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A Balcony View: Faith in good Thai food

August 03, 2010

First, some good news. Congratulations go to Sedthee Thai Eatery on Brand Boulevard for their phenomenal showing July 24 at the L.A. Street Food Fest at the Rose Bowl. Their baby-back ribs coated in a red garlic sauce, aptly named Prosperous Baby, took the top prize in the Best Nouveau Street Food category.

It's great to see a Glendale restaurant compete with other establishments from all over Los Angeles and come away with the win. It reaffirms my previously published opinion that they are one of the best Thai restaurants in Southern California.

Speaking of my published opinion, here's even better news, especially if you are among My Haters who regularly remind me of how inane, boring and incorrect my point of view is. Because in a couple of weeks, you are going to get one more chance every week to shake your angry fist at me. That's right, I'm going to be in this paper on Saturdays as well as Tuesdays!

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"Why would the paper stoop to such larceny?" My Haters are shouting to the heavens in unison.

Because I asked to be included as a voice in the Faith section of this paper. For those who aren't familiar with it, the section asks the same hypothetical question to a group of religious authorities in search of differing viewpoints.

"And what possible religion would want a kook like you answering on its behalf?" My Haters are screaming in tongues, stones in hand, ready to smite.

Actually, I don't believe in organized religion, so I'm not going to be speaking on their behalf. And that is exactly the point of including my opinion in that section.

There are a lot of people like me. In fact, in 2009, Harvard University professor Robert Putnam discovered the percentage of Americans who said they had no religious affiliation had skyrocketed to between 30% and 40% among younger Americans.

But that doesn't mean we lack faith.

I do have a deep faith that there is a greater purpose to our existence. That purpose is the pursuit of joy, knowledge and betterment of self. I do believe that we are here to learn, grow and expand in order to reach a greater potential. And that goal is universal among all people. I believe our actions either bring us closer to finding true happiness, or push us away from it.

I believe we are eternal beings, constantly searching for joy and enlightenment. Sometimes in life we succeed, and sometimes we fail. But the possibility exists for this enlightenment always.

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