A Snippet Here….

March 3, 2015 — Leave a comment

Just a quick snippet to add some info to this morning’s post.

Why Bibi and Barack Can’t Get Along

But the real challenge the two have faced is their different policies in the Middle East. Obama came to office reaching out to Iran and pushing for Israeli-Palestinian peace. Netanyahu opposed warming ties with the militantly anti-Israel theocrats in Tehran and refused in early meetings with Obama publicly to embrace the possibility of a Palestinian state.

The outcome of their latest confrontation remains to be seen. Netanyahu faces a tough election this month and the White House’s increasingly public criticism may well show their desire for a change in leadership. Netanyahu’s effort to encourage anti-Obama members of Congress to push new sanctions could help scupper the already tenuous U.S.-Iranian talks.

SOURCE: Why Bibi and Barack Can’t Get Along | TIME.

Snowbound…

March 3, 2015 — Leave a comment

uRV Stranded

The pic above is of Merv (uRV). He is my truck of almost 25 years that I have been repurposing into a micro-RV for travels around the Midwest in the coming years in my own version of “Travels with Charley”.  I have spent two years turning what was once a delivery truck for my past furniture business into a quite comfortable 5×8 foot living quarters. This spring I will start with the exterior design which will include advertising this blog and the travelogue over at InSearchOfAmerica.

In the mean time here sits uRV up to his wheels in the most recent snow storm. I know I shouldn’t complain as this is actually the first major snowfall to hit us this year. Last year at this time we had already had about 60 inches of snow. And then of course are my eastern neighbors.  If uRV were in Boston you wouldn’t see anything but a mound of snow.

Hopefully uRV will soon escape his snowbound condition and be ready to jump into action.

2015-03-02_08-18-28

 

Of course the title of this post came from the Sermon on the Mount found in the Christian Bible. Many, if not most Christians, believe that these teaching called the Beatitudes are fundamental to their faith. They are one of the primary lessons that Jesus left us on how he wants us to act. Here are all eight:

Blessed are..

….the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.
….those who mourn: for they will be comforted.
….the meek: for they will inherit the earth.
….those who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they will be filled.
….the merciful: for they will be shown mercy.
….the pure in heart: for they will see God.
….the peacemakers: for they will be called children of God.
….those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

And here is a little about what Wiki says about them:

Each Beatitude consists of two phrases: the condition and the result. In almost every case the condition is from familiar Old Testament context, but Jesus teaches a new interpretation. Together, the Beatitudes present a new set of Christian ideals that focus on a spirit of love and humility different in orientation than the usual force and exaction taken. They echo the highest ideals of the teachings of Jesus on mercy, spirituality, and compassion.

As typical with so many of his teachings Jesus brought a new meaning to an Old Testament lesson. That lesson here is that war and warriors that were so common in the Old Testament are now to be superseded by the peacemakers and a “turn the other cheek” philosophy. That is a hard lesson for many to learn especially those who still cling to only an Old Testament version of these things.  Jesus told us to be meek, be merciful, be pure of heart, and to be peacemakers. Almost everything the current Israeli Prime Minister says and does fails to live up to these principles. His only solution to the “Iran Problem” is overthrow or total annihilation. His only solution to the “Palestinian Problem” is dominance and “you kill one of us and we kill fifty of you”.

There are many in this country who call the U.S. a Christian nation but then seem to align only with Old Testament solutions to the world’s problems. As a matter of principle I will not be one of those who listen to the Israeli Prime Minister’s speech to the U.S. Congress tonight. Sadly, I already know his solutions to all of the conflicts around him.  Isn’t it about time that this “Christian nation” gave Christian solutions a chance and  firmly tell Mr. Netanyahu that there are other options.

The primary underlying firebrand that ignites so much of the Middle East turmoil is the Palestinian problem. Until that is resolved there will NEVER be peace in the Middle East. Maybe it is time to tell Israel who we give billions of dollars in weapons annually that their solutions have not worked for the sixty plus years of their existence so to now we insist that it is time to get out of the way and give the peacemakers a chance….

Some of us seem to totally lack empathy for others. Sadly the lack of empathy seems to be almost a requirement for GOP candidates these days. I know Paul Ryan who is one of the heroes on the Republican party celebrates his common bonds with his hero Ayn Rand who made it very clear that to her empathy is a severe handicap in society rather than an asset.  Of course the lack of empathy is clearly shown by those who have voted more than fifty time to take affordable healthcare away from millions of our nation’s citizens.

Some among us just can’t or at least won’t let themselves imagine what life would be like if we were in someone else’s shoes….

Let’s get started here with two definitions from Wikipedia:

2015-02-20_11-04-23Imagination

The ability to form new images and sensations that are not perceived through senses such as sight, hearing, or other senses. Imagination helps make knowledge applicable in solving problems and is fundamental to integrating experience and the learning process.

Empathy

Empathy has many different definitions that encompass a broad range of emotional states, including caring for other people and having a desire to help them; experiencing emotions that match another person’s emotions; discerning what another person is thinking or feeling; and making less distinct the differences between the self and the other.

It also is the ability to feel and share another person’s emotions. Some believe that empathy involves the ability to match another’s emotions, while others believe that empathy involves being tenderhearted toward another person. Compassion and sympathy are two terms that many associate with empathy, but all three of these terms are unique. Compassion is an emotion we feel when others are in need, which motivates us to help them. Sympathy is a feeling of care and understanding for someone in need.

Maybe you also can see the perceived link between these two states? I have run across people who just don’t have much of a sense of imagination. Maybe they just have no imagination and literally can’t imagine themselves in someone else’s shoes. Maybe they are unable to conjure up images of themselves in a different life circumstance? Gladly I am definitely not part of that crowd, if it even exists.  I seem to almost live in a world of my own imagination sometimes. I can imagine a world without war and killing. I can imagine a world where religious beliefs are found as a common bond between each of us instead of a reason to hate  and kill someone different. I can imagine a world without the violence of guns. I am a dreamer. Maybe that is how I maintain my sanity in this insane world.