After reading and talking to a handful of adults about Pokemon Go, I thought, “Well, this might be good for my oldest daughter (10), who connects with life and the universe best via screens. She would walk… outside… and, via the design of the game, even interact with humans. I’ll help her not walk into traffic, through sacred sites, or over cliffs. So I, great dad, stood outside in the humid, blinding sun, trying over and over again to load the free game and see how it works. It just wouldn’t load. I tried and tried. My tech-incompetence inspired that look from my 10-year-old that so many parents get. It is a cross between, “Can’t you do anything?” and “Why do you want me to suffer?”
I went back inside and googled Pokemon Go. I might never ask a real person for directions if I’m lost, especially if I’m driving with my wife in the car, but I will ask my computer. And… viola! (It’s voila actually.) It isn’t that I’m unable to figure out the simplest of computer applications ever, it’s that the entire Pokemon mainframe (I love writing that word; it makes me feel so computery) is down today, July 16th. Pokemon Down! 41 million users (or something like that) all over the planet are having to find some other reason to walk outside. Wow! This is life in the 21st century. Yes, we’ve got lots of unbearably awful news like countries imploding and the rest, but somehow the safe-newsbit-drama of Pokemon failure brightens things anyway.
It occurs to me that as I take my iPhone running everyday, I may now be interrupted on some runs with a buzz from my phone saying that some cute (weird) Pokemon monster is nearby. What a world!
So, I’m revisiting and redoing my blog… again, after a long pause… again. I’ll keep older posts from older themes on as well. Seasons and subjects change, but stories continue. Our lives are like stories. We can’t change the story we’re in, but we can start new chapters.
With all our country is going through, I feel it’s tough to avoid responding, but I hope my response would be useful. So many responses seem less than useful. A while ago I signed up to run the NYC marathon for a charity called Hope for the Warriors. Although I’m not doing well in raising funds, as a pastor and military chaplain, even a faltering attempt fulfills Kantian* desires to do something right… something that teaches at least myself what a right thing to do looks like (for any of us) in a world full of wrong.
As a chaplain, I’ve seen the ongoing suffering of those who have lost loved ones to their service for our country. Earlier this year, it was two USAF Base Defenders out of Stewart ANGB, one of whom was also NYPD. A few weeks ago I spent some time with one of the moms. Her world revolved around the loss of her son. The world around her had been through many more sons lost; today’s tragic news upstages yesterday’s each day. No matter what else happened since, though, her son was killed and this, of course, left her wounded. It made me think that there are so many who are wounded in so many ways who can be helped. Anyone who is wounded can be helped. They can all be helped. The rest of us can always make more of a difference. Sometimes hope rises out of the feeling of hopelessness. And sometimes all hope needs is a little action.
The newest title for this blog “running to it” focuses on what those warriors who died and so many others do; instead of running from trouble, they run to it.
* “Live your life as though your every act were to become a universal law.”