What Jesus calls us to do as followers is to create a world in which family is not a matter of blood, but of spirit. This more expansive view of family sounds lovely in theory, but is absolutely radical in practice.
SOURCE: The Underground Church: Reclaiming the Subversive Way of Jesus (Meyers, Robin)
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I think Teddy Roosevelt was probably my second all-time favorite Republican. Of course Lincoln was number one. If only Mr. Bush had followed in his fellow Republican’s footsteps one hundred years later instead of going to the opposite extreme. Thank you President Roosevelt for taking the bully pulpit as a trust buster for the common good of the people.
Our political system has increasingly been working in ways that increase the inequality of outcomes and reduce equality of opportunity. This should not come as a surprise: we have a political system that gives inordinate power to those at the top, and they have used that power not only to limit the extent of redistribution but also to shape the rules of the game in their favor, and to extract from the public what can only be called large “gifts.”
– The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future (Stiglitz, Joseph E.) –
Punditry is an industry built on confirmation bias. Rush Limbaugh and Keith Olbermann, Glenn Beck and Arianna Huffington, Rachel Maddow and Ann Coulter—these people provide fuel for beliefs, they pre-filter the world to match existing worldviews. If their filter is like your filter, you love them. If it isn’t, you hate them. You watch them not for information, but for confirmation. Be careful. People like to be told what they already know.
Remember that. They get uncomfortable when you tell them new things. New things . . . well, new things aren’t what they expect. They like to know that, say, a dog will bite a man. That is what dogs do. They don’t want to know that man bites a dog, because the world is not supposed to happen like that.
In short, what people think they want is news, but what they really crave is olds . . . Not news but olds, telling people that what they think they already know is true.
—Terry Pratchett quote from his character Lord Vetinari in his comic fantasy book series Discworld
Have you ever wondered why people with advanced degrees in climate science or biology don’t get online and debate global warming or evolution? The less you know about a subject, the less you believe there is to know in total. Only once you have some experience do you start to recognize the breadth and depth you have yet to plunder.
– You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You’re Deluding Yourself (McRaney, David) –
There is a lot to like about a conservative party that advocates for small government and understands what markets can accomplish and what they cannot. The problem is that the Republicans are not that party right now.
From the book The Centrist Manifesto (Wheelan, Charles)
America is not anything if it consists of each of us. It is something only if it consists of all of us.
I wish our politicians in Washington would look seriously at the words above from Woodrow Wilson. They were spoken almost a century ago but are as true today as they were then.
Synergy is a term I am somewhat fond of but seldom get to use it. It means the working together of two or more things to produce an effect greater than the sum of their individual effects. That is at the core of the quote above. The reason that America has been a great nation in this world is that we have accepted and even celebrated our diversity. Individually we just a nation of about 300 million different people but when we look beyond our individual self to the common good we are much more. We seem to have lost that concept lately at least inside of our nation’s capital if not throughout the land. I pray that some day soon we come to understand it once again. We should be celebrating our differences not hating each other because of them…
A little group of willful men, representing no opinion but their own, have rendered the great government of the United States helpless and contemptible. — Woodrow Wilson
This sounds an awfully like the Tea Party but in reality it was another small group of Republicans who tried to do the same thing. They failed and hopefully this current batch of wing-nuts will too.
I came across this saying in a small shop in Middleton Wisconsin while we were recently there visiting the Mustard Museum. Yeah, you got it right. More on that in a near future post. Of course the Groucho here is Groucho Marx.
At the end of the day, we are the ones who elect our government. And that means that we are responsible for what happens in Washington and the state capitals. That is the reality of democracy. It is not entirely unlike the old dog-training aphorism that there are no bad dogs, only bad owners. We “own” this government, and if Congress has been doing the equivalent of peeing on the carpet for a decade, then it is our fault.
Quote from Centrist Manifesto by Charles Wheelan
I love the reference to peeing on the carpet. Being a lifetime pet owner it definitely describes what is going on in Washington right now. I have high hopes that the newly forming Centrist Movement will have some positive effects on our nation’s politics. I dream that there are enough people like me who are fed up with all the wing-nuts currently in our national legislature.
