“so… what is it that you do?”

So.… (pause; 1, 2, 3) What is it that you do?”

This is what I “do” in the sense that it is at least part of my view about 40 hours/week. Many times I am in a café or coffee shop for the day, sometimes the rose gardens or museum grounds; sometimes a duck pond. I like that I can have variety and watch people. As I move about this city which has grown up with me I must admit I have occasion to see a great many people and the majority of them look miserable. Here in Raleigh we have a wide variety of people in a small stretch of space. The commonality that is shared between those engaged in the illegal activities on Raleigh Blvd. because there is no work to be had for them in the primary sector and the busy executives just a few blocks away who think nothing of the people they walk right by but don’t see is this: they don’t look happy. There is yet another commonality because of my belief system: that both, though they may engage in activities I would not think the most ethical in order to earn their living, were created in and maintain a marking of the Imago Dei just the same as I do. There is no scale. There is no better than; no worse than. God doesn’t play favorites. It’s for that reason that I study theology. In trying to understand my own happiness* (see footnote) I have put some of my own flaws (I have so, so many) under many microscopes, looked at them from every angle and wrestled with them as though I were Jacob and they were so many angels.

So there you are. If you’ve wondered *what* I do – I read a lot, but I don’t just lie away and read. I venture out, and engage. Sometimes I stay on the sidelines and observe, but just as often I interact. In being a student of theology I have learned that this study is not just a study of God but perhaps even moreso it is a study of humanity. It is above all else a realization of your equality with the rest of humanity. The ministers with whom I disagree the most are those that proclaim any superiority over any others.

If you’ve ever wondered *why* exactly I do what I do – it’s not just to infuriate my father and to get another useless degree. That’s just an added bonus.

*Happiness in this sense for me is the philosophical, Aristotelian/MacIntyrean understanding of understanding your τέλοϛ, which is very different from what usually pops into our heads when we hear the word “happy.” I know for me the first thing that usually pops into my head is “Shiny Happy People Holding Hands.” While lovely, that is fleeting and not at all what I’m after here. The Greek concept of happiness was more a life course, a concept of finding oneself within not a subjective understanding of their own internal dialogue and concepts, but a polis (kin, actual and fictive as well as one’s city-state) which informed and shaped their morality.

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