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Archive for September, 2015

Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.”

— Ephesians 4: 28

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How interesting that Paul wanted thieves to give up their thieving ways so that–of all things–they could share with the needy.

That as opposed to taking the honest money and buying, say, a new assault rifle.

But that’s the Bible for you.

Almost every page of it calls for the just, fair, generous treatment of the poor and vulnerable.

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A Turkish gendarme prepared to carry the body of Aylan Kurdi, 3, who drowned off Turkey's coast on Wednesday. (Photo: Turkish News Agency)

A Turkish gendarme prepared to carry the body of Aylan Kurdi, 3, who drowned off Turkey’s coast on Wednesday. (Photo: Turkish News Agency)

What’s wrong with this picture?

In the past year, America has taken in 1,000 Syrian refugees out of millions.

A county clerk in Kentucky, who is being exploited by a lot of people for cynical political purposes, is now receiving even more media attention than a presidential candidate, who is louder and more obnoxious than a drunk with a lampshade on his head, while millions are being forced to flee their homes “over there.”

This goes on while our President is taking “selfies” with a TV dude called “Bear” and all the presidential wannabes are avoiding the humanitarian crisis in Syria and the Mideast like the violent plague that it is.

I do not have any idea what to do about the violence out of Syria that has left an astounding 11 million people displaced the past four years–and nobody else seems to know how to stop it without making it worse.

But I do know that somebody in leadership positions in Washington ought to be focusing our attention on the fact that America has taken in a mere 1,000 refugees from “over there” in the Mideast.

Maybe they don’t have to focus attention on it because so many Americans seem to think that lives “over there” don’t matter much anyway because “all they do is kill each other, so let ’em have at it.”

That’s the attitude of so many people I know personally and people you no doubt know, too–including people who are so rabidly opposed to abortion because of the sanctity of life.

Maybe this powerful picture and the story of the 3-year-old boy Aylan will personalize the crisis in the Mideast and, now, in Europe and elsewhere, enough for us good-hearted American people to respond in some real and compassionate way.

But so far, the Kentucky clerk is the big attraction in our country’s endless media circus, overshadowing the drama over Tom Brady and the NFL Commissioner in “Deflate-gate.”

See here for the story of a Syrian boy who had a name: Aylan Kurdi.

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“When I look back over my life it’s almost as if there was a plan laid out for me – from the little girl who was so passionate about animals who longed to go to Africa and whose family couldn’t afford to put her through college. Everyone laughed at my dreams. I was supposed to be a secretary in Bournemouth.”

— Jane Goodall

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Speaking of ladies (see yesterday’s lament about the seeming lack of ladies) …

What a better world it would be if Jane Goodall and other brilliant, endlessly wise and morally high-minded women of the world received half as much daily media coverage as the narcissists of the world.

This 2008 interview with Dr. Jane is especially relevant in light of the President’s activity in Alaska and the Pope’s upcoming speeches to Congress and the U.N.

“I’m chasing good for the planet.”

Dr. Jane’s four main reasons for hope:

    “It is easy to be overwhelmed by feelings of hopelessness as we look around the world. We are losing species at a terrible rate, the balance of nature is disturbed, and we are destroying our beautiful planet. We have fear about water supplies, where future energy will come from – and most recently the developed world has been mired in an economic crisis. But in spite of all this I do have hope. And my hope is based on four factors.

    The Human Brain
    Firstly, we have at last begun to understand and face up to the problems that threaten us and the survival of life on Earth as we know it. Surely we can use our problem-solving abilities, our brains, to find ways to live in harmony with nature. Many companies have begun “greening” their operations, and millions of people worldwide are beginning to realize that each of us has a responsibility to the environment and our descendants. Everywhere I go, I see people making wiser choices, and more responsible ones.

    The Indomitable Human Spirit
    My second reason for hope lies in the indomitable nature of the human spirit. There are so many people who have dreamed seemingly unattainable dreams and, because they never gave up, achieved their goals against all the odds, or blazed a path along which others could follow. The recent presidential election in the U.S. is one example. As I travel around the world I meet so many incredible and amazing human beings. They inspire me. They inspire those around them.

    The Resilience of Nature
    My third reason for hope is the incredible resilience of nature. I have visited Nagasaki, site of the second atomic bomb that ended World War II. Scientists had predicted that nothing could grow there for at least 30 years. But, amazingly, greenery grew very quickly. One sapling actually managed to survive the bombing, and today it is a large tree, with great cracks and fissures, all black inside; but that tree still produces leaves. I carry one of those leaves with me as a powerful symbol of hope. I have seen such renewals time and again, including animal species brought back from the brink of extinction.

    The Determination of Young People
    My final reason for hope lies in the tremendous energy, enthusiasm and commitment of young people around the world. As they find out about the environmental and social problems that are now part of their heritage, they want to right the wrongs. Of course they do — they have a vested interest in this, for it will be their world tomorrow. They will be moving into leadership positions, into the workforce, becoming parents themselves. Young people, when informed and empowered, when they realize that what they do truly makes a difference, can indeed change the world. We should never underestimate the power of determined young people.

    I meet many young people with shining eyes who want to tell Dr. Jane what they’ve been doing, how they are making a difference in their communities. Whether it’s something simple like recycling or collecting trash, something that requires a lot of effort, like restoring a wetland or a prairie, or whether it’s raising money for the local dog shelter, they are a continual source of inspiration. My greatest reason for hope is the spirit and determination of young people, once they know what the problems are and have the tools to take action.

    So let’s move forward in this new millennium with hope, for without it all we can do is eat and drink the last of our resources as we watch our planet slowly die. Let’s have faith in ourselves, in our intellect, in our staunch spirit and in our young people. And let’s do the work that needs to be done, with love and compassion.”
    –Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE

Time spent browsing the Jane Goodall Institute’s site would be time well spent and I recommend you do it by clicking on this link.

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Some days this geezer longs for the company of the quaint Southern ladies he grew up around.

Overgrown child and former child TV star Miley Cyrus hosted one of the higher rated of the kazillion music award shows recently, which drew a kazillion young viewers.

Overgrown child and former child TV star Miley Cyrus hosted one of the higher rated of the kazillion music award shows offered every week on TV nowadays. Naturally, she drew a kazillion viewers.

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Melania Trump: She's going to be a different but enchanting First Lady.

Melania Trump: She’s going to be a different but enchanting First Lady.

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