Beware of those who Spin Truth

Spinning Top from Pixabay.com
Spinning Top from Pixabay.com

Spinning truth is one thing but claiming a lie is true and truth is a lie is very worrisome indeed.

Politician The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "The Politician" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/129edc60-e8f4-0130-ec12-58d385a7bbd0
Politician
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “The Politician” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/129edc60-e8f4-0130-ec12-58d385a7bbd0

When I was teenager my love of folk music lead me to Greenwich Village in New York City where I spent most of my free time in the mid 1960’s.  I learned a great deal about the music business and recording industry but what had I learned most about?  How to negotiate life in “The Big City” and survive.  I became very street wise and not all my acquired knowledge came the “Easy way.”  Fortunate to survive unharmed and without winding up in jail was a major accomplishment.

Tammany Hall The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Tammany Hall, N.Y." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-1ff8-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Tammany Hall
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Tammany Hall, N.Y.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-1ff8-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

This practical knowledge has served me well throughout my life: when I served in The United States Army and curiosity led me to some seedy places; when I was a performer in country and rock bands that exposed me to nightlife that held many dangers; when I was confronted by unscrupulous business people.  I learned to really appreciate honest people who were truthful.

Today there is an insidious threat  permeating almost every level of society in the USA and World.

President Clinton from Pixabay.com
President Clinton from Pixabay.com

No duplicity is not new; the negative effect however can reach more people than ever simply because there are more people and they are better connected.  We can learn from the past in order to make life better but we can also learn from the past how to perpetrate more sophisticated subterfuge. On the surface it appears The United State s of America expects a  high standard of conduct from all its people but dig deeper and some disturbing trends appear.

Blind Man The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "Blind man's buff ; 'Turn round three times, and catch whom you may.'" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47dc-880c-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Blind Man
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Blind man’s buff ; ‘Turn round three times, and catch whom you may.'” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47dc-880c-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Change is inevitable how we respond to it makes all the difference.

The middle class in the USA expected their children would have a better life: more economic success and security.  Sadly this seems to be falling short.  I met a skilled worker who would have many job opportunities fifty years ago but needed to accept a position as a laborer for low wages and no benefits.  If politicians spent more time seeking ways to work with change rather working with blame perhaps he would have chosen training in some other field (not going to list what fields are in or out in this article).

Political Booth The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Booths of commercial and political exhibitors at Eastern States Fair. Springfield, Massachusetts." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/ba309cea-948a-4288-e040-e00a18066c61
Political Booth
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Booths of commercial and political exhibitors at Eastern States Fair. Springfield, Massachusetts.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/ba309cea-948a-4288-e040-e00a18066c61

Politicians are not the only people ‘speaking out of both sides of their mouths.’

Yes No Bananas Music Division, The New York Public Library. "YES! We have no bananas" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-4f77-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Yes No Bananas
Music Division, The New York Public Library. “YES! We have no bananas” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-4f77-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Everyday people are taking their cue from politicians I fear: presenting a rosy picture on the surface while selfishly cutting corners behind the scenes despising their situation, choosing which laws to disregard and cheating where possible in order to gain an advantage.

As a follower of Jesus Christ I strive for something much better: honesty, empathy and constantly suppressing my flaws such as selfishness and self elevation at the expense of others. Instead I strive to make my yes a Yes and my no a No.

Examples from Holy Scripture:

Matthew 5:37 ESV

Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil

James 5:12 ESV

But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.

Proverbs 17:7 ESV

Fine speech is not becoming to a fool; still less is false speech to a prince.
2 Corinthians 7:14 ESV

And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

John 8:44 ESV

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Neo-Modernism

Machines Rare Book Division, The New York Public Library. "Fig. V. Chiromylos, pro tincturâ sculptarum laminarum parandâ." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/5fe9a0b3-5500-68bb-e040-e00a180615c4
Machines
Rare Book Division, The New York Public Library. “Fig. V. Chiromylos, pro tincturâ sculptarum laminarum parandâ.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/5fe9a0b3-5500-68bb-e040-e00a180615c4

Have we been here before?

Certainly.  Through the centuries humans have arrived at a fallacious assumption that we have discovered all there is to know and if something has slipped through the cracks science and human intelligence will know the answer shortly.  The world was thought to be flat; the Earth is the center of the Universe; The Milky way Galaxy is the entire Universe.

Telescope The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "Sidrophel examining the kite through his telescope" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/7d64b280-db8d-0130-46e9-58d385a7b928
Telescope
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Sidrophel examining the kite through his telescope” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/7d64b280-db8d-0130-46e9-58d385a7b928

These are only three misconceptions that were proven wrong  after they were considered true.  The rapid advance of science and the progress of the industrial age joined together with advances in medical science, sociology and psychology along with  increased communication lured people into a belief everything is known or will be known soon. The pinnacle? The age known by the term Modernism.  A period when humans thought all answers to all questions were within reach.

Catalog Everything Science, Industry and Business Library: General Collection , The New York Public Library. "Stelliones, Ex Matthiolo; Stern Eÿdex; Scincus; Frembd Eÿdex; Candulus; Lacertus Indicus Cordÿlo Similis; Cordÿlus Sive Vromastix; Chamælon Varius; Chamæleon niger." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47dd-d2d5-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Catalog Everything
Science, Industry and Business Library: General Collection , The New York Public Library. “Stelliones, Ex Matthiolo; Stern Eÿdex; Scincus; Frembd Eÿdex; Candulus; Lacertus Indicus Cordÿlo Similis; Cordÿlus Sive Vromastix; Chamælon Varius; Chamæleon niger.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47dd-d2d5-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

I am going to suggest that September 1, 1939 was the day Modernism was diagnosed as terminal.

Machine Guns The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Deutsche Maschinengewehr-Abteilung im Westen mit erbeuteten russischen Maschinengewehren." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47de-01b9-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Machine Guns
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Deutsche Maschinengewehr-Abteilung im Westen mit erbeuteten russischen Maschinengewehren.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47de-01b9-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Explosion The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "The Louisiana floating battery blown up by the rebels. Explosion of the rebel floating battery during Farragut's passing of the Mississippi forts. April 28th, 1862" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/6eaed3cc-759a-1df6-e040-e00a18065bf1
Explosion
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “The Louisiana floating battery blown up by the rebels. Explosion of the rebel floating battery during Farragut’s passing of the Mississippi forts. April 28th, 1862” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/6eaed3cc-759a-1df6-e040-e00a18065bf1

The realization that world order was beginning to unravel despite intelligence, advanced knowledge and skilled abilities of humans fell dramatically short of a Utopian dream.  It would take World War II and its aftermath to inflict a rude awakening upon people that we all fell short in creating a new World Order that provided universal peace and prosperity.  In stead we discovered that human used their intelligence, knowledge and skills to inflict a great deal of  suffering and death  to millions of people. What happened to the fond vision of altruism, virtue and the manifestation of a greater good for all?

Deep rooted human flaws, selfishness, lust and greed was just below a facade of civilized constraints.

