Friday, November 03, 2006

morality at play

This morning I was surfing around looking over the day's news, and I came across this sweet human interest piece on Yahoo News, about a man in New Jersey who found a bag of some 300 letters, many unopened, in a plastic bag washed up on the Jersey shore. The letters were addressed to God, mostly care of a one time assistant pastor at a local baptist church. This pastor died in 2004, and the thought is that he had collected these letters in order to pray for, and pass the messages along to God. The reporter who wrote the article seems to have done due diligence in trying to get to the bottom of the story, calling the church where the minister once worked, trying to locate the deceased minister's wife, and even visiting the couple's former residence and speaking to their neighbors. But he didn't seem to get anywhere with it. No one knows where to find the minister's remaining family, and the church had no comment. Weird eh? I mean I would assume that the church would want to take back the letters and actually do something with them, even just read them and pray. It' s really a very tragic story to find all these desperate prayers. I can understand that perhaps the person who threw the letters out to sea saw it as a romantic and reasonable thing to do. Trust the fate of the letters to the will of God and nature. But the story is also pretty sad, they quote a number of the letters in the article, and it's some heart wrenching stuff.

The story is sad and sweet, and while I'm not expecting a Dear God situation, I did expect something of a happy ending. The letters should get back in the hands of the church, or at least someone who really cares and has a plan for them. Unfortunately though, the man who found the bag, Bill Lacovara, is actually planning on selling the letters on eBay.

What!? eBay! are you serious! That's unconscionable.

Maybe I shouldn't be so surprised; it's really just sad.


Chappy said...

My friend Bernard shared a word with me today "schadenfreude". It's a german word meaning taking pleasure in someone else's misery. While I don't know that this guy in the story is actually taking pleasure; he is definitely profiting from other people's dreams.

remember how in Goonies when Mouth wanted to take all the coins from the bottom of the wishing well, and Mikey tried to stop him? To me this is kind of like that, only worse.

I'm not really super big on ethics on the whole, but morals are a different story. This is a tale of casual everyday immorality. And that's what I find so sad about it.

Anonymous said...

Having read your post - I'm not sure if schadenfreude is the correct word for the situation. Rather money-sucking-greedy-shithead-personality-disorder might be more apt.

K said...

I think that is a serious amount of bad karma to invite into your life. So I guess someone in need of good karma could buy the letters and do something good with them.