same Easter egg roll when they were smaller. I was convinced President Clinton was casting a flirtatious glance at my wife and I still don’t know how my son came away with a dozen wooden eggs.
Those times when your children are small remind me, any way, of the best things in life and serve as a reminder of how fleeting life is.
Blink and your kids are in their 20s. Mind you I’m still 19, so I don’t know how they’re older than me, but there it was – all in a flash as I saw Spicer with his family.
We’ve taken him to task quite a bit in the press. There are some hateful memes and some spurious and some exceedingly accurate claims – but how can you look at the guy with his kids and not think of your own family, your own kids and then be reminded of how brief and beautiful life is?
Okay, maybe that’s just me. I’m a sentimental guy. Now bugger off.
But, seriously, what is it all about?
Does anyone in the White House know what it is about? Is there a plan?
How can so many of the claims made by President Trump be so empty and at the same time so willingly believed, to this day, by so many people?
I often wonder this about all Presidents. Are we so in need of a parental figure that we’re happy to follow any charlatan for any length of time?
Spicer is a Catholic boy – and as Jim Carroll told us the Catholic boy is redeemed through pain and not through joy. Wonder what he thinks of all this. Maybe not.
Those of us covering the White House during the first 100 days of the Trump administration have struggled hard to do our job while being accused of being “enemies of the people,” or members of the “opposition party.”
True, we have a lot for which we should be held accountable.
But we are not the enemy of the people. We’re not the opposition party. We’re just men and women trying to do our job.
At the end of the day we go home to our families. We make dinner. We do our dishes and we care for our loved ones.
We are no different than Spicer towing his children along after the Easter egg roll.
Those who paint us differently know us about as well as we know the politicians we cover – which isn’t that well.
Politicians with chips on their shoulder think we’re out to get them or we have a nefarious and often nebulous agenda festering in the darkness of our empty hearts.
And many of us in the media see evil everywhere in government.
I would offer the idea that neither thought is conducive to cooperation and progress.
So, if you want to take the Easter symbolism of renewal to its greatest length, perhaps we all could work together for a common end. Maybe we could start with getting a straight answer to a straight forward question.
Right now I’m convinced I”ll learn the meaning of life before I get a straight answer out of the president. So what exactly does a rabbit, a chicken and chocolate have to do with Jesus rising from the dead? Maybe Spicer will answer that one too.