If I rise refreshed,
my prayers have been answered
Expanded from the 1-13-2002 Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune
In the motion picture "Lansky" starring Richard Dreyfuss, the globetrotting fugitive mobster wanders into a shop in Israel just as the owner is leaving to attend prayers at a nearby synagogue.
When the shopkeeper returned, Meyer Lansky asked how the man could tell if his prayers were getting through.
"When I bow to pray, if I rise refreshed, my prayers have been answered," advised the merchant.
This life offers constant refreshment. A splash of water on your face. A good night's sleep. A walk among thick trees or tall buildings, both of which bring you into close contact with curious forms of life all around. A glance into the smiling face of a wondering child produces marvelously salutary effects.
Since the fires of September, I have felt the musty encroachment of staleness. The big problems have seemed so damned big, the little ones so trivial and all the more maddening for their pettiness.
Worse, it's all been seen and done many, many times before. What is predictable is boring. The methods may change, but the motives spawning mass murder and mayhem remain the same. The cycle of violence seems to be humanity's only proven perpetual motion machine.
We didn't need wholesale carnage to remind us that the human lifespan constitutes infinitely less than the bat of an eyelash on the face of time. All we need do is look up into a clear night sky.
But staring into the time-bending vastness of space provides cold comfort, as it only reinforces how short is the interlude we are granted in this form. When stagnation and staleness interlard the visible universe, a prayer for refreshment is certainly in order.
Our renewal can only come from each other. That's where you come in.
I've got a project which I would like to see rise to the level of refreshment. Beginning later this month, I'm producing and hosting a new television series entitled "Deciding Factors." Every half-hour installment will air twice each on the local FOX and UPN network affiliates, KRXI TV-11 and KAME TV-21 (Charter Cable channels 11 and 7, respectively).
The premiere program will delve into the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights and due process of law in the age of terrorism. My guests will be Former Washoe District Judge Mills Lane and Reno-Sparks NAACP President Lonnie Feemster. I have briefly discussed some of the issues with these gentlemen and I promise an enlightening program.
I have also asked the U.S. Dept. of Justice for a representative, but all such requests are handled through Washington, DC. Attorney General Ashcroft has not returned my call.
The first airing will run on KRXI on Saturday, Jan. 26, at 2:30 p.m. KAME will telecast it on Sunday, Jan. 27, at 12 noon. Additional airdates will be announced soon.
Please send questions you would like addressed. I also want your ideas for future programming. I have launched a website for the enterprise, www.decidingfactors.tv where I will post your letters, suggestions, comments and criticisms.
In my several decades in the media business, I have learned that the early days following the launch of a new
LONNIE FEEMSTER, President
NAACP, Reno-Sparks Branch
program are usually the most productive. People want to get aboard and enthusiastically share their thoughts. I solicit yours, with a few guidelines.
1. THINK BIG. Suggest new ways to approach big issues which affect a lot of people. I defy anyone to come up with a fresh approach on gun control, abortion or nuclear waste and thus doubt very seriously that I'll ever do a program on those emotional pushbuttons.
2. LOOK UNDER ROCKS. The High Desert Outback of the American Dream is rich in potential stories which the mainstream media ignore until disaster strikes. The recent spate of industrial plant explosions around the state provides a perfect example.
3. BRING THE CHILDREN. As the project progresses, I hope to do a special show produced by young people on issues important to them. So start putting vid kids into contact with me.
Back in my talk radio days, I used to quote a slogan which typified my over-arching goal: Small minds discuss people. Average minds discuss events. Great minds discuss ideas.
I look forward to your assistance in aspiring to that refreshing third level.
Be well. Raise hell.
© 2002 Andrew Barbano
Andrew Barbano is a 33-year Nevadan, a member Communications Workers of America Local 9413 and editor of NevadaLabor.com and JoeNeal.org/ Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks (Nev.)Tribune since 1988.
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