Jesus Had it Way Easier
Posted by Jerry on March 7, 2006
So, today was my last day on the job. I had to quit today, tie all the loose ends, complete pending projects, and clean out my desks before the end of the day. Actually, I ended up staying way later than everyone else. All day I had people coming over to my desk telling me how much they would miss me. All the managers gathered for lunch and sponsored a pizza and salad send-off party. I was very pleased and touched by their show of appreciation. I received a card with everyone’s little notes of support and appreciation. I received emails with some really sincere compliments.
Leaving work at the end of the day was really hard. Walking out of the tower, onto the cold, wide-open plaza, I was stepping into an epistemological unknown. It was disturbing and very disconcerting. I looked up at the buildings around me, I heard the blare of the NBC studio news station, I watched the street lights switch signals, and I felt such a deep sense of sadness. I will so intensely miss the evidence and spectacle of this human greatness all around me, of human achievement, of all the materialistic wonders that this city so proudly boasts.
As I walked, looking all around me, paying unusually keen attention to everything, I wanted to cry at some moments, but I couldn’t. So, I sang aloud instead. I sang and hummed my way as I walked – aloud; singing anything, just expressing my love for this life, for this city, for this country, and for everything I have experienced here.
As I climbed onto a bus, I stood by the door for a moment and watched it carefully as it closed automatically; for a moment I simply marveled at the ingeniousness of the mind that devised a technology that expresses its best functionality by the fact that it goes unnoticed most of the time. Machine and technology so smoothly and undisturbingly applied to the service of human life.
I am going to lose so much of what makes me me. A part of me will be lost after I leave America. The part of me that has a greed for freedom and independence. The part of me that has this passionate pursuit of my own happiness. The part of me that seeks to lose itself in the greatness of other minds and their ideas.
I will miss the witness of free and open speech expressed in the movies, music, books, politics, news reports, and media. I will miss the open challenge of ideas, the vigorous battle of opinions, the occasional triumph of truth, and the joy that all of that brings. I will miss the myriad of choices for anything and everything offered here, from books, cuisines, and restaurants to operas, ballets, theaters, and cultural events. I will miss the capitalist system of competition that allows for so many FREE provisions like free wireless internet, free concerts in the summer, free pulic parks with world-class acoustic technology.
All these are materialistic values. But they express the most treasured spiritual values of my life for me. They embody the most fundamental ideological values that make all the rest possible. Soon, I will be deprived of the material and the spiritual.
I am facing a sacrifice of the spirit, of the mind, of my soul – far worse than anything Jesus had to endure. He, assuming he was God and all, WANTED to be crucified. It was part of his divine plan. He wanted to die for us, and so he did. Hardly a sacrifice if what he got in return (the souls of the world) was a far better deal than what he had to give up – his temporary physicality.. Besides, clearly, being that he was God, he obviously had to merely play “mock death” – and then rise up again 3 days later. Only his corporeal façade was crucified, not his divine spirit.
I am a full and complete human being. I DO NOT want to die – especially not a decaying death of the spirit. I experience real pain, real loss, real grief, that won’t disappear in some radiant resurrection three days later. I would like to not be crucified; I wish to have no plans of sacrificing myself. Nonetheless, the sacrifice of my spiritual values that is being demanded from me is a true sacrifice because I’m getting shit in return. My spiritual values will be taken away, and along with it will also go all my physical, emotional, romantic, and material values. What I will get in return is a loss of direction, lack of self-autonomy, and an environment of coercive ideological repression. I do not want this, and yet I have to face it. Mine is truly a higher sacrifice.