Indy’s Perfect Groundhog Day

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Woke up on Groundhog Day 2018 to “Finding Meaning” (Indy, Feb 2).  Indy is practicing real pluralism with this new feature column on faith. The first column by Skip Hellewell, making a deft play on Groundhog Day and the movie by that name starring Bill Murray, was pitch perfect.

Diversity does not mean elimination of differences, but tolerance, understanding and respect among people who believe differences have meaning. That’s why millions found meaning in this year’s Super Bowl commercial featuring an interfaith troupe of sports fans at the big game. That’s why this new column is such a good idea and gift to Indy readers.

The movie “Groundhog Day” is the ultimate metaphor about life being too brief an opportunity to be decent to too few people. Even after the Bill Murray character understands what it means to get it right, he still rushes through the tender moments to possess what he covets. There is not a lot you need to know about human character that you can’t learn from that movie, the director really knew his message and how to use bittersweet humor to make us see ourselves.

Victor Frankel’s “Man’s Search for Meaning,” musing about a philosophical giant like Kant, and “Ground Hog Day,” all these iconic ideas popped out in Skip’s first column. Wow!  Add the “Toy Story” trilogy and you have an epistemological grand slam in my book.

A self-appointed Kant groupie, I prefer 1792 thinking and writing to social media literacy.  That’s why Indy is vigilant in limiting my letters to 400 words!  I go for, you know, the pre-suppositionless apprehension of timeless forms of beauty and truth, the critique of judgment, reason and taste thing, right?

Then again, I suppose the Apostle Paul upstages these modern era cultural narratives. Paul was good at marketing, but didn’t get paid well and wasn’t allowed to live out life in a sublime seaside resort. So, it’s Paul who fittingly should have the last word, right?

After all, what is “Toy Story” or Ground Hog Day or the Age of Enlightenment about if not our search for the meaning we find only through loss of self in service and charity, connecting us to God in our relationship to others, and to others in our relationship to God?


Howard Hills, Laguna Beach

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