Tag Archive | Life

Simplicity

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There is a kind of simplicity that is undesirable:
It’s the simple minded demand that all situations, no matter how complex they ar, be addressed with simple explanations and solutions.  “Don’t bother me with the facts,” such a person says.  “I don’t care about the details; they only confuse me.”  The lack of insight and engagement is both mind boggling and burdensome.

Soundbites and the opinions of talk show hosts will suffice for these shallow, unwise ones.  To think for themselves would probably give them a headache!

Then there is a simplicity that is beautiful and noble.
It is often quiet and unassuming; bathed in thought and prayer.
People who practice this lack of complication enjoy the good things of life; yet they are not in pursuit of prestige or extravagance.  A beautiful sunset delights them.  Time spent with family and friends is priceless.
One hallmark of such individuals is astuteness.  These ones think with both sides of their brains.  They question, explore and research; never settling for the status quo.  If you were to visit their homes, you would find shelves full of books, art and music in every room, along with creative endeavors.  They might not have the most uncluttered place you’ve ever seen.  That’s because they are busy with thought, creation and relationships.
Another quality is the very high amount of respect and honor these people have for the world:  Their fellow humans, animals, the environment, principles such as decency and generosity.
This simplicity is a paradox, filled with all shades of reality and nuance.
To know people who live this life is to be inspired and encouraged.
How very different these two kinds of simplicity are!  One word; opposite meanings.
That really describes our world, doesn’t it?  The Earth and her inhabitants are concentric systems, interwoven into complex patterns and relationships; yet there is a simple matter of watching, listening, tasting, feeling, smelling, enjoying and caring for all that is around us.

May you discover and appreciate the lovely, noble sort of simplicity that revives and nurtures you.

Hubris of Ignorance

The following link is provided with the permission of Jim Wright, Stonekettle Station:
http://www.stonekettle.com/2017/04/the-hubris-of-ignorance.html

 

This will take a few minutes to read, so get a good cup of coffee, or as Jim might suggest, a beer.  Make yourself comfortable and be prepared to think a bit.

Here are some samples from Jim’s excellent article:

 

“Have  you been following this? All these airplane crashes? And everyone is so confused. Everyone is going, Gosh, how come there are so many airplane crashes? Well, um, I gotta theory here. You remember, what was it? Like, uh, four years ago? The air traffic controllers, they went on strike? And then, um, Ronald Reagan fired ‘em? So then they just hired anyone who was hanging out at the time. And now everyone is going, Geez, how come there are so many airplane crashes? How come there are so many airplane crashes?! I dunno, maybe Walt the janitor isn’t qualified to land a Boeing 707!”
— Bobcat Goldthwait

Maybe Walt the Janitor isn’t qualified to land a Boeing 707.

But then again, in America we’d love to believe Old Wally could maybe pull it off.
Because we Americans, we sure love the heroic myth of the common man.

Oh we do. We prefer myth over reality every time.

We love to tell ourselves that one.

It’s the myth of our country’s birth. We love that myth more than all the others combined.

We tell ourselves with great pride how a bunch of raggedy assed, untrained colonists one day rose up against tyranny.  The Minutemen were roused from their beds in the middle of the night by Paul Revere and they rallied to the Stars and Stripes. They threw all the tea into Boston harbor and sent England a stiff upraised middle finger, up yours, we ain’t paying no taxes no more.  And then a bunch of farmers grabbed up their muskets and formed themselves into a militia under good old George Washington and this army of amateurs chased the Redcoats all the way back to England without any help from anybody except for Jesus.

Because Americans are special. Exceptional.

And when they’d thrown off the yoke of tyranny, well, then a bunch of common men gathered in Philadelphia to receive the Constitution directly from God. They wrote down the sacred words and everybody signed it, especially John Hancock, and America was born.

Amen.

That’s the myth we tell ourselves, we Americans.

We’re special. Exceptional. We pulled ourselves up by our own bootstraps and forged the Republic out of the mud with our own hands.

We’re a nation of amateurs. Bunch of Good Old Boys beat the best army on the planet. Bunch of farmers wrote the Constitution and laid down the foundation for the greatest country in the world. A government of the people, by the people, and for the people. In America, we’re not ruled over by kings. We don’t owe our allegiance to some hereditary weak-chinned inbred royalty.

No, Sir.

In America, why the people are the government and anybody can be president.

Anybody.

We are a nation of amateurs and damned proud of it, aren’t we?
That’s what this election was about.”

“Moreover, we Americans by and large tend to be suspicious of education and experience when it comes to government.

Anywhere else, brain surgeon, airline pilot, corporate CEO, dog trainer, we want the most experienced person we can get. But the President? Not so much. Power corrupts, right? You got to clean house every once in a while. Throw the bums out.

Except…
Except, in retrospect, perhaps ignorance and a suspicion of “elites” isn’t the best way to go about selecting a leader.

The world is a dangerous and complicated place.
Almost unimaginably so.

And nothing is as simple or as straight forward as it seems and as the mob apparently believes.
Foreign nations do not kowtow to the United States.

This is not something new.