As the quote above says the reality of a democracy is that we are responsible for what happens in Washington. We do that with our vote. It seems totally bizarre to me that congress has an approval rating in the mid-teens and yet so many people continue to vote the same people into office election after election! How idiotic is that…..
But I’m just a simple guy so what do I know.
It’s my honest opinion that we all want to leave our mark on this world. Some of us may not recognize this urge, but we all want to change something, to alter things, to create something that will last longer than us. Even if it is a scar. Yes, there are plenty out there who just want to inflict pain, because that’s the only thing they can do. Or the only thing they think they can do.
Once again my young Romanian blogging friend got me to thinking on a deeper level and that is a good thing. I think one of my major laments is that what I accomplished in my working life is already on the dust heap of time. Technology has moved generations beyond what I developed so my mark on the world of thirty years in the corporate sphere has already been erased. You might find some of my inventions in museums but that is about all.
I am still holding out hope that I will put at least a small dent during my existence. Who knows where that will come from. From my recently started series here on “Don’t Get Stuck” it might be showing myself as an example of how not to do things. Or maybe it will be at least on occasion will be something that others deem wisdom and take to heart. Wouldn’t that be something from such a simple guy as myself?
Most of us want to leave a mark on the world but some, of which I know one intimately, just want to get by with as little notice as possible. I’m sure that approach makes life easier and maybe even more joyful. Most of us just want to be noticed. Unfortunately there are those who accomplish notoriety by some horrendous act. Many with their gun of choice. Since guns are so freely available to any of us in this country that becomes too frequently the tool of choice. They will go down in history and it probably matters little to them the context of the note.
“We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.” -Jonathan Swift, 1667-1745
I never behold the heavens filled with stars that I do not feel I am looking in the face of God. I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon the earth and be an atheist. but I cannot conceive how he could lie looking up into the heavens and say there is no God.
When any church will inscribe over its altar, as its sole qualification for membership, the Saviour’s condensed statement of the substance of both law and Gospel. “‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul and thy neighbor as thyself.” that church will I join with all my heart and all my soul.
I have scores of books of quotations from many different people but one of them that I enjoy the most, besides Will Rogers of course :), is Abraham Lincoln. He had a way of being able to find just the right words to say something simply but in the most meaningful way. The above quotes are a glowing example.
I was a moody kid growing up. I was much too serious for my young age. In that regard I used to spend hours looking up at the sky at night. It was a wondrous sight to behold. It seems I remember that there were many more stars visible in my early years than now. Could that be because of childhood perceptions or maybe increased air pollution? That is beyond the topic of this post so I will leave it unanswered.
In my studies of Jesus and religion I have come to very much agree with Lincoln’s second quote here. The very core of the message of Jesus is to love God with all your heart and to love each other. Unfortunately it seems to be lost, or at least vastly shrunken in importance, in many of today’s churches. It is nice to know that Abe believed this long before I did.
By the way, I am still looking for that church at puts others ahead of their membership…..
Fear less, hope more; eat less, chew more; whine less, breathe more; talk less, say more; hate less, love more; and all good things are yours. -Swedish proverb
I don’t know many Swedes I guess so I don’t know if any of them actually live by this proverb. I briefly had a Norwegian roommate in college and he definitely liked to party with his friends. I can’t imagine another proverb that has so many lessons of life in it. I wonder where it came from.
Of course all of us Christians know about the Book of Proverbs in the Bible. There is a lot of wisdom in those words, or at least in some of them. But some are downright scary. What is a proverb? Here is what Wikipedia says about that:
A proverb (from Latin: proverbium) is a simple and concrete saying popularly known and repeated, which expresses a truth, based on common sense or the practical experience of humanity. They are often metaphorical. A proverb that describes a basic rule of conduct may also be known as a maxim. Proverbs are often borrowed from similar languages and cultures, and sometimes come down to the present through more than one language.
I guess I will have to do some studying on American proverbs. About the only one that comes to mind right now is “A bird in had is worth two in the bush”. But as far as proverbs go I think I like the Swedish one better. Fear, gluttony, whining, complaining, hating seem so endemic in our society today that maybe we should hijack the proverb above and try to put it in action.