Woodrow Wilson Rare Book Division, The New York Public Library. "Press Club" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/c1924630-f227-0130-c0ec-58d385a7b928
Woodrow Wilson
Rare Book Division, The New York Public Library. “Press Club” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/c1924630-f227-0130-c0ec-58d385a7b928

Where did the evil come from? I believe it was and is omnipresent: some people can control it better than others.  Given an opportunity it appears enough people are willing to give in to ancient impulses of behavior that benefits themselves at the expense of others: “The Law of the Jungle”?  The weak succumb to the whims of the strong? Viewing a single day’s worth of news from local to international proves the point: murder, rape and barbarism. From trivial motives to ideological (faux) motives the range of evil manifestation is undeniable.

Bridge of all Nations The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "View of the Bridge of All Nations at the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-9bca-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Bridge of all Nations
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “View of the Bridge of All Nations at the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-9bca-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Can the be hope for the fallible species homo sapiens?

Tame Nature with a Dam Science, Industry and Business Library: General Collection , The New York Public Library. "Kensico Influent Weir. Completed Influent weir and partially completed Influent chamber. Water flowing over weir into Knsico reservoir. Contract 55. December 6, 1915." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-dd66-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Tame Nature with a Dam
Science, Industry and Business Library: General Collection , The New York Public Library. “Kensico Influent Weir. Completed Influent weir and partially completed Influent chamber. Water flowing over weir into Knsico reservoir. Contract 55. December 6, 1915.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-dd66-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Yes.  The answers have been available a very long time.  God has provided a moral framework of behavior for us several thousand years past.  As a Christian I see the message God gave us clearly in the Holy Bible.  Our nature is revealed.  The inability of humans to stay with “doing good” is ingrained.  Not because he created a flawed creature but because of our inability to utilize free will to its apex intention: use it for that which is good.  Evil can tempt all who have free will.  The only hope we have?   Accept God’s guidance, submit to God’s authority and by Faith BELIEVE GOD.

 

 

 

Johns Hopkins Hospital The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Md." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-a5ea-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Johns Hopkins Hospital
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Md.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-a5ea-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

As a Christian I believe what God revealed about our nature is clearly stated in The Holy Bible.  And, the instructions for defeating evil are also contained therein.

Air Travel Science, Industry and Business Library: General Collection , The New York Public Library. "L'aviation d'hier et de demain, par Louis Bréguet." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/627f55fd-5ceb-2cae-e040-e00a18062420
Air Travel
Science, Industry and Business Library: General Collection , The New York Public Library. “L’aviation d’hier et de demain, par Louis Bréguet.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/627f55fd-5ceb-2cae-e040-e00a18062420

Excerpts from The Holy Bible that yield the truth:

2 Timothy 3:7 ESV

Always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.

Isaiah 44:25 ESV

Who frustrates the signs of liars2 Timothy 3:2 ESV
and makes fools of diviners,
who turns wise men back
and makes their knowledge foolish,

Proverbs 20:24 ESV

A man’s steps are from the LORD;
how then can man understand his way?

Proverbs 19:21 ESV

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.

Galatians 6:3 ESV

For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

2 Timothy 3:2 ESV

For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,

Forgiveness

Forgiveness Options: A.  Superficial; B. Conditional; C. Unconditional

Love Forgives Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Art and Artifacts Division, The New York Public Library. "Couple Embracing" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 5, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/840ba8f0-d56d-0131-09f9-58d385a7bbd0
Love Forgives
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Art and Artifacts Division, The New York Public Library. “Couple Embracing” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 5, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/840ba8f0-d56d-0131-09f9-58d385a7bbd0

Why do I believe human life on Earth cannot survive without forgiveness?

Song Sheet Music Division, The New York Public Library. "I can forgive but not forget" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 5, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e3-fc90-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Song Sheet
Music Division, The New York Public Library. “I can forgive but not forget” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 5, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e3-fc90-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Peace is a Happy Time Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Descent of Madame Saqui, surrounded by fireworks" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 5, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/97264390-da39-0132-d425-58d385a7b928
Peace is a Happy Time
Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. “Descent of Madame Saqui, surrounded by fireworks” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 5, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/97264390-da39-0132-d425-58d385a7b928

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyone can forgive someone who they are in a relationship with, they admire or agree with; it is much harder to forgive a stranger, one you disagree with or your enemy.  The awkwardness within our milieu is due to a fundamental misunderstanding exacerbated by the emotionally charged word “Love” in the English language.  Languages such as Greek have several words depicting love in various forms: emotional, erotic, friendship . . .   Yet like love, forgiveness offers and expresses many different things.

To forgive need not involve your emotions.

Mt Fuji Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. "Fuji from Kawaibashi." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 5, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/c260bdb3-9b64-4552-e040-e00a18066d81
Mt Fuji
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “Fuji from Kawaibashi.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 5, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/c260bdb3-9b64-4552-e040-e00a18066d81

It feels wonderful to forgive and be forgiven within a relationship such as a marriage.  Yet the human race can overcome some of the most tragic and horrific episodes of human history by choosing to forgive and act on it even when we do not feel like we want to.  When enemies chose to forgive and not inflict acts of vengeance on a vanquished foe, though ill feelings still linger, they assume the higher moral ground, discover their hate subsides and all the people effected by the recent conflict recover faster and better.

No greater example of this can be found then the relationships The United States of America embraced after World War II.

German Leaders The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Kronprinz Rupprecht von Bayern verlässt Schloss La Vallee, um sich an die Front zu begeben." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 5, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47de-0168-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
German Leaders
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Kronprinz Rupprecht von Bayern verlässt Schloss La Vallee, um sich an die Front zu begeben.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 5, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47de-0168-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

The USA assisted Germany and Japan – former enemies – recover as well as innocent and allied nations.  The post WWII world experienced a remarkable trend toward peace (not a perfect peace though) when within the global family of nations Germany and Japan became productive positive entities.  This was not the way losers of previous wars were treated nor did they expect this altruistic treatment. Where does this concept originate?

x Peace Symbolic The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "Allegory of Peace" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 5, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/900c6600-0c9b-0133-c04d-58d385a7bbd0
x Peace Symbolic
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Allegory of Peace” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 5, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/900c6600-0c9b-0133-c04d-58d385a7bbd0

God bestowed upon humanity instructions that when followed yield the best outcome for more people for a longer period of time.

A Better Life can be Found Here (C) James Halifko
A Better Life can be Found Here (C) James Halifko

As a Christian I discovered that within the Holy Bible prescriptions are furnished as well as proscriptions for humans to live by.  One of the greatest lessons became obvious to me after living a while and observing life: Emotions are fleeting and decisions made under their spell often calamitous. As the old cliché reflects, “Cooler heads prevailed . . .”. Not to imply pure emotionless logic is the route I promote but rather, act when one has gained control of his or her emotions and clear thinking dominates so one can recognize the best decision for the situation at hand.  Forgiveness leads to better things but one can only see this when emotions are held at bay and reason prevails.

Christians gained this insight fro the Holy Bible; excerpts follow:

 Ephesians 4:32 English Standard Version (ESV)

32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Proverbs 10:12 English Standard Version (ESV)

12 Hatred stirs up strife,
but love covers all offenses.

Matthew 6:12English Standard Version (ESV)

12 and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.

Matthew 18:21-22English Standard Version (ESV)

21 Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?”22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.

John 13:34English Standard Version (ESV)

34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.