This is no weakness of Carter or Clinton or Obama – or Reagan and Bush for that matter. These nations have never bent a knee to us. From Morocco during Roosevelt’s time, to Cuba and Vietnam during Kennedy, to Libya under Reagan to Haiti and Grenada and Panama and all the nations that fill your news feed today.
It is the nature of nations, large and small, to push back – and in fact, like dogs, the smaller a nation is, likely the more fierce and furious its bark.

At home, we Americans face the same problems we’ve always faced, energy and resources, civil rights, race, age, religion, law and order, unrest, left and right, young and old, health care, education, infrastructure, jobs.

It’s complicated and difficult and always on the verge of failure.
This is not a world for a government run by amateurs.”
Jim wrote one thing I especially have to quote…okay, then comment:
“The simpleminded demand simple causes for complex problems.
The simpleminded demand simple solutions.”
****
Fellow Americans..fellow humans, for that matter:
Are we truly simple minded?  Or is it more that we don’t engage our minds to their full capacities?
If the former is true, we are in deep trouble and the situation is hopeless.  If it’s the latter, however, we need to get off our butts, wake up and engage!
I will come back to this quote in a future post:  It’s just too rich to leave.
****

Go read the full article; enjoy.

 

 

Spring Fever

spring_fever___feel_the_nature_by_manu34-d65zebwIt got up to 52 degrees F today.  I seriously considered going out to do some yard work.  If this were mid October or so and it reached the same mark on the thermometer, I would say it’s too cold to work outside.  The difference?  Spring fever.  True, 52 is warm, compared to say 21.  It’s also quite chilly after being bathed in 90+ degree heat.  But there’s more to spring fever than the change in weather.

There’s this urge to dig into the warming soil and inhale that wonderful smell.  Then, there are the fragrances of spring:  Blossoms of all sorts, freshly mowed lawns and rain washed air.  All of this is intensified by the desire to plant seeds and starts; then nurture them until they produce delicious yummies…or beautiful flowers.

The only cure for spring fever is to get outside.  Warm sun, fresh air, some hard work and accomplishment will surely bring improvement to the most avid gardener.

Happy planting, all.

The Demagog

Passions ignited and burst into flame;
As the man spoke,
The crowd became
Wilder, more frenzied;
Joining in the game
With fervor for him and his cause.

 

Mindless insanity grew in the heat;
As the man spoke,
They would repeat
Parts of his phrases,
Chanted to a beat
With fervor for him and his cause.

 

“How is it that so many lose their heads?”
People would ask,
As the man said
Things so clearly wrong;
They swallowed instead
With fervor for him and his cause.

 

It isn’t our heads we lose, but our heart;
Passion is stirred;
Then people start
To join and react
To deception’s spark
With fervor for him and his cause.

 

Oh, guard your heart and mind to keep your soul
From ruthless ones
Whom you don’t know;
Preying on people
So that they will go
With fervor for them and their cause.

 

The promise of greatness stokes hope and fear,
As the man speaks,
The crowd will cheer,
But let your own heart
Be perfectly clear:
No fervor for him and his cause.

 

A powerful person, you have a voice
Let no one seek
To steal your choice;
But confidently
Acknowledge the joys
Of fervor for life and its cause.

A Painful Dilemma

Regardless of whether you are pro choice or pro life, I have a question for you:
What would happen if Roe vs Wade were repealed?
As one who belongs to Jesus, I have wrestled with this a lot.

 

I know that the hope is, abortion would end.  That is not borne out in history, however.

Before abortion was legalized, women with sufficient funds went abroad to “have surgery on an ovarian cyst” or something like that.  Women without the means went to underground “clinics” and quacks:  Dangerous for the woman.  Many died; others had irreparable injuries.  If a physician did perform an abortion, it would be called something else…and no one had better figure out the truth.

 

The problem is, the heart of the nation is not in agreement with repealing Roe vs Wade.  That means, people will simply go underground once more.  If we really want to change that, we must deal with the complexity of the matter.  That will take time, conflict, struggles, serious problem solving  and a lot of conversation.

 

Why even have this discussion?  As long as it continues to be a political football, the matter cannot be solved.  Instead, it gets kicked around as one platform or another with plenty of talk and finger pointing; yet nothing ever gets done.  If we really want to repeal Roe vs Wade (and I’m not especially of that persuasion) we will have to take plenty of steps first, like education, economic development, increased support for women’s and children’s services…

 

I’m thinking we keep Roe vs Wade for the sake of safety; then, let’s unload the issue so it can be discussed constructively.  Next, we can build on common ground.

 

Let’s get it off the political football field, where rhetoric and empty promises keep it in play.

ETERNAL JOURNEY

Falling into silence;
Deep within my own soul,
Where whispers can be heard;
Where silhouettes and shadows
Paint pictures dark and vague;
Where one speaks without a word.

 

Finding the secret place;
Mysteries yet to unfold,
Where riddles dance and play;
Where questions and quandary live
In their exploration
That challenges each old way.

 

Living within myself;
My heartbeat keeping time
As spirit and soul join
The song of eternal life
That will be forever;
At home, yet journeying on.