Friday, April 22, 2016

History and me

I hear so many people speak angrily to me about what terrible things "people like me" or "people like them" did in the past to make a point about how guilty I am and they can blame the people of today for the sins of their ancestors. It saddens me when I listen to that type of destructive rhetoric. Am I to be blamed for those sins by simply being born?

Crimes against humanity regarding race, religion, color or opposing beliefs, property boundaries, water rights, you name it, have been going on since the beginning of time. Family against family, color against color, one person against another for the hand of a woman. I have studied history as most of us has. In my humble opinion, there is no race, religion, color or cultural belief that is Innocent of those crimes at one time or another. No country or civilization is completely innocent.

Today is the only day we can change and it is best that we look at history without hate for each other and unify our efforts. Free speech without fear of retaliation is a good first step. Creating boundaries of behavior in which we can conduct our lives safely and rules we can accept will carry that spirit of unity even further.

Get over the hate of me for the actions of whom you may believe are my ancestors and the world will become a better place. That is an admiral goal for all of us don't you think? It will never be perfect, but it certainly can be better.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Fasting my way to better health

Often many of us find ourselves slipping a little in the healthy life style category. At least in my case that is true. Not huge slips all at once but several little slips, one at a time adding up. Slow but gradual weight gain over several months and then one day I see the scale and I have become 8 or 9 pounds above my goal. Skipping my daily exercise routine first one day a week and eventually for a week and even longer until it becomes only once in a while as I grow less flexible. With less flexibility comes more strain with weight lifting so I skip that because it takes more effort than I like. And, then I sit more and walk less etc. etc. etc. Snowballing into more of a sedentary life style.

All that sedentary stuff needs to halt! My modus apparendi is to fast for up to three days and get myself back on track. Fasting sharpens my mind and body to look and listen for what I need to do. A little sacrifice for my soul to awaken and point me in the right direction. I often fast 5 or 6 times a year.

Today is the second day of my 3 day fast objective. The first day is always easy and I don't crave much at all. The second day brings a desire to eat at every turn. I am so hungry at the moment I can almost visualize and smell a comfort meal. That's when I begin to think good things. I'm really not all that hungry. I am more like wanting food rather than actually needing it. I drink a glass of water and the craving disappears for an hour or so. As the day goes on I get back to business and the fast goes to the back of my mind and I busy myself with getting the exercise. The third day is almost silly in that I become no longer hungry and I am pretty much on my program to better health. Probably because I know that on the fourth day I will enjoy three normal meals and exercise will once again be part of my everyday life. Yeah, that's how I do it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Jesus and his friendships

During this time of the six weeks of Easter I find all sorts of writing and essays and quotations from the bible and other historical books. Most of them are accurate and without agenda. Excellent for gaining knowledge and meditation. Much needed after such a cold month. But, then again, there are those with an agenda other than spiritual growth.

If given the time and with effort I suppose anyone can find a biblical quotation to back their own, often time inaccurate opinion. All one has to do is take the subject matter out of context or change the punctuation. However, doing that does not alter the original meaning, it merely changes it into a false statement. In effect, concealing the teaching lesson of faith.

The statement that Jesus sat and dined with thieves, tax collectors and prostitutes is commonly used for a variety of reasons to prove one point or another. Maybe we are all guilty of that at one time or another. The thing that bothers me is that when someone used that statement to somehow legitimize a behavior which is illegal, immoral or goes against nature the statement is made to be inaccurate. Jesus, in no way condoned those particular behaviors or life styles by sitting or dining with those people. What the teaching was and is becomes very clear when we look at Jesus' teaching in those cases. He said: "Now go and sin no more." He did not say: " Gee guys, I don't care about you enough to tell you when you are doing wrong." You see Jesus did and does care enough to be with people that practise those things, He loves them, but that is not to say he loves any sin.

If quoting a sacred text I feel it is best to allow the true meaning to be seen. Especially if we are attempting to justify a particular behavior. "Now go and sin no more."

Friday, April 8, 2016

Tailgating

Just a rant regarding a personal pet peave here: Tailgating.

I drive a Suburban which, as it is weighs in somewhere around 4500 pounds. It also has a multi purpose, heavy duty, reinforced magna trailer hitch attached to the rear frame. Not a simple bumper hitch, No siree Bob. That Suburban and its accompanying hitch combine into a formidable obstacle, not to be moved easily.

