“They” say that there are three topics one should never discuss at a dinner party: sex, religion, and politics. Well, why not? Today marks day two of a government shutdown, so who’s going to censor me?

I say we chat.

First things first: Let’s talk about sex, baby. Let’s talk about you and me. Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

two ladybugs mating

But seriously, isn’t it both a beautiful and an ugly thing? At its best, sex is an act in which two people connect in one of the most spiritual means possible. It can also be fun, restorative, and, if appropriate, potentially life-giving. But at its worst, it’s destructive, especially when a person doesn’t grasp the meaning and the importance of sex. So when porn replaces people, or the sparkle fades and another partner seems more interesting, people get hurt. It’s painful, absolutely. But the reality is that people—yes, all of us—are inherently selfish. Right or wrong, we choose mates and sexual partners based on their inherent value to us.

And what about religion? I can’t read or watch the news without hearing about yet another Christian-backed brand publicly stating that homosexuals deserve to die. (However, last time I checked my pasta boxes, the Christian credo to “love thy neighbor” didn’t come with the footnote *except for gays.)

And politics, ohhhh politics. Today marks day two of a government shutdown, and many of my friends and acquaintances are angry about the current state of affairs, taking to social media to comment about the absurdity and injustice of it all. And rightly so. Political leaders are acting like spoiled, selfish children who are throwing a billion-dollar tantrum because they aren’t getting their way.

I know I’m not alone when I feel like there is a heck of a lot of hostility in the world (and in sex, religion, and politics) right about now.

So, in light of recent events, I have a little favor to ask. In our romantic relationships, when stating our religious stand or voicing our political opinion, before opening our mouth to speak, before posting a rant to our social media platform of choice, before yelling at another driver because they cut us off in traffic and BECAUSE WE’RE JUST SO INCREDIBLY FRUSTRATED BY LIFE RIGHT NOW… Let’s try something a little different today.

I want you to take a deep breath. Now watch this. Seriously, watch it.

 

Know what happened less than 24 hours after recording that performance? Mr. Redding and many members of his backing band were killed in a plane crash.

Sobering, no?

Admittedly, our society’s views of intimacy are ridiculously juvenile. Religions are rife with greed, hatred, and hypocrisy. Our government is broken. But if you knew you had less than 24 hours to live, I guarantee you none of that bollocks would matter.

Call it a social experiment, call it a tribute to a musical great and an appreciation for his gift to us—let’s simply take one day off from our sadness, our frustration, and our rage.

Because this damaged planet can always use a little more tenderness.

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