Saturday, July 26, 2014

Carpe Diem

 Greetings, fellow castaways.

Lately, doesn't it seem as though the world in general is becoming more miserable? Doesn't it look like Politics, News and  Social Media has devolved into a mire of agendas and bashing, of strife and turmoil? Just look at the kinds of posts you see on a daily basis. It's enough to make Marvin the Paranoid Android look downright peppy, in spite of the diodes down his left side.

In looking at the situation, (and touching on last week's post), I think many have lost track of their own story. Remember, Jesus told Peter to quit focusing on John's story and to just focus on his own

("What business is he of yours? You do what I'm telling you to do, and don't worry about John. So what if I make him live forever? It's not what I want you to concern yourself with.").

So now we have people who worry about how much money someone else is making and not about simply making their own ends meet, about how other governments treat their citizens and subjects while they themselves heap derision and insult on anyone who disagrees with their opinion or worldview, about what decisions parents make for their own children, and about how or wheteher a man may defend his home and family.

Of course, these folks know more than everyone else how much a man or woman shoudl be allowed to make for salary, and they're happy to share it with everyone else. They know how foreign governments (and our own) should be run, they know how to parent our children, and they of course know whether we deserve or need to own the means of defense for our homes. They know more about what other people in their neighborhood (or town/city) than they do about what happens in their own household. Doesn't that seem a little out of touch?

Rather than allow anyone to excel (and make someone else look/feel bad), they would rather take what the successful earn and give it to those they deem worthy or needing, "from each according to his ability to each according to his need"--Karl Marx. "No one gets a Cadillac until everyone owns a Prius."

I swear, some people just aren't happy unless they are offended at someone else. And we just let them drone on and on, and we all become less happy, more stressed, and more miserable because of it.

How about we all just back off and take a breath? I can see what you're all offended at. But may I ask what you've done about it other than spread some hateful Facebook Meme? Can you say that you've minded your own story at least once today? "What is 'my own story?' you may ask? What about the Greatest Commandment? "Love your God with all your heart, all your mind, and all your soul and will, and love your neighbor like you love yourself." What about the Golden rule? "Treat others as you would have them treat you." What about what God requires of each of us? "Live justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God." Have you visited anyone in jail? Fed the homeless? Been a Big Brother to an orphan? I'd suggest that before you tell me how much I'm allowed to earn before you confiscate my wages, that you spend some time doing those things first.

Am I saying then that we should ignore injustice? That we should be passionate about nothing? God forbid! But we need to temper our passion with action, channel it to a constructive, not a destructive purpose. No man has ever been lifted up by tearing another man down. He only spreads misery. Lift up your friends, and even your enemies, and you lift yourself up as well. Honor every man more than yourself (by "man" I mean "mankind," not just the male of the species), and together we lift up and honor the whole, and become more honorable as a race. Can we do that?

One of the main themes of my series The NADIA Project is how we live our lives worrying about all the wrong things, failing to see what's right in front of us. What follows is an excerpt from Becoming NADIA that lays open the heart of the book (and you thought it was all about bullets and bodies, cases and conspiracies, didn't you? ;-) ).

I'll let you read it, and let that be my final statement on the matter. Let's all be about the business of our own stories, and let others work out their own.

Anyway, feel free to click the cover if you want to know more.

And enjoy the freebie.

Nadia walked north out of town on Hank's Lumber Road, skirting the upper lake on a
narrow, winding road that led up into the mountains around Klamath Falls. She breathed
deeply of the mountain air, refreshing her lungs as she stepped out, hands jammed in her
pockets. The aroma was clean, the air rich with life. She heard birds in the trees all around.
A bear snorted and shuffled across the road ahead, hardly giving her a second glance. A
gentle rain began to fall, and it wasn't long before Nadia began to feel the chill in her bones.

As she walked along, she wondered if the people who lived here appreciated the beauty
that surrounded them. She wondered if they woke up and simply went on with their lives,
not living each day to its fullest. How many people never heard the birdsongs in the trees,
never saw the sky painted with so many beautifully sad shades of watercolor gray? They
would call this dismal. They would write today off as dreary and depressing, and never
bother to look out their windows to see the beautiful, clear raindrops gathering like a million
tiny, silver-gilt diamonds on the leaves of the trees all around them. They wouldn't bother to
smell the clean scent of the air, feel the coolness in their lungs. How many never really
tasted the food they ate, or smelled the scent of the morning air in the mountains? How
many people never really felt the other people in their lives, never appreciated the love that
could be theirs? Deaf, numb, and blind, they existed only to exist. She took an extra deep
breath of cool, moist air and felt it cleanse her being. Breathing. They could start by being
thankful they could breathe, and enjoy every breath because it meant one more that they
could take.
How many more breaths would she be able to call hers?

Here, even so close to the end, she was thankful. Thankful for the few real friends with
whom she'd shared time and laughs, thankful for this short time that she'd been given. At
least she'd known friendship; she'd known love.

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