Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Day 186

I've written before about how I love listening to podcasts when I drive and when I go for long training runs (I rarely listen to anything during a race), and I'm always on the lookout for new ones to check out. Sometime back in 2017, someone recommended Harry Potter and the Sacred Text to me, and I listened to a few episodes here and there, but back in December, I decided to start listening from the beginning as I also reread the books. My rule for myself is that I have to reread the chapter before I listen to the podcast episode about it; I am currently reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4) and am listening to episodes about Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3).

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I won't go into too much detail here because you can check out the podcast's website to learn more about it, but the basic idea is that the hosts read the Harry Potter books in the same or similar ways that many people might read a sacred text: looking for moral lessons and techniques to apply those lessons in their real lives. The hosts are from Harvard Divinity School, which is pretty neat, but the podcast would probably be excellent even without the Harvard name.

Long runs are particularly great times for catching a few episodes at a time since my commute usually only allows me sufficient time for about half of an episode (and I'm okay with that!) There are valuable tidbits in all of the episodes, but I am occasionally so struck by what they offer that I have to stop and write it down. One of those arose on Sunday as I was running and listening to the wrapup episode for Book 2, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. The comment was,

"Everything we've inherited is somehow sullied by someone who has been loyal to something evil."

I've been carrying this thought with me, especially in the context of the recent news of hazing allegations in the DKE chapter at LSU. I think a lot about the future of fraternity and sorority life, and as much as I love my organization and fraternities and sororities in general, I become more aware every day of imperfections in their histories and imperfections today.  I'm still processing a lot of thoughts and thinking of ways I can use myself in this situation to stand up for the good and right things about a system I love but also confront the evil pieces. In some ways, however, I find hope in the idea that we inherit things that have been sullied by evil at some point, but either (a) they are no longer evil or (b) we have the power to eliminate that evil before the next generation inherits it. The question, then, is how to do it and how to sustain it.

I'm amazed but also a little intimidated by these big tasks ahead.

Something that made today great: Despite having a lot on my plate today, I handled everything well and only stressed out about it once.
Time I woke up: 5:30 am

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