A Hitch in My Thinking

The man’s voice, melodious and still bearing the lilt of his Scottish upbringing, drew me in.  He was devastatingly witty and intelligent, but his appearance was slovenly, and I knew he smoked and was a committed “anti-theist.”  He was old enough to know better on all counts, I thought.  With a click of my keyboard, I dismissed him from my world.

Then, later, I caught a story about his death.  Some mourned him as a friend lost to mankind.  Intrigued, I returned to the internet and found him there, being interviewed in 2003 and again a few weeks prior to the end of his life. This time I perceived the gentleness in him, a gracious humility in his interactions with others, and deep concern for the future of humanity.  There seemed to be beauty lying just under the surface of a face showing signs of too much drink.  I wondered if, in a life that encouraged critical thinking and discouraged “jumping to judgment” on my part, he and I might have been friends.

A Google image search produced a photo of this man during his college years as a political activist with long, dark, unkempt hair and, even then, a look of brilliant determination in the set of his handsome, chiseled jaw.  I repented of my earlier judgment.  Unwilling and uninformed, I had not respected the man or his motives while he lived, and now he’s gone.  I know where to find him, though, for he hangs on the airwaves forever.  I am appreciative of his life’s work, to which he was true, and I mourn him as a friend lost to mankind.

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8 thoughts on “A Hitch in My Thinking

  1. Nathan says:

    Perfect.

  2. Love the post – moments like these end up teaching us so much about what is (and isn’t) important.

    • Postmormongirl, I am heading over to your website right now. Good grief. I’m just figuring this blog thing out and didn’t realize there were comments here, waiting. Hope to see you back here! Thanks for reading!

  3. Jefferson says:

    Great thoughts! Last month he had a book published (posthumously) called “Mortality.” I wrote a little bit about it but haven’t posted it yet on my blog. It’s a SOLID and short book – I definitely suggest getting it. He goes over his last months, what it was like dying of throat cancer, and dealing with death as an atheist, having people tell him “We’re praying for you,” and all of that good stuff.

  4. Melinda says:

    A C. Hitchens fan? Undeniably a great mind whether you agree or disagree with his beliefs. I just finished reading an article about Hitch and Salman Rushdie’s days together during Rushdie’s self-imposed quarantine. What sparks must have bounced off the walls in that house.

    • Melinda, I’m new to this blogging thing and just found your comment! Sorry to have taken so long. Yes, I became a fan after his death and have read and listened to him now for hours and hours. Did you know that Hitchens and Rushdie are interviewed together somewhere on YouTube? Thanks for reading. I’d like to hear more from you.

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