All that being said to give you, the reader, something to picture in your mind while you read my rant. Why do some folks, driving behind my Suburban, find that they can somehow intimidate me into either going faster or moving off to the side of the road so they can pass by tailgating within two or three feet (or sometimes even closer) and making angry faces at me. And, most often in some sort of small car. There is, of course the occasional van or SUV but most often it is a small,car. What are they thinking? It is my practice to not allow their tailgating to alter my manner of driving or even to respond to the faces or gestures which they may wish to offer which appear to have the purpose of scaring me the heck out of their way. Not responding apparently makes them drive even closer to that rear hitch.

My pet peave stance is based upon the danger to them and the oppupants in my vehicle in the instance that I have to stand on my brake pedal in an unforseen emergency situation. In my opinion being so close leaves little, if any time for them to react. From time to time, just to give them the opportunity to realize just how unseafe a situation they are creating, I will tap my brake so the lights go on. I have found that there are finger gestures that follow accompanied by angry faces and mouthed phrases. Yet another pet peave. But I remain unintimidated sitting in the 4500 pound Suburban. I guess I'm just a jerk that way.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Happy life exercise

The airwaves are filled with stories regarding all sorts of people, particularly politicians, at least right now anyway, blathering about lacing the blame for some debacle and getting revenge. In my humble opinion, certainly is not a happy sight. My question is this: What has all this blame and revenge ever solved? Huge resources both financial and mental are being wasted. Blaming someone today does not change what happened yesterday. Spending time in meetings or courtrooms filled with angry people does not change what happened yesterday and drains money and other resources that actually could alter the consequences of what happened yesterday.

I am not saying that consequences for poor decisions or behavior, particularly when it comes to the health and well being of fellow human beings should be overlooked. On the contrary, when one in authority makes a decision they are totally responsible for what happens. Just like the decisions of a parent over a child. But be that as it may, in time all of that becomes clear over the course of time and the price will be paid. That's what I believe in this country with the freedom of information the way it is. In that case, what is to be gained by fighting a battle that is technically already won. Use that time and energy and all resources available to resolve the problem as soon as possible. Solving a problem that is endangering fellow human beings, with all available resources is the immediate priority.

What has that got to do with a happy life? Anger, revenge, wasting resources, unnecessary delay, all add up to misery. Now, getting things done, proper solutions, release of anger, and making maximum use of all finances to help our fellow man leaves one to be free and happy. It's your choice.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Picking a winner. Not me, ever! Until yesyerday

When you look at the huge casino building and fancy trappings, you must keep in mind they were not built on the winnings of the players, it is the losses. I enjoy a casino from time to time but I am determined not to contribute much at all to them. You see, I am totally aware that I am unlucky at picking winners or gambling. It's just not in my make up to win. 50/50 charity benefit drawings? Never won. Church raffles? Never won. Limited ticket sale Cancer society drawings for a new car with a one out o a hundred odds of winning? Never won. State and territory lotteries. Never won. Football pools? Never won. Basketball brackets? Up until yesterday, never won. I really still have not competitively. I drew up a bracket and submitted it in friendly circles. That one went down the drain after the first week. I researched that one for months. So much for research when it comes to college players in this incredible annual tournament.  Then I filled out a bracket for my own use picking as many Catholic schools as possible. It went great except in the championship game I had Notre Dame playing Villanova with Villanova taking the win. So, there it is, as close to winning something as I ever have and it was totally playing against myself and in truth I almost lost that too. Right now, it is sweet, sweet victory for a born loser. Congratulations Villanova!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Enjoy the ride

Flying is not in my every day life. The last time I was in an airplane was in 1975. I don't intentionally avoid being in the air, it's just not a necessity for me as far as traveling is concerned. Mostly because when I go on a trip, the trip is part of the fun. This state of Michigan is beautiful and the rest of the United States is filled with amazing sights at every turn of the road and I don't want to miss a thing. The journey, in most cases, is just as important as the destination. Expressways offer a less intimate examination of the countryside but still has a lot to offer in my eyes at least. My folks worked hard all their lives and usually the work week was six or even seven days of manual labor. They made it all worth while with that Sunday afternoon drive to wherever the nose of the car took them. Being one of their kids was my utmost pleasure and introduction to daily adventure and enjoyment of literally anything in sight.

This morning, on the way in to work it was dark. What's to see in the dark? Lately it's those frisky rabbits for sure. Also, the lights playing off the rain soaked landscape, other vehicles and even te hood of my truck. A slim line of light indicating the approaching sunrise, albeit shrouded by rain clouds. A deer momentarily stopping as it is mesmerized by my headlights as I turn into the parking lot. And the skunk, lucky for me, scurrying off after visiting the neighbors trash bin.

It's the journey that takes the time. The arrival at the destination is ove in an instant. I may as well make the journey pleasant. Right? Besides, there is no Spring Break for me so I better make the best of what I've got. Its worked so far. Happy Spring Break to you!
 
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