10/7/10 Ed about 50
A "fast walker" was on the sidewalk coming toward me, but gladly stopped when I smiled and asked if he would answer an interesting question. Ed cheerfully stated that he believes in reincarnation - and that he is sure he will learn from his mistakes and become a better person. He fell away from his Catholic upbringing after getting divorced and now enjoys "chasing broads" (as he put it it) with no remorse. In fact, he is totally convinced he is a wonderful person whom God would have no complaints about. He has come up with his own version of who God is and his own version of morality - and I warned him of this, that he has no source of authority on which to base his beliefs. I warned him of the biblical warnings of judgment and his coming accountability to God for his sins. Yet, he gave excuses for his behavior, blaming the hypocrisy of the church, blaming God, blaming society, all with a confident smile on his face. In hindsight, as I try to find the balance between being winsome and being painfully honest - and I think this is different for each person I talk to - I left this conversation feeling like my friendliness had "smoothed over" the difficult truths I was trying to get across and may have made it too easy for Ed to ignore what he really needs to hear.