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Affluenza a Dangerous Trend

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I was taught ignorance of the law is no excuse.

 

U Truck The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Truck used in connection with community canning kitchen activities. Pope County, Ark." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/ba309cea-91da-4288-e040-e00a18066c61
PU Truck
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Truck used in connection with community canning kitchen activities. Pope County, Ark.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/ba309cea-91da-4288-e040-e00a18066c61

The case of the Texas teen who had become intoxicated and drove his pickup truck in such a way as to kill several people neither was he old enough to drive nor drink alcoholic beverages; yet a defense of ignorance seemed to work well enough for him to escape justice with probation only without jail time. Why would an underage child behave in such an irresponsible way?  What did their parents think? How did they react?  Perhaps what their defense attorney presented gives us some idea of this child’s home life. Too Young to Carry on Like an Adult 

Tavren Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs and Prints Division, The New York Public Library. "The bar at Palm Tavern, Negro restaurant on 47th Street, Chicago, Illinois, April 1941." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47de-8726-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Tavren
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs and Prints Division, The New York Public Library. “The bar at Palm Tavern, Negro restaurant on 47th Street, Chicago, Illinois, April 1941.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47de-8726-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

What was behind this miscarriage of justice?  When the defense attorney revealed that the defendant was a member of an affluent family that neither corrected his behavior nor instructed him as to what was right or wrong  an argument that he deserved leniency was offered.  It seems he could not avoid misbehaving because he was not taught how to behave well.  I believe there is a lot wrong with this whole situation and not just the lenient sentence.

The United States of America I grew up in was not shy to put forth a high standard for the conduct of its citizens – juvenile or adult.

Street The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Grand Opera House, northwest corner, West 23rd Street and Eighth Avenue, Manhattan." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-4f5b-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Street
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Grand Opera House, northwest corner, West 23rd Street and Eighth Avenue, Manhattan.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-4f5b-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

My family used the Ten Commandments as a guide, as did my school, as did my local, State and Federal governments.  My church expounded on the finer details and taught how they applied in our modern world.  No the society in the past was not perfect. Yet even with its problems it did not seem as troubled as it is today.  I think it is more than how the media reports the news.afforded

Movies

The entertainment industry very often used plots that illustrated how the standard for our civilization worked.  In time a process of easing up on the standard began to have an effect however.  Now most movies I consider viewing for enjoyment have some aspect within the story line that makes me cringe.  Not just violence; not just explicit (or nearly explicit) sex.  It is the ever-increasing use of profanity even uttered by young characters that offends my wife and me.

Two World Wars forced humanity to move from Modernism to Post Modernism: Humanity reaped the horrors of war because civilization failed to protect people from wide-spread manifestations of evil.

Tomb Stones The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Arlington, Va. [View of rows of white tombstones]." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-ba06-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Tomb Stones
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Arlington, Va. [View of rows of white tombstones].” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-ba06-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Thinkers within the sphere of philosophy led the way into relativism, but soon artists, writers and then governments became energized with this liberal way of thinking.  It did not take long before every day citizens embraced the new liberal way of life as well.  One by one taboos fell.  One by one standards slackened.  One by one even some offensive aspects of society were displayed unblushingly because of this new-found freedom.  It did not seem to matter who was offended as long as free speech and liberal behavior was allowed free rein. Consequences in this mind-set are to be ignored at the worst or minimized at best.

Cultural upheaval was more than “Sex, Drugs and Rock’n’roll” it also invaded government, schools and even some churches.

US Capitol The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "The Capitol. Washington, D.C." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-7574-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
US Capitol
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “The Capitol. Washington, D.C.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-7574-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Ordinary people – the everyday family with a stay at home mom and working dad – were bath in a constant din of movements bringing forth some obscure minority view than, insisting on a change in its favor.  This new definition of what was good could dominate everything despite the reality that it was only promoted by a few; now the many had to allow the few to define what our civilization would be like instead of the other way around.

I was taught in classes on citizenship that in The U.S.A the majority rule included a safe guard for minority views as the many set our nation’s course. Could a real sociological and cultural Apocalypse be in our future? Perhaps like the dystopia portrayed in Clockwork Orange (movie from 1971) 

Junk The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Shabby houses and junk across street from new apartment house. Washington, D.C." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/ba309cea-9140-4288-e040-e00a18066c61 Tomb Stones X
Junk
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Shabby houses and junk across street from new apartment house. Washington, D.C.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/ba309cea-9140-4288-e040-e00a18066c61
Tomb Stones X

Today it appears the minorities set our course and the majority view is not safe guarded but rather demonized.  Can an old-fashioned view of our culture lead to punishment of people who belong to this majority view?  Consequences that offend, weaken and erode the fabric of our nation often seem irrelevant.

Once again I state as a Christian, that the standard for individuals and nations is revealed within The Holy Bible.  Instead of seeking out hypocrisy and failings of some people declaring these principles as a failure, we as a nation we should examine all the good that the principles contained in The Holy Bible have provided for humanity.  These principles have improved the state of humanity and should be reexamined and in my opinion re-applied to our society and culture.

Bible The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Title page" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-618c-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Bible
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Title page” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-618c-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

Church The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "Trinity Church, N.Y." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-f35b-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Church
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Trinity Church, N.Y.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 17, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-f35b-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Excerpts from scripture about consequences for breaking laws:

Colossians 3:25 ESV

For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.

Romans 13:1 ESV

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.

Proverbs 14:12 ESV

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.

Proverbs 20:1 ESV

Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and / 4 helpful votes whoever is led astray by it is not wise.

Matthew 5:37 ESV

Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.

James 5:12 ESV

But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.

Proverbs 29:15 ESV

The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.

Proverbs 11:21 ESV

Be assured, an evil person will not go unpunished, but the offspring of the righteous will be delivered.

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Wisdom, How to Get It

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Are people born wise or do they acquire wisdom somehow?

wisdom

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wisdom

noun wis·dom \ˈwiz-dəm\

Simple Definition of wisdom

  • : knowledge that is gained by having many experiences in life

  • : the natural ability to understand things that most other people cannot understand

  • : knowledge of what is proper or reasonable : good sense or judgment

Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. "Woman In Graduation Cap And Gown, Front And Back View." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 15, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-f03d-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “Woman In Graduation Cap And Gown, Front And Back View.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 15, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-f03d-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Wisdom seems like an easy subject to identify and explain yet if we examine what we consider wisdom to be out side of any context we may discover it is not a one size fits all attribute.  Can animals have wisdom within their sphere of existence?  If a person is considered wise in one culture can that translate well into another culture?  Is there a baseline for wisdom that allthose destined to be considered wise possess and then they acquire what they need to know how to be wise within their reality?  Is wisdom translatable from one society to another?  Just from my point of view I believe wisdom is recognizable though its function may be fine tuned for a particular milieu.

In  1 Kings 3:16-28 Solomon after hearing a plea from two different women to grant a child to them and after finding it difficult to rule in favor for one or the other, he tells his guard to cut the child in two knowing the real mother would rather yield than see her child slain.  The wisdom in this story transcends time and culture.  When Neil Armstrong was faced with a computer glitch he chose to land the LM (Lunar Module) manually a type of wisdom apropos for space exploration a unique time in human history.  Still, if Neil Armstrong was in an ancient war in a chariot I suspect his skill potential probably would have led him to a pertinent solution for a predicament he may have been in then and there.  In other words, something about Neil Armstrong favors his ability to acquire skills and knowledge leading to wise decisions.  Possibly?

