Hristos a înviat! And other social media DOHs.

Hristos a înviat! And other social media DOHs.

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

There is a special Romanian greeting at Easter.

It starts with, Christ is risen. Or Hristos a înviat!

The proper response, His Resurrection is the truth. Or Adevărat a înviat!

Johnny Cash, Were you there?

This greeting always takes me by surprise and it takes an awkward moment for me to remember the response on the spot. This could happen at a little shop, a gas station, or walking along a country road. Of course, I’m a foreigner and they smile gladly when I finally spit it out. The response.

Perhaps, this greeting takes me by surprise at a place of business because it’s so politically incorrect and provincial in its presumption that everyone is a Christian. It presumes a smaller world, a simpler world, a world of commonly shared beliefs and customs. In fact, I should be enchanted by it and, yes, I am enchanted.

I am also very amused when I hear the greeting and response pronounced by friends who I know to be bitterly entrenched agnostics or atheists. I make them uncomfortable on such occasions with a grin that only a cheshire cat should wear. Some victories, however fleeting, are delectable.

Easter in Romania is like Thanksgiving in America. It is a time when family reconnect, over eat, and go into food coma. It is a time for cabbage rolls stuffed with rice and ground pork, a lamb-based meat loaf, and lamb soup. It’s a time to drink, get drunk, and snore. This year, Easter occurs twice in Romania. The Roman Catholic Easter is this coming sunday. The Romanian Orthodox Easter is on the next sunday.

Easter is also a time when people die on the Romanian highways – tired, drunk, or just trying to get where they are going as fast as they can go. Tomorrow, I will be on the road and I will see people racing to their deaths at 150 mph. I will pass wrecks in which families or lovers are trapped inside twisted aluminum and metal. I will pray for them as I drive on by.

One of the Easter readings for today includes the description and lesson of Christ washing the feet of his disciples.

If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. John 13:14

It’s a leadership lesson about service. That’s all I have to say about this reading, but I will say that I felt awkward to write about it. Is it un-PC? Am I being provincial?

I even checked Twitter and Facebook to see if anyone else was writing about Easter and lessons from the Easter readings. I found none though I admit that I didn’t search for it. I just wanted to see if others felt the same as I did – uncertain in our desire to share something that is important to a lot of people (presumably) – more important than how to do social media, epic blog posts, and the other 664 ways to make you say, wow.

And thinking of my doubts about sharing myself in this manner on social, I recall the words of a defunct authority who had lamented his times:

Truly we are passing through disastrous times, when we may well make our own… the lamentation of the Prophet: “There is no truth, and there is no mercy, and there is no knowledge of God in the land” (Hosea 4:1)

Perhaps, it would have been better if I had reposted my blog post about what do with your first 1000 tweets. Do not cowards sleep easier without antagonists? Even if those imaginary numbers be silent and patient in exacting their revenge.

Just so, I am reminded of a blog post I read this morning. It asks (kindly) if Bruce Sallan goes too far with his blog posts and #Dadchat – especially when his topics can be deeply controversial and people are afraid to join an honest conversation for fear that passionate opinion might put some people off.

I commented that we need people like Bruce Sallan – people who share themselves honestly and strongly on the intertubes. People who speak straight to the point. Like a bullet.

This morning, 77 year old Dimitris Christoulas shot himself in the head around 9 am. Christoulas committed suicide in full view of passersby in Syntagma square, Athens. Just across from the Parliament building.

Translated in English, the suicide note reads:

The Tsolakoglou government has annihilated all traces for my survival. And since I cannot find justice, I cannot find another means to react besides putting a decent end [to my life], before I start searching the garbage for food.

Comments one @serk01 on the Greek tragedy:

Take a step back and think what it means that a human being commits suicide.

Another blogger writes today on another topic, he asks, what kind of connections are we building?

But what I really hope we are building is the kind of relationship where we help others. That would make me very happy.

This, of course, is the dramatic culmination of this narrative. Writers and bloggers take note: great content is structured!

This is where I put everything I got into overcoming my greatest enemy. Me.

This is where I have to be authentic, feel strongly about things, and love -honestly. Or go home.

And the words of my friend, Billy Delaney, are ringing in my heart. Like freedom.

Stand fast… the world is shaking.

Hristos a înviat!

In other words…

We must speak love strongly from our hearts. We must live as truthfully as we believe ourselves… to possess any of truth. And we must listen for truth because whatever truth we possess at this moment is not sufficient for us to walk together in beauty.

Stan Faryna
05 April 2012
Bucharest, Romania

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