Gerard Cohen – Adam Day 2018 Speech

A few weeks ago, I had the amazing opportunity to go scuba diving with my nephew and brother in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. We were in the water for 5 days and got to experience such a diverse set of sites and wildlife. This area of Mexico has something very unique, big sink holes in that open up to fresh water rivers running under the jungle.

These are called Cenotes and they are all interconnected by underwater caverns and caves, that we got to swim through.

The very first cavern we got to was called Ponderosa, the Garden of Eden and it was beautiful like nothing I had ever seen or experienced. The water was warm and crystal clear, almost sweet to the taste. Families were splashing in the water, strangers from all over the world enjoying this big hole in the ground together. Even though I had never scuba dived through underwater caverns, and the mosquitoes were feasting on my legs, there was a comfortable excitement that came over me. It was like I belonged there at that moment.

Have you ever stopped to wonder why we enjoy being in nature so much? Why seeing animals in the wild, or even the Zoo, is so fascinating. Do you ever feel the need to step outside of the concrete jungle of the city and spend some time outdoors, hiking or camping?

Swimming in the waters of that cenote made me realize that we have not forgotten the memories of the original garden of eden. Nature calls to us because it was our original home, where we were meant to be. We long to go home, paradise in commune with our Creator, where can clearly see proof of His presence amongst all His wonderful creations.

And what do you find, when you go home? You find family! Today we recognize and celebrate the fact that we are all family, as descendants of Adam and Eve.

Family is more important to life than the obvious. I think God gives us families so that we can learn how to deal with the rest of the world, with it’s ups and downs, good and bad. Its with your family that you first learn love and joy, but also pain and betrayal, and ultimately forgiveness and reconciliation.

For the most part, you love your family. Sometimes, if your blessed enough, you might even like your family. In any case, you generally have a sense of patience with them, you tend tolerate things because you love them. This is how you are supposed to treat family. If our immediate family is meant to train and prepare us for the world, then certainly we have the already exhibited the capacity to love one another even when it is hard.

Now this is the part where I am supposed to make the obvious connection between the love you have for your immediate family and the love you should have for your extended, stranger family across the world. I wouldn’t be wrong, but honestly it just wouldn’t feel right. It would be very hypocritical of me. In any case, the point has kind of already made itself by now so let me wrap this up…

Ever since we were banished from the Garden for trying to be equal with Him, He has been trying to reconcile and redeem us and we have been trying to get back. One day we will all make it to our eternal home, but until then we can still enjoy little slices of paradise by doing a few things.

  1. Don’t ignore your desires to go outdoors, this is your body reminiscing of past days. Just don’t do it naked…
  2. Enjoy your family! Eat a good meal together. Call your mom if you haven’t spoken to her. Ask your grandparents about their childhoods.
  3. Look for opportunities to extend a little tolerance to people around you. It is something have to practice intentionally. Eventually it can turn into patience, and patience can turn to empathy then you are not too far away from love.


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