Blowin’ in the Wind

ColorStorm has a great post up called Random Goodness about the domino effect doing kind things can have on others who witness them. The video he has is just awesome too; really take 5 minutes to check it out.

This concept of how we can influence others happens to blend nicely with things I’ve been pondering lately now that it’s been a year since I lost my father. He taught me a lot throughout my life of course, but what’s been interesting to discover is how much I am still learning from him after his death.

That calm voice guiding me through my day, talking me down from fear or encouraging me to stay strong, or even just helping me to laugh at my own ridiculousness. Years of feasting on my dad’s knowledge and experience have harvested an endless source of good fruit; his legacy and now mine to share.

This all ties in well with a devotional book I’m reading called Earth Psalms by Francine Rivers, particularly her chapter on tumbleweeds. Did you know the most important part of a tumbleweed’s life comes after it dies? It’s at this point you see when it breaks free from its roots and begins that trademark roll, spreading seeds wherever the wind takes it. Long after that poor dried up tumbleweed has died, it is still producing new life and renewal.

TumbleweedThe tumbleweed of course has no choice in the matter, it only does what God designed it to do and the end result is always good. It’s the same for us humans too, the actions we take today (or choose not to) will have an effect on others long after we are gone. We have a choice however as to whether the result will be good or bad, whether what we say or do builds others up or tears them down. Or whether we even choose to say or do anything at all.

Choose wisely, they all have eternal consequences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Limiting World of Stereotypes

Citizen Tom has a thoughtful post up on the unpleasant habit many of us fall in to of denigrating our fellow Americans.  There’s a lot of good stuff there, but I particularly liked this:

“Why do we want to say such negative things about our own countrymen (Admittedly, I have done it. So I think I know)? When there are all sorts of Americans, who exactly are we talking about? When we denigrate our fellow Americans, what I think we are doing is denigrating a caricature, that thing of legend we call The Ugly American. And I think we do it in pride. We do it to prove our own outstanding tolerance by denigrating the intolerance of the stereotypical Ugly American. Yet is this not in fact a form of bias? Against our fellow Americans?”

It got me thinking about our political world and how saturated in stereotypes it is. The Right is racist and evil, the Left dumb and naïve. Bigot, Commie, Fascist, Democrap, Repugnican, Libtard, Wingnut, the list goes on and on.

It’s generally not a good idea to assign negative character traits to wide swaths of people, but we all do it. I certainly have and it only leads to lazy thinking that believes the other side is coming from a place of bad intent.

As I wrote in an earlier post, The Calcified Mind,

 “those others can’t merely be human beings who want what’s best for society but have other ideas on how to get there, they must be morally deficient, evil, stupid, etc….”

I hate it when others assume this about me or the political party I affiliate with, so I’m trying to be better about not doing it to others.

It’s also why I think it’s essential to have those uncomfortable discussions about politics in every day life, as nothing shatters a stereotype more than actually getting to know the individuals that make up a group you have preconceived notions about.

Are all the Republicans you know mean spirited, bigots and/or bumpkin fools? Do all your Democrat friends secretly belong to the Communist party and/or serve as useful idiots to those wishing to harm the country? Why on earth would you remain friends with anyone who fell under either category?

You wouldn’t but the point is moot. I would bet that most, if not all the people in your life want what’s best for our country and its citizens, but have different ideas on how to get there. The intent is good, even if you disagree with the how.  The how is where political disagreements should start and end, but too often instead they devolve in to character attacks and questioning another’s integrity.  A big fat, pointless, waste of time really, with neither side having learned a thing.

We are all unique, with different perspectives, motivations and insights based on a gazillion different things; from our upbringing and experiences to the books we’ve read, people we’ve met and places we’ve been. The human brain alone has 100 billion neurons firing off at any given time based on the exclusive genetic footprint of its owner.

In other words we are incredibly complex beings, purposely created by a God who understands the inherent value of the individual and the unique contributions only they can make. To try and stuff all of that in to a tiny box of pre-conceived notions labeled with a D or R is not only ridiculous, but insulting, both to the person and the God that created him.

Stereotyping stifles the mind.  The problem with them as quoted by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“….is not that they are untrue, but that the are incomplete, they make one story become the only story.”

Posted in Political, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 37 Comments

Feeling Blessed

Bike

Just the other day I was thinking I needed a cheap used beach cruiser to ride around town and voila this showed up for free on the curb near my house. Just my size too!

Now I’m thinking I need a million dollars….

