I know that I’ve been sunburned through a car window.

I know that I am well under 6 feet tall.

I know that I haven’t paid for a haircut in 20 years.

I know that as much as I try to carry myself as a badass, I loathe violence and was grateful that as a Navy Chaplain I did not have to qualify with an M-16.

I know  that Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers.”

I know that Jesus said, “If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other cheek also.”

I know it’s no accident that my parents’ favorite movies were those like Rocky, Caddyshack, and Rudy, for they always rooted for the underdog.

I know I have never been the underdog.


I don’t know what it’s like to cut a very intimidating physical presence. I’ve been mistaken for one celebrity in my life and it was this guy.

The Geek

I don’t know what it’s like to walk down the street and have people cross to the other side to avoid me.

I don’t know what it’s like to walk into a store and have the cashier step closer to the register.

I don’t know what it’s like to be 18 and NOT think I had a million options.


I know that one of my father’s favorite sayings was, “Patrick, you have the world by the ass on a downhill pull.”

I know that many people around the globe have been pulling up the hill while I’ve been coasting down.

I know that the Christ I worship broke the law when he saw the poor and disenfranchised being taken advantage of in his own house.

I know there’s a better way to live together than the way we’re doing it now.


I don’t know how to shake my own privilege to be an effective voice in the conversation.

I don’t know if that’s necessary.


I know the most primitive parts of my brain will jump to primitive conclusions about other people.

I know I can take a breath after that happens and choose to think the best of people.

I know I can treat each person I meet with respect and dignity.

I know that won’t always happen.

I know I can try.

2 thoughts on “I KNOW WHAT I KNOW.

  1. I always knew you would always stand out in whatever crowd you were in. It is so great to see you doing so with so much grace and class

  2. Amen. I often say to my kids that they can’t feel guilty for the life that they are born into, but they can try to help the people who were born into a different life by no fault of their own.

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