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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