Saturday, May 3, 2008

If I Had A Mountain (My 10 Commandments for the New(ish) Century)

Bob Weir--"The Greatest Story Ever Told" (mp3)
The Long Winters--"The Sound of Coming Down" (mp3)

I'm not God. I've never played him on TV, nor have I been asked to assume the role in a bad Steve Carrell movie. Nevertheless, I've been pondering those commandments brought down from Mt. Sinai lately and thinking that if I had a mountain and someone came up onto it looking for a 10-point list of supreme knowledge, I would, by all the laws of divinity vested in me by the State of Tennessee, have to deliver.

The beauty of my list (and of not being God) is that my list is much friendlier than the original. Oh, I'd like to think that my dictums are serious and important and worth following. And most of them don't offer much wiggle room. But because I am just one of "you people," as I was called today, I can use the First Person Plural instead of the Second Person, formal or otherwise. Any commandment I issue forth unto you I also issue forth unto myself.

And so:

1. We should not take credit for something that we didn't do.

2. We should be generous. Being cheap, especially in our treatment of other people, is offensive.

3. We should not let economics dictate our ethical standards.

4. We should no longer fully embrace capitalism. It is based upon ever-increasing consumption in a world where resources are finite.

5. We should be godly people and so should not lose touch with our planet. I'm not talking about recycling plastic bottles; I'm talking about getting in the dirt, the grass, the forest, the stream, the ocean, the snow, the hills, the mountains, the mud.

6. If we are men, we should treat women equally; if we are women, we should help our men to be men, thus ending the simultaneous gender wars.

7. We should find the boundaries of gossip. Zero gossip is impossible, but pointless gossip is manageable. If it has no impact on us, why should we seek to know about it?

8. We live in an information age; therefore, being uninformed is a sin. Especially about the workings of our government and about the conditions of the rest of the world.

9. We should seek to be enlightened beings, and so should put away barbaric things--the spanking of children, misogyny, racism, waste, entitlement, and anything else that corrupts us through the dual seductions of power and force.

10. If we say that we are going to do something, then we should do it. If we are not going to do it, then we shouldn't say it.

I would enjoy hearing your feedback, your additions, your deletions. By the way, "Bob" spelled backwards is "Bob."

Bob Weir released his first solo cd, Ace, back in 1970, and like the early Jerry Garcia solo cds, it's really just an extended Grateful Dead record. Not that that is a bad thing. "The Great Story Ever Told" comes from that release. "The Sound of Coming Down" is from the Long Winters' second CD, When I Pretend To Fall. Both are availabe at Itunes.

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