In The United States of America a great deal of information is available to just about every citizen but wisdom sometimes seems lacking.

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "Thomas Jefferson." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 16, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-ed0d-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Thomas Jefferson.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 16, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-ed0d-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Thunder Cloud, Blackfeet" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 16, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-da04-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Thunder Cloud, Blackfeet” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 16, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-da04-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Ok in general US citizens are educated, knowledgeable about life’s pit falls and can find information and counseling for just about every situation or topic.  Then why is the divorce rate around 50%, deaths annually are over 30,000 from automobile accidents and a myriad of foolish criminal acts happen almost continuously?  Poor decisions with investments, drug use and purchases aboundall

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "M. Daniel Schneider misenensis in electoriaii Dresda Ad. D. Mariae et S. crucis ecclesiastes plgs. Rev. Minist. ibid. Senior." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 16, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/a65293aa-6903-f3ac-e040-e00a180606d8
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “M. Daniel Schneider misenensis in electoriaii Dresda Ad. D. Mariae et S. crucis ecclesiastes plgs. Rev. Minist. ibid. Senior.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 16, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/a65293aa-6903-f3ac-e040-e00a180606d8
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "Thomas Alva Edison on cover of Scientific American." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 16, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47df-8fc4-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Thomas Alva Edison on cover of Scientific American.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 16, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47df-8fc4-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

despite an educated population with access to information that people on Earth have never had.  It appears sometimes people may either be lazy or would rather take a chance where no risky decision  be made.

People need to care about what they choose to do.

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs and Prints Division, The New York Public Library. "Wise Shoppers Start Home; The family starts home; To stretch their points they have bought fresh fruits and vegetables and more cereals than they used to eat; The boy and girl have been helpful to their mother because they've learned that rationing and price control help them get a fair share of scarce foods" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 16, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47de-8431-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs and Prints Division, The New York Public Library. “Wise Shoppers Start Home; The family starts home; To stretch their points they have bought fresh fruits and vegetables and more cereals than they used to eat; The boy and girl have been helpful to their mother because they’ve learned that rationing and price control help them get a fair share of scarce foods” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 16, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47de-8431-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

People are like the proverbial horse who refused to drink.  All the information sources, expert professionals  and abundant free advice is wasted if people chose not to make use of them.  There are esoteric fraternities, clubs and organizations also willing to help their members if only a person would ask.  Even religion can help: religions offer good recommendations as to how to function well within a society.

What do Christians believe concerning wisdom?

Spencer Collection, The New York Public Library. "King Solomon and Bilqîs, the Queen of Sheba, enthroned." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 16, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/5e66b3e8-e9d4-d471-e040-e00a180654d7
Spencer Collection, The New York Public Library. “King Solomon and Bilqîs, the Queen of Sheba, enthroned.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 16, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/5e66b3e8-e9d4-d471-e040-e00a180654d7
General Research Division, The New York Public Library. "Temple de Salomon." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 16, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47df-946d-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
General Research Division, The New York Public Library. “Temple de Salomon.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 16, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47df-946d-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Christians look to God for their source of wisdom.  Below you will find just alla bit of information that comes from scripture concerning allwisdom.  In the Bible you can find advice about wisdom: examples concerning many of life’s typical situations that turn out well for those who are wise, as opposed to those who are not.  As a Christian I believe the beginning of wisdom begins with the fear (respect for) of God.

Spencer Collection, The New York Public Library. "Proverbs 1" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 16, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47df-c96f-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Spencer Collection, The New York Public Library. “Proverbs 1” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 16, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47df-c96f-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

all

Excerpts from scripture about wisdom:

James 1:5 ESV

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

Proverbs 10:23 ESV

Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool, but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding.

Proverbs 12:15 ESV

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.all

Proverbs 19:20 ESV

allmyriadlackingListen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.

Proverbs 14:16 ESV

One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless.

2 Chronicles 1:7-12 ESV

In that night God appeared to Solomon, and said to him, “Ask what I shall give you.” And Solomon said to God, “You have shown great and steadfast love to David my father, and have made me king in his place. O Lord God, let your word to David my father be now fulfilled, for you have made me king over a allpeople as numerous as the dust of the earth. Give me now wisdom and knowledge to go out and come in before this people, for who can govern this people of yours, which is so great?” God answered Solomon, “Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked possessions, wealth, honor, or the life of those who hate you, and have not even asked long life, but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself that you may govern my people over whom I have made you king, wisdom and knowledge are granted to you…

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Speed Limits, Traffic Rules and More

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Each bending or ignoring of the rules does not seem like much when viewed in isolation.

I have read about corrupt governments, terrorist enclaves, lawless no-man’s lands and places of weak law enforcement around the World. Maybe you have too. Maybe you think or even say, “I am sure glad I live in The United States.” You may also wonder how people around the world could tolerate or even support such despicable behavior from their fellow citizens.

Do we have the best country in the world?

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Quadrilles--La Pastorelle an avant, 7th" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 4, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/ea485310-0256-0133-db6b-58d385a7b928
Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. “Quadrilles–La Pastorelle an avant, 7th” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 4, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/ea485310-0256-0133-db6b-58d385a7b928

Statistics can be manipulated, politicians can pander or spin things to suit their purposes – which are often linked to special interests – media can try to subtly sway public opinion . . . and I can go on with describing ways in which everyday citizens can be mislead or even completely fooled yet, what is one really big source of influence that can be used on us all? It is the threat of being labeled disloyal – or even treasonous – because of what we believe, say or do. This can be alluded to or even directly hurled our way when we ask too many questions, want to know how money is being used or disagree with a popular movement. In a country populated with at least 320 million people and in as large an area these United States of America exist in, a myriad of differences of opinion, views and expectations suggest life here can become very complicated if we let it. It is unrealistic to expect that all the people will agree about everything all the time. Still, as a Nation we have a remarkable history of sticking together despite our differences ( at least usually).

In The U.S.A. differences have been a source of strength.

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "Ausstellung Palast in New York." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 4, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-7d08-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Ausstellung Palast in New York.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 4, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-7d08-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

I can say for a vast land with a large population we have a remarkable ability to remain united (for all practical considerations at least). We do have poor people in depressed areas (and some exist almost everywhere), we do have some people discriminated against and we do have some people living in areas that are below the national standard in terms of what services are there or the quality of those services (i.e. Internet connection speed). Still, we produce plenty of food, have many great roads and even offer some alternative transportation options, provide mostly good quality fresh water for people to use and decent sanitary conditions utilized a very large-scale that is probably is unmatched globally. Still in the interest of fairness and truth, there are a few negatives I should mention.

In this world we know that nothing is perfect; imperfection exists even in the U.S.A.