When I came across this Einstein quote it almost made me shudder. Even though I have heard it before it struck me this time. We are advancing technologically at an astounding pace in recent years. Integrated circuits are in just about every device we now buy. Artificial intelligence is being used for so many things today. Unfortunately because the Pentagon budgets take the biggest bite out of our discretionary spend technology is at the forefront in our ability to kill those we currently don’t like for one reason or another.
Our killing machines are becoming so advanced that we can now kill thousands of times more of the “enemy” than we could even fifty years ago. With all this in mind I know that Albert was saying that our next world war would likely destroy worldwide civilizations such that the one after that would be amongst the few survivors that are left.
We seem to alway have an enemy that we want to destroy. In the past it has been the dreaded communists. In the present it is those who have a radicalized view of their religion. For one reason or another we have been at war with each other throughout our history. Do we stand a chance of not having a World War III? I just don’t know but I selfishly don’t want to be around when or if it happens as it will likely truly be the “was to end all wars”.
Thanks Albert for bringing this to our attention. I only pray that I am not the only one to shudder at the possibility of your words…
You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand. — Woodrow Wilson
I am falling back on to one of my primary heroes in life and that is President Woodrow Wilson. He like some other that followed was totally immersed in altruism. That is he was more concerned about his fellow man than he really was about himself or his own greatness. Many seem to go through their lives as if they were the only thing that mattered in this world. They live their lives in such a self-centered mode as to degrade their very existence.
We Christians must always remember the Great Commandments to love God and to love each other. Jesus told us this is the very meaning of life. I’m sure my friends of other faith beliefs can cite similar commands in their respective religions. We are not merely to go through life just making a living. We are here to enable the world , the whole world, to live more peaceably and with a spirit of hope. We all need to remember that we, if only in small ways, can help achieve this task.
Don’t impoverish yourself by forgetting that errand……
You are over the hill when you back goes out more than you do. – R.J. Walters (I think?)
Old age is always 15 years older than you are — Oliver Wendell Holmes
You know you are getting old when all the names in your black book have M.D. after them – Arnold Palmer
No man is ever old enough to know better — Holbrook Jackson
None are so old as those who outlive enthusiasm — Henry David Thoreau
True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country – Kurt Vonnegut
We are not limited by old age; we are liberated by it. — Stu Mittleman
I kind of like the last one. At least I personally feel liberated right now. I hope at least a few of these made you smile.
Happy old age
I am a collector of quotes. That is just who I am at this point in my life. I look for quotes that are short and to the point. So I thought for this “inspiration” Sunday I would compile a list of quotes that are central to my life.
- I apologize for the long letter but I didn’t have the time to write a short one. ~ Thomas Jefferson
- Essays should be like miniskirts. Short enough to be attractive, yet long enough to cover the main parts. ~ Unknown
None of us have time to listen to one-hundred words where twenty will relay the same message. Well, actually we all have the same amount of time but don’t care to use them up when we don’t have to. At first thought Jefferson’s quote here seems strange but I have come to realize that it is actually harder to say things in fewer words than to just ramble on and on. That is why I am almost fixated on my blogs not exceeding approximately five-hundred words. When I initially set down my thoughts on about any topic it is almost always longer than my limit and as Jefferson implies it takes time to parse out all the unneeded ones so that only the most necessary ones shine through. The second quote is very much like the first, keep it short and to the point but make sure you cover what you intended. Ok, here is another one:
- An education is like a crumbling building that needs constant upkeep with repairs and additions. ~ Edith Wharton
When I was young I dreamed of going to college one day. Even though no one in my family had accomplished it I was determined to do it. At that young age I thought that when I finished college I would be ready to tackle the world and all the problems associated with it. What I eventually came to learn was that college is actually a starting point. Learning goes on as long as we live. When I stop learning I stop living as far as I am concerned. One last round here and then I am finished:
- Ask a question and you’re a fool for three minutes; do not ask a question and you’re a fool for the rest of your life. ~ Chinese Proverb
- There are no foolish questions, and no man becomes a fool until he has stopped asking questions. ~ Charles Proteus Steinmetz
Questions are who I am and have been throughout my life. My constant questions seem to frequently get into trouble, or maybe I just annoy people too much when I ask them. But that has not stopped me from questioning anything even in my old age. As far as I am concerned when you stop questioning things you stop making a difference and don’t we all want to make a difference with our lives.