Stephen Colbert: “I love the thing that I most wish had not happened.”


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Excerpt from a recent interview of Stephen Colbert by Joel Lovell:

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“…he is the youngest of eleven kids and … his father and two of his brothers, Peter and Paul, the two closest to him in age, were killed in a plane crash when he was 10.”

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The interview ends with the realization he had of their deaths.

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….I love the thing that I most wish had not happened.

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I asked him if he could help me understand that better, and he described a letter from Tolkien in response to a priest who had questioned whether Tolkien’s mythos was sufficiently doctrinaire, since it treated death not as a punishment for the sin of the fall but as a gift. “Tolkien says, in a letter back: ‘What punishments of God are not gifts?’ ” Colbert knocked his knuckles on the table. “ ‘What punishments of God are not gifts?’ ” he said again. His eyes were filled with tears. “So it would be ungrateful not to take everything with gratitude. It doesn’t mean you want it. I can hold both of those ideas in my head.”

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He was 35, he said, before he could really feel the truth of that. He was walking down the street, and it “stopped me dead. I went, ‘Oh, I’m grateful. Oh, I feel terrible.’ I felt so guilty to be grateful. But I knew it was true.

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“It’s not the same thing as wanting it to have happened,” he said. “But you can’t change everything about the world. You certainly can’t change things that have already happened.”

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Consider that this is coming from a man who millions of people will soon watch on their televisions every night—if only there were a way to measure the virality of this, which he’ll never say on TV, I imagine, but which, as far as I can tell, he practices every waking minute of his life.

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The next thing he said I wrote on a slip of paper in his office and have carried it around with me since. It’s our choice, whether to hate something in our lives or to love every moment of them, even the parts that bring us pain. “At every moment, we are volunteers.”

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‘What punishments of God are not gifts?’ Tolkien

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“So it would be ungrateful not to take everything with gratitude. It doesn’t mean you want it.

I can hold both of those ideas in my head.”

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 It’s our choice, whether to hate something in our lives or to love every moment of them,

even the parts that bring us pain. “At every moment, we are volunteers.”

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The material on this site is for informational purposes only.
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It is not legal for me to provide medical advice without an examination.

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This material is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided

by a qualified health care provider.

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For My Home Page, click here:  Welcome to my Weblog on Pain Management!

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