 

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United Nonsense

SG with H.E. Mr. Adel Ahmed Al-Jubeir, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia                        Photo Credit: unwatch.org

Women in Saudi Arabia are required by law to have male legal guardians to make decisions for them on issues like healthcare, marriage and travel.  Women also aren’t allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia, must obtain permission  from their husbands to open a bank account and are forced to live under strict dress codes designed to “not show off their beauty.”  In other words, Saudia Arabia oppresses their women.

Last week, Saudi Arabia was elected to the United Nations Women’s Commission whose principle mission is to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment around the world.

Can someone remind me again, why the UN holds any sort of credibility?

A quote from Hillel Neuer, Executive Director of UN Watch sums it up best, “Electing Saudi Arabia to protect women’s rights is like making an arsonist the town fire chief.”

 

 

 

Posted in Political, Uncategorized, Women's Empowerment | Tagged , , | 25 Comments

A Hero For Our Times

“Blisteringly sexy, she killed Nazis with her bare hands and had a 5 million-franc bounty on her head”

The above quote is from a DailyMail.com article describing Nancy Wake, whose larger than life exploits as a member of the French Resistance during World War II  earned her France’s highest order of merit, the Legion d’Honneur and the well deserved designation of heroine to the French people and her allies around the world. Continue reading

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Apathy is Not an Option

It is so easy to get lost in busyness, where constantly playing catch up is the norm and you frequently ask yourself, “what the heck happened today?” while collapsing in to bed.  For an organizationally challenged person like myself, it’s almost a lifestyle.  Then there’s the nonsense factor that saturates our culture; where up is down and down is up and saying the “wrong” thing can bring instant condemnation or worse.  Suddenly, sticking your head in the sand while calling it a day looks awfully appealing. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized, Women's Empowerment | Tagged , , , , | 38 Comments

The Burial Cloth of Christ-Fact or Fiction?

What better time to ponder the burial cloth of Jesus than the day before Easter?

Freedom Through Empowerment

As the evening hours approach on this day before Easter, I happened on this fascinating article on the shroud of Turin, which is thought by many to be the burial cloth of Jesus. Will this ever be definitively proved?  No, and neither will a 100% slam dunk piece of evidence proving God’s existence ever surface, for what a mockery that would make of the amazing gift of choice He gives us.  The ability to live life as one pleases is a necessary factor for us humans to reach our highest potential and a God that forces our belief of Him through paint by the numbers evidence would greatly dishonor this.

Regardless, it’s a very interesting piece that touches on the more technical aspects of the Shroud, like the “distance information”  that enables it to be read as a 3D map.  It plainly shows a beaten, crucified Middle Eastern man with…

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Some Things I will Never Understand

VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100

In a world where it’s considered normal for people to push their dogs around in strollers, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by much, but I still find myself still shocked at times at the weirdness that abounds.

Take conspiracy theorists, particularly the folks who are dead set positive that an elite, evil cabal drawn from the highest levels of politics and business  is orchestrating events from behind the scenes and are responsible for every heinous act that ever happened; from World Wars to The Depression, to  JFK’s murder to 9/11, and race wars and more.  We the sheeple are kept compliant through brain washing via vaccines, water fluoridation and pesticides, all brought to you by a puppet mainstream media whose primary purpose is to keep us in the dark. Continue reading

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Let’s Talk About The Shack

Because barely a word has been written on it right?  Kidding of course.

After seeing the movie The Shack today my first thought was to blog about it. My second thought, was to immediately shut down that first thought.  Surely, I am the least likely qualified person out there to write a post dissecting a popular film’s  spiritual message and whether or not it stays true to Christian doctrine.  A theology expert I am not and I would certainly be made a fool by anyone choosing to debate me on it. Continue reading

Posted in Personal growth, Spiritual, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 25 Comments

Well Played

Amid all the hoopla of today’s Day Without a Woman, I’d like to focus on an underreported story involving actual injustice and the rebellion of two remarkable women that speak to real empowerment.

The first is Dorsa Derakshani, an Iranian Grandmaster chess player (# 2 in her country), who wore a headband instead of the traditional headscarf (hijab) while competing at a festival in Gibraltar last January. The outraged Iranian Chess Federation booted her off the team along with her 15 year old brother who had the audacity of agreeing to play an Israeli opponent. Continue reading

Posted in Political, Uncategorized, Women's Empowerment | Tagged , , , , , , | 16 Comments