Injustice does happen, disrespect happens, bullying can threaten some school children, there is hunger and homelessness even in affluent areas; yes some needy people do fall through the cracks of our social safety nets. World comparisons (though often distorted by scale differences) indicate we can do better, in education, in holding the cost of health-care down and in getting more young people into post high school education or job training. We also can do better in correcting the ddiscrepancies in income levels for men versus women, for different races and different regions. We also can do better with managing beneficial government programs especially when they are undermined by special interests and corruption. I have read that each year as much as $50 Billion dollars are lost to corruption in Medicare: if we spent $2 Billion dollars on enforcement of Medicare rules and recovered half of $50 Billion dollars, the enforcement costs would be worth the expenditure. Still, none of these (and a few others not delineated) upset me more than a negative trend I recognize in the everyday experience going about my quintessential daily routines.

Trend: Increasing willingness to bend the rules even break some laws.

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Monkey's Sculpture at Nikko: Mizaru Kikazaru Iwazaru (See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil)" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 4, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-c695-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Monkey’s Sculpture at Nikko: Mizaru Kikazaru Iwazaru (See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil)” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 4, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-c695-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Income inequality, corruption, over or under regulation and the subterfuges hidden in business practices of large entities (private industry or in government agencies) may be a big part of the root cause of this increasing lawlessness. To me is not a valid excuse for this trend but with bad examples I suppose we must expect it; to me these acts in fact reveal selfishness and greed that is even moving toward a disregard for the sanctity of human life – or at the very least a loss of respect for one another. Phrases like, “Every body does it,” ” it is a stupid law anyway,” “How else am I going to get what is due me or get ahead?” Comments like these indicate that the hearts of the people who try to excuse or defend this trend are being worn down by lax moral teaching or strong influence from bad examples. Before I write about the more serious aspects of the decline in the rule of law and weakened practice of civility, I want to tell you about the seemingly “little things” that for the most part do not require assistance from law enforcement, but, degrade the quality of life for many of us and, may be becoming more than just a nuisance or annoyance. These behaviors if they continue to increase encourage rational for bad behavior or the disregard for our fellow citizens‘ rights.

Little white lies and minor violations.

In 1955 when I was eight years old my father started to tell me about “little white lies” but my mother promptly intervened and with a chuckle tapped my father’s shoulder and said, “Stop, he has plenty of time to learn about that.”  That was true, and later I did learn that sometimes not telling the truth about what appears to be a trivial matter could spare someone’s feelings, avoid a senseless argument or avoid admitting to a seemingly benign “something” I may have done.  In all of these situations and many similar ones the “ideal” of always telling the truth, or emulating the myth that George Washington could not tell a lie, produced an inner conflict within me: my religious training contradicted the concept of “how things really are” and what in reality was the sliding scale used to judge what good and bad actually meant.  And now I have even learned that George Washington a father of our country practiced espionage during the Revolutionary War; though for obvious good reason  but learning of this demystification of a national hero, did and does make me feel like I had been fooled when I studied history as a child.

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "Evil counsel" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 4, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/c84c4530-56bd-0130-bc4b-58d385a7bbd0
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Evil counsel” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 4, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/c84c4530-56bd-0130-bc4b-58d385a7bbd0

Like most of my friends and family I gradually learned how much disinformation, omissions of truth and denials worked well to hide my guilt so it would be recognized. I deftly learned when to own up to something so I didn’t get deeper into trouble or deceive in order to stay out of trouble altogether.  in fact the whole culture around me as I matured became a delicate balance of truth verses “little white lies.” Then one day “Bam!” I crossed a line and flirted with doing more serious duplicity; from then on my game of “truth and lies” matured into actually breaking rules willfully, consciously bending laws and even violating a couple of the “Ten Commandments.”

I had to admit some, pay the consequences for some, confess sin sometimes and wrestle with an annoying conscience even if I thought I got away with something.  In order to function I developed a keen “streetwise” sense about daily life and, often that spared me the worst of possible consequences that I could have experienced, for whatever breach of a rule or a law I was responsible for.  I vow that this article isn’t going to become an article of true confessions, I’ll save that story for another time.  I will only say this: the norm of the milieu from which I matured within wasn’t perfect but, there were invisible lines that almost everyone knew not to cross, or unspoken limits not to pass. Comparing that to today’s norm however, almost makes the past look like the days of innocence touted in urban mythology.

The problem with saying, “Yes that is the ideal but this is the way it really is,” allows for a gradual process of ever-increasing tolerance to whatever we may consider in our own minds to be just a “little white lie” and therefore “no big deal.”  Later I will comment on the standard I believe in by which human behavior is judged and why we are incapable of achieving “perfect honesty”, but, I want to emphasize this: in the absence of striving for honesty at a high moral standard lessens the quality of life for most people.  A better trend: trying for the highest standard one can achieve thus reducing life’s negative effects that come from one another.

Now what is the trend toward more serious disregard for others?

So, we accept some degree of hypocrisy in our world and even sometimes come to practice it ourselves – even if inadvertently.  After all, “Nobody’s perfect. Right?” One big problem with that: How and where do we draw the line? Who becomes the person (or persons) who draws the line?  Is where the line sits arbitrary?  Is it immovable?  Is the line extant at all?

Well, we have a government that creates laws and various “police” entities that enforce them.  Still with so large a population as in The United States of America there are way too many people to manage easily, way too laws (sometimes elected officials pass laws as to appear like they are doing something I think) and way too many people willing to bend them.  Even way too many people willing to even break them, so as a matter of practicality the degree of enforce is at best a selective process.  Having to decide which laws to enforce happens out of necessity because of the complexity and huge undertaking it has become.  And so, ignoring some laws and definitely ignoring some immoral behavior results in a de facto allowing them to continue (perhaps with a wink and a sigh) with little or no restriction.  Isn’t this the reality of life now?  So why do I have so much trouble accepting it?

In my lifetime I have noticed the gradual increase of the kinds of lawlessness that degrade the quality of life for many people: headlights too bright (or misaligned), increased recreational drug use creating a bad atmosphere (especially for children), the disregard for speed limits (especially in highway work zones), snow allow to fly off the roof of a vehicle and smash the windshield of the vehicle behind, non physically challenged drivers parking in disability reserved parking, using extra-large tires without mud flaps to stop flinging stones, non courteous driving (non use of directional vehicle lights, no vehicle lights in low viability situations), non courteous shopping behavior in stores or sloppy services provided by technicians, and, a sense that cheating is alright as long as you don’t get caught.  In a climate of “I can pick and chose which laws or rules apply to me, a degradation of the quality of life for the people you share space with is easily achieved.  The lax attitude also makes graduating to perpetrating more serious transgressions a lot easier.

A trend like this is not a joke.

Cheating on taxes, insurance fraud (especially with Medicare) passing in no passing lanes, shoplifting, Affluenza type excuses for failures to obey laws, pilfering, theft, larceny, brutality and with the diminished value of life where even murder for absurd reasons is happening.  Murder for a piece of fruit, for shoes, for a belt or even worse, just for fun.  One more thing, I do not believe there is such a thing as a “victim-less” crime in any case.  Someone does experience physical or emotional (psychological) harm even if the negative effect is not immediately recognizable by an act or behavior.

So to those who scoff at religion, especially “The Ten Commandments” and, scoff at the people who try to obey God’s Law, shame on you; I hope your distorted view of freedom in some way teaches you a personal lesson someday and you come to realize you do need God in your life. I hope you learn that lesson before it is too late.  We all need God.

