My friend Paul and I shared this running gag: I told him I hoped to be as smart and wise as he is when I’m his age. Paul was five days older than I.
Monday, I will catch up to him. His death Wednesday morning leaves a gaping hole in my life. I lost a friend, a sounding board and a mentor. Talking to him four or five times a week became a near addiction.
Paul had a special gift, which I describe as a passion for compassion. For some strangely beautiful reason, he took personally the violence by those with military power against the weak, the poor and the defenseless. At times he found it difficult to express the anger, frustration, and grief he felt at the betrayal of the ideals our country was founded on. I think that added to his frustration and his sadness.
Today, I think, the world has lost considerable passion for peace and justice. I know I have.