As I write this missive, it is three hours until Easter 2012. I am not a religious man so Easter does not have the deeply religious meaning for me that it does for so many.
Once we see past the literal part of the holiday, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we can also see this holiday as a chance to look upon all kinds of rebirth and renewal.
Obviously, Easter means spring.
However, this spring is different in many ways.
First, how can we have spring if we never had winter? I hate to play the “old man card” here, but winters sure are not what they used to be.
Whether it is global warming, a cyclical warm up, or a fluke, these are not the winters of my youth. That also means that these are not the springs of my youth. That being said, spring is still welcome in my life.
However, this column is not about weather.
More important than weather, Easter makes me reflect on my life and whether or not the Higher Power has its hands on me. These last four-and-a-half years have been a rebirth for me.
After years in a wilderness, I caught a series of breaks that now have me in graduate school at our fine University.
This could not have been foreseen on Easter 2007.
Easter 2007 was certainly not as joyful for me as this one. It was the first one without my mother and the sadness was palpable.
My health was beyond poor, as was my outlook. Maybe Jesus and his Father had something to do with the good luck of the past few years.
Whether their hands were in on my good fortune or not I do not know, I just know that I am indeed thankful. This holiday seems as good a time as any to give that thanks.
Easter to me represents not only rebirth, but reflection.
I believe that far too many of us do not reflect on the good in ourselves or others.
We spend thought, time, money, and emotion tending to our preferences, prejudices, and comforts.
As a liberal, I am naturally more comfortable with those who think like I think. I learned early though that while almost everything is political, I do not always have to be political.
This reflection by me was brought on by shame as a fourteen year old.
That experience taught me that people are more than their political affiliation.
Easter 2012 is the first with my fiancée. Five years ago, I would have never believed that I would be with such a fantastic woman, let alone engaged to be married!
This Easter, I will be attending church with her.
My fiancée` is a religious woman, a minister’s daughter. Worse yet, she is a Republican from a family of Republicans (I am just teasing when I say “worse yet.”)
I believe that we all spend too little time with those of opposite viewpoints. That is why I have embraced the religious time I spend with her — it just might make me a better person.
I believe that is what the modern man and woman can glean from Easter.
The Savior I hold dear was the man who loved all and redeemed all.
He was not a judge. He would have loved the homosexual. He would have loved the liberal (he was a liberal).
The Savior I believe in believed in second chances, just like the one I was given. He gives us the gift of reflection and the gift of gratitude. On this Easter I have so much to be thankful for.
I sincerely hope all of us in the BGSU community have as much also.
Respond to Paul at