 The Christian culture and tradition is the best for all people.

First, we Christians become Christians, not because we are better than anyone else, less likely to violate a law, never have bent a rule or have always treated everyone we have encountered with perfection. We have not always been guided perfectly by honoring “The Golden Rule,” have done unto to others what we would have them do to us.  We know we are not perfect.  We know because there is nothing we can do to gain favor with God.  Therefore we accept that Jesus paid for our imperfection (our sins) with his life and from the moment we believe in Him, He covers our faulty image and we begin to change because we are grateful for His work and the ability to begin to acquire a new nature.  We are being transformed from the inside out and that increases our sensitivity to sin so we can learn to turn away from doing wrong more and more each day.  But if we stumble, then we confess, ask for forgiveness and continue on with our transformation of becoming more “Christ-Like.”  We study God’s word and apply what we learn concerning good and bad, what is right from wrong and thus live a better life a little at a time as an ongoing process.

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Art & Architecture Collection, The New York Public Library. "Botticelli, Uffizi, 566. [Nativity.]" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 4, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e3-6c65-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Art & Architecture Collection, The New York Public Library. “Botticelli, Uffizi, 566. [Nativity.]” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed February 4, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e3-6c65-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Yes there are fake Christians who exploit others, mislead others or violate others but those who are sincere, bring good into a world deeply steeped in selfishness, greed and revenge.  I believe God, not because I can be certain of anything.  I accept His truth on faith using my own free will.  For that, I avoid life’s worst pit falls that would be of my own doing; I believe I have eternal life; I strive to do unto others what I would have others do unto me. Yes through Jesus I am assured salvation for eternity and out of gratitude I try to act better everyday.

Conclusion.

In a fallen world we will never experience perfection but with a relationship with God through Jesus Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit, we can do better and, at the same time bring a glimpse of heaven to a world that seems oblivious of God’s desire for all people: God wants all people to enter into His Kingdom and experience eternal salvation and become true children of God.  Free Will makes it your choice.

Excerpts from the Bible that promotes “The Greater Good.”

Jeremiah 29:11 ESV (Future)

11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[a] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

A Or peace

Philippians 2:4 ESV (better attitude)

4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

2 Timothy 3:2 – 4 ESV (The way it has become today))

2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, Jeremiah 29:11 ESV (Future) swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,

Proverbs 21:13 ESV ESV (Ears that do not want to hear)

13 Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered.

Isaiah 5:20 ESV (Calling bad good and good bad)

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil,
who put darkness for light and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

Romans 2:8 ESV (payment for evil)

8 but for those who are self-seeking[a] and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.

a Or contentious

John 3:16 (Salvation through Jesus)

16 “For God so loved the world,that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

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The Rise of Women

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It is ridiculous to think our world can be run by one sex. In In

"Self Contained Society" Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. "Jungle village scene." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 26, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/c261e829-384b-8b35-e040-e00a18061102
“Self Contained Society”
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “Jungle village scene.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 26, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/c261e829-384b-8b35-e040-e00a18061102

OK, throughout history variations in culture and tradition make things appear that people have lived (and some may still live) within a society dominated by one sex: either male or female.  I am referring to what societies considered norms not the exceptions: there always seems to be a person (or persons) who is (are) unique and as an exception to the pattern of the society they have lived in.  How people see what is normal is dependent on the milieu they were born and nurtured in, and this may become so firmly embedded within their being that to them it is the only way it can be.  So within the world and at various times people have come to accept a variety of traditions that define roles for Men and Woman: then, what seems to be the standard is actually just the prevailing view.  What is the predominant view from within my society?  From the historical frame of reference I was taught: “it seems to have always been a male dominated world.”  Really?

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "Femmes Cabocles (sauvages civilisés) vivant du métier de blanchisseuses dans la ville de Rio Janeiro." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 26, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47df-7934-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Femmes Cabocles (sauvages civilisés) vivant du métier de blanchisseuses dans la ville de Rio Janeiro.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 26, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47df-7934-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Sometimes I believe women let men believe they are in charge.  I think there is much evidence to support the view that despite differences in appearance, humans cannot function without a close partnership between the sexes.  Each has characteristics making them important to survival. When there are few people and the priority is to multiply and populate, the traditional family unit becomes vital for a group of humans to survive.  There is limited time and resources available for anything but sticking with what enhances the prospects for survival. In that circumstance what each is more suited for cast them into particular jobs in general but, that is not where the story ends.  Variation in both sexes confuses stereotypical classification; the brain power is virtually identical and physical prowess (or lack of it) is subject to individual specialization.  It may be that the only real difference is women bear our children and have the ability to nourish infants with breast milk and men cannot.  Almost all other differences are just apparent differences; this is because humans chose to believe how things should be and then act out what is assumed to be correct.  Often people are motivated predominately by what they like; each sex enjoys the differences between the sexes in some way, and so for the most part the accepted norm continues.  So what does history indicate to me, concerning the role of the sexes in society over time?

 Sometimes men seem to be in charge and sometimes women seem to be.

General Research Division, The New York Public Library. “Count Neipperg, Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma, [and ?]]” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 26, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e2-7d7d-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
General Research Division, The New York Public Library. “Bardos Phokas Caesar, Saraceen.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 26, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-37f8-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

When there are few people and the priority is to multiply and populate, the traditional family unit becomes vital for a group of humans to survive.  There is limited time and resources available for anything but sticking with what enhances the prospects for survival. Obtaining food, shelter and physical security is paramount.

 

 

New opportunities arise.

Gradually as the basic needs become assured some individuals can pursue endeavors beyond mere survival: Specialization is then possible.  Political leadership, religious leadership, career warriors, health-care specialists all become possible; the group initially affords them by sharing resources willingly but as the society expands the need for taxing may then become necessary.

Some of the leadership roles can be assumed by women and they may even choose not to bear children.  This is fine as long as the group as a whole has sufficient population growth to fill vacancies as people age and become less productive: in good times even elderly members may be cared for despite their inability to contribute much in the physical sense.  The society develops a tradition concerning roles for males and females and then after a time the pattern becomes the social norm resisting further change unless dire circumstances force it.

Change can evoke fear in some people.

Humans tend to fear change and reject it when there is too much of it, when there is too wide a variation, or if change happens with too rapid a pace.   This aversion to alteration usually persists long after survival needs had been met, and when patterns mature to become in grain they acquire a sense that “we have always done it that way, so why change?” Social innovation may be slow in coming without strong influences pressing for it.

And so today we are living in a multi cultural world with extensive global trade, extreme specialization and rapid social change challenging almost all the people on the planet.  The pace and amount of change varies in different degrees but the influences of easy travel, social networking and technological advances is irresistible .  What was normal is challenged; what is normal is challenged ; what could become normal is challenged,.  All these challenges force humans to adopt and adapt now, if they have not done so already – this is done in spite of the risk of “growing pains”.

Examples of woman rising up to meet a challenge are not so rare.

Throughout history regardless of when or where women have arisen to leadership –  even within a male dominated tradition – some have led, defended, defined or discovered in important ways.  I see only more opportunity in the times ahead for women to expand their influence and their roles.  To gain an understanding of what women are capable of doing just examine the list via the link below and read the stories of notable women from throughout history:

See  “100 Important Women of History”  http://www.angelfire.com/anime2/100import/

General Research Division, The New York Public Library. "Fig. 18. Amonmai [Meritamon] ; Fig. 19. Iside [Isis]; Fig. 20. Tascia [Takhat]; Fig. 21. Titi ; Fig. 22. [questa fig. ??]; Fig. 23. Rêninofre [Nefrure]; Fig. 24. Tsutenninofre [Bitneferu]." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 26, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-485f-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
General Research Division, The New York Public Library. “Fig. 18. Amonmai [Meritamon] ; Fig. 19. Iside [Isis]; Fig. 20. Tascia [Takhat]; Fig. 21. Titi ; Fig. 22. [questa fig. ??]; Fig. 23. Rêninofre [Nefrure]; Fig. 24. Tsutenninofre [Bitneferu].” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 26, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-485f-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Siam Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. "Hill tribes, Northern Siam." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 26, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/c2631e3d-fa70-f0be-e040-e00a180615d2
Siam
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “Hill tribes, Northern Siam.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 26, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/c2631e3d-fa70-f0be-e040-e00a180615d2

When survival becomes a dim memory non-traditional roles abound: Does it matter? What aspects of human progress do we depend on most?

What is familiar gives us comfort and furnishes a sense of identity, a place called home, a recognizable society and a reassuring cultural (a lens for understanding).  Brave new worlds are challenging for most people, upset many people , generate fear and prompt insecurity in some people.  So overall while some people welcome change many do not (at least not easily). Perhaps a slow pace of change can allow more people to adopt, and adapt because rapid change often is unsettling and reaction to it prompts a counter productive risk.  And yet change still can occur anyway.  Having said that, I recognize change is an ongoing process that cannot be stopped; it cannot be stopped because it is part of a natural progression that is the way reality works on our planet (and probably for all of the cosmos).  Since the echoes from the distant past often still reverberate within us, this legacy helps us make sense of it all; how we come to judge what works and what does not is recognized by the realized outcomes of past change?  What is now, is compared to what once was, and the process never stops.

Observing more women in roles that were traditionally taken by men should not automatically be rejected or instill fear in our culture.  The socioeconomic structure can handle it (in fact it may be necessary: i.e. during World War II women replaced men in factories for example). Humanity has much less need for what was established during a period when population growth was paramount, and what roles were adopted when they were essential for survival.  Still, I must interject that the foundation layer of the human experience really has not changed and, still is important though not so much to increase the population, but as an emotional foundation for well-balanced individuals who will join the society.

My bottom line:

Yes there is another side to this progression of change in my opinion: though we can see the merits of change and embrace some of it quite well, I believe we still need to cling to the traditional family unit – no vision of Aldous Huxley for me or for many other people I suspect is acceptable.  We should cling to the family unit because children benefit and therefore society benefits: people are less emotionally challenged, learn right from wrong early, have a sense of identity and a place to call home. This is in my opinion of course, but if I had time I probably could produce some evidence for the positive effects derived for those nurtured within traditional families and the benefits for society. 

People nurtured from within a traditional family unit are less likely to violate social rules or be abusive; more likely to be law-abiding, civil and productive.  Families that are fostered in love, promote caring and peace that often spreads well beyond the family unit itself. Families grounded in true Christian principals experience much comfort and are the example for what the good side of humanity can demonstrate.  It proves that our existence within this dispensation can improve because we have the knowledge, means and motivation for doing so.

So, how are women rising?

 Rare Book Division, The New York Public Library. "DINNER [held by] HAMBURG-AMERIKA LINIE [at] EN ROUTE ABOARD FURST BISMARCK (SS;)" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 26, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47db-6815-a3d9-e040-e00a1806

Rare Book Division, The New York Public Library. “DINNER [held by] HAMBURG-AMERIKA LINIE [at] EN ROUTE ABOARD FURST BISMARCK (SS;)” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 26, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47db-6815-a3d9-e040-e00a1806

Woman are rising because with more specialization, understanding and the recognition that the female mind is as competent as the male mind, more woman can contribute to society in more ways than what some traditions limit them to. So not only should they be considered equal contributors to men, they should be paid at the same rate as men are paid, for the same job when they do the same work.  Women have always been as vital as men for the survival of humans and it is time to see in what ways they are similar and in what ways they are different for real. This knowledge will allow us to get the maximum good from both sexes: symbiotic and complementary scenarios together ensure people get the best of what life has to offer. Yes similarities and differences both can be harnessed for the advantage of our total and complete society.

Achieving our goals is more enjoyable when the partnership of the family unit (a man a woman and their children engaged in a social partnership) are extended to other aspects of society in my opinion.  So not only do the children raised in a traditional family unit have a better chance for a better outcome, so do the men and women embedded within a secure personal relationship as well.  Exceptions are expected but I am convinced the benefits go far beyond the individuals and it offers “the good” to all people.

What guidance do Christians obtain from God’s Word about this?

What Christians are taught amounts to “realistic common sense“; division of labor that makes use of the advantages each sex brings into the relationship and the recognition of different emotional and physical requirements for each: man and woman become one unit.  The relationship is to be governed by the spirit of unconditional love and dwell within a permanent loyal commitment to each other.  The fruits of the man-woman relationship do change over time but these changing needs associated with age can be met within the traditional framework quite well.  Yes, each can meet the needs of their partner throughout their entire life from child rearing years on through to the years of old age. Nothing can replace the joy and fulfillment of a close relationship that has accommodated these changes over a lifetime.

In conclusion, all this love and the relationship’s beauty, demonstrates to all and, interacts with the people who live it and the people who come in contact with it.

Excerpts from scripture that define roles for Men and Woman:

Galatians 3:28 ESV (Equality)

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.and

 InEphesians 5:21,22,25 ESV (Relationships)

21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. . . . 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, . . . 

Judges 4:4 ESV (Leadership)

4 Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time.

Genesis 1:27 ESV (In God’s image)

27 So God created man (I see this as “people”)* in his own image, in the image of God he created him (“them”); male and female he created them.  (*my words in italics)

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Stewardship: Manage and Preserve

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Wise use of Earth’s resources insures our progeny can use them too.

"Oil is a Fossil Fuel" Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. "Earth oil wells--Yenanchoung." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 21, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/c2633a1c-93ec-7539-e040-e00a180617a1 forest
“Oil is a Fossil Fuel”
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “Earth oil wells–Yenanchoung.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 21, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/c2633a1c-93ec-7539-e040-e00a180617a1
forest

I believe the famous Greek scholar Aristotle advocated the use and consumption of things in moderation.  This is good advice: apply the concept of “The Happy Medium” to what you use as much as possible.  If people were to do just that more “good things” would be available for many more people.  Even if we were to discover a dozen new Earths tomorrow astronomical distances are so great we would not be able to obtain natural resources from them nor, can we easily obtain any natural resource we may discover on the Moon, Mars or on asteroids.

Many of Earth’s resources have a limit and some cannot be recycled.

"Coal a Fossil Fuel" The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "A trainload of coal from Pittsburgh fields for Lake Superior consumption, Conneaut, Ohio." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 21, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-9944-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
“Coal a Fossil Fuel” The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “A trainload of coal from Pittsburgh fields for Lake Superior consumption, Conneaut, Ohio.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 21, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-9944-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Coal, natural gas and oil could run out there is a finite amount here on our planet.  Metals, papers and plastic can be recycled but I think recycling 100% is not realistic.  Ships are lost at sea so deep it isn’t practical to retrieve them.  Cloth and paper gradually turn to dust and get blown away by the wind. Yes items manufactured from plants (trees, grains) are called renewable but as the population of Earth increases land used to grow them for things may have to be used to grow food.  The oceans once seemed to be able to yield unlimited food but there now are indications that the seas could be with large intricate Eco systems faltering.   With the danger of oceanic demise comes the risk of widespread loss of our food chain; not counting the damage of climate change altering vital global climate stabilizing sea currents.

The Oceans once seemed to offer unlimited food and wealth.

"Fishing an Ancient Occupation" The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Pulling the nets, fishing in the Bay of Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 21, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-599a-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
“Fishing an Ancient Occupation”
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Pulling the nets, fishing in the Bay of Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 21, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-599a-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

It may be obvious to many people who stewardship of Earth’s resources goes beyond the use of fossil fuels, food sources and recycling plastics.  Humans have effected the oceans and the atmosphere with waste material which in turn seems to have initiated artificial climate change and harm on a global scale.  People have demonstrated high levels of intelligence and ingenuity when motivated by the opportunity for profit.  Opportunity to reap vast personal wealth from the process of invention and production of useful or desirable things.  Yes, innovation has improved the lives of countless humans and made some wealthy, yet the unintended consequences are now manifesting negative side effects; air and water pollution;  tainted land; degraded natural beauty.  Although greed and expediency may be significant causes of the ill effects, they are not the only reason for them: mismanagement and waste do harm also.

Farming is an ancient occupation that is now in change.

"Farmers Go Way Back in History" The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "In the great corn fields of eastern Kansas, U.S.A." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 21, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-6318-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
“Farmers Go Way Back in History”
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “In the great corn fields of eastern Kansas, U.S.A.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 21, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-6318-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

For much of human history farms were a family, clan or co-operative endeavor but now consolidation is transforming the way humans produce their food.  Large corporations and companies are consolidating small and medium farms and ranches into large mega entities; the family culture is being supplanted by efficient science based industrial operations.  Yes they increase efficiency but I worry about the potential for profit to be the priority over preservation and conscientious use. Short term gain may be more prevalent in our times which sacrifices long-term security but, does it have to be that way?.  Our children and our children’s children will also need to eat; need shelter; clothing; energy for heating and cooling.  I hope those who are considerate of long-term issues win over those who seek only immediate gain.

          My song about vanishing farms.

Christians can seem to be on the wrong side of these issues sometimes too. 

In my study of Biblical principles I have learned about God’s goodness and through His Word it is written that God wants humans to use what Earth and its resources for good. This includes plants, animals and materials.  Using and making use of, does not include excessive or abusive  behavior as I understand it the message: good stewardship benefits all and is part of what makes life good.  The behaviors associated with negative practices are greed, selfishness and neglect of the needs of others.  I am a Christian and it is my desire that all should obtain eternal life by acceptance of Jesus Christ but, I also believe the needs of people should be considered (and we should help them when we can) as we spread “The Good News” about our God’s plan for Salvation.

What the Bible says about good stewardship and competent management.

Genesis 2:15 ESV

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work and keep it.

Proverbs 12:10 ESV

Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.

Proverbs 27:18 ESV

Whoever tends a fig tree will eat its fruit,
and he who guards his master will be honored.

as well.Numbers 35:33 ESV

You shall not pollute the land in which you live, for blood pollutes the land, and no atonement can be made for the land for the blood that is shed in it, except by the blood of the one who shed it.

John 6:12 ESV

When they had all, had enough to eat, he said to His disciples, “Gather the pieces that are leftover. Let nothing be wasted.”

Leviticus 19:9-10 ESV

When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to the edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.

 

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Oneness: Body, Soul, Spirit

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Our Consciousness is engaged with our Body but, Soul and Spirit too?

Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. "Shanghai. A Chinese funeral." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 14, 2016. htp://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/c2625t01b-0364-8402-e040-e00a18060146
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “Shanghai. A Chinese funeral.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 14, 2016. htp://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/c2625t01b-0364-8402-e040-e00a18060146

There is no way to separate our awareness of our bodies from our consciousness since the body’s senses are constantly supplying information about where we are, what we feel, hear and see.  Our mind is embedded within the stream of data and brings together what we perceive as reality and our personal identity; it also integrates our short and long-term memories (our personal archive or database) .  Is that all there is to it?  Is that all we are?  Are we just very advanced machines with sophisticated processors with vast stored databases?  Few people will accept that, but why?

I would be hard pressed to think of a person I met who thought we were just living machines with a good memory.

I do not know about ESP (extra sensory perception) or details of the experiments being done around the world where scientists are augmenting humans with devices to add new senses (or even much about scientists replacing damaged sensory organs for that matter).  I do believe most people with ordinary senses do suspect there is something beyond what this physical world presents.  Not just thoughts of the meaning of life but, that there seems to be something more than just this physical reality we dwell within.  Sure some may believe this vague sense can furnish a deeper meaning for life or, give meaning for the person pondering this question but, is it more than that? Is it just an artifact generated by our powerful brain that has vastly more capability than any other living creature that we are aware of?  Or could our minds touch our souls subconsciously and our souls touch our spiritual nature?

Are we triune sentient beings? Body gives rise to mind; mind connects subconsciously to the soul; the soul is aware of our spiritual nature? Some people seem to believe that.

General Research Division, The New York Public Library. "Amon-ra. (L'esprit des quatre éléments, l'ame du monde matériel.)" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 15, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-5b7b-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
General Research Division, The New York Public Library. “Amon-ra. (L’esprit des quatre éléments, l’ame du monde matériel.)” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 15, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-5b7b-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Some may also believe we are all connected in some way: we are just one big spirit or soul. They may believe people who have provided breakthroughs in human achievement obtained their ideas from some elsewhere, some altered state of reality or some parallel dimension (or universe). I however have a much simpler view.

I believe the human mind is capable of great achievements and especially when we advance our knowledge and abilities through teamwork – now we have the Internet and The World Wide Web to make collaboration easier. My belief does not end with that however: I believe in God the supreme being, Creator and providential ruler of all there is.

As a Christian I trust that the information about God, existence and reality, is all revealed in God’s Word.

Bible Excerpts on the Matter

General Research Division, The New York Public Library. "Amon-ra. (L'esprit des quatre éléments, l'ame du monde matériel.)" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 14, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-5b7b-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
General Research Division, The New York Public Library. “Amon-ra. (L’esprit des quatre éléments, l’ame du monde matériel.)” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 14, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-5b7b-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

1 Thessalonians 5:23 (ESV)

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your spirit and soul

and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Matthew 22: 36-37 (NIV)

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “ ‘ Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. ‘ . . .

Psalm 139:14 (ESV)

I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well.

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