Friday, April 25, 2014
Many times people confuse having faith as a belief in a specific religion or theocratic version of creation. Those who reject religion or theocracy claim to live a faithless life. I challenge that premise. I believe everyone of us lives a life of faith grounded in the belief that what we do, choose and pass on is logical and scientific in it's very premise.
The Atheist for example like to say that they live a faithless life but that is not true. Many live a life that is grounded in moral values. Moral values lived in how one defines them. The Mafioso lives a moral life which is one that is grounded in family, do unto others before they do unto you, and even murder is only "business". They seem to be living a life that gives benefits but only to themselves, whomever they define as "family".
Other Atheists live a life rejecting religion as based on a fairy tale we call holy writings but bear no real credence to truth. The fact of the matter is, according to some, religion has committed more atrocities in the name of God than all other institutions that have ever existed. Their life of faith is the belief that there is no supernatural spirit and those that believe in one are duped by those manipulators like Popes, or Imams.
Those who are Theologists sometimes confuse their belief in the religion practiced with the God they are supposed to worship. Religion should be the vehicle one uses to worship their God therefore that specific religion takes a back seat to the Godhead being worshiped. Catholics for example should realize that they are Christians believing in a Triune Deity with Jesus as their bridge to the Father through the Spirit and that they are Christians first and foremost who choose their religion to become better Christians, followers of Christ. Christ always first, Catholicism always second to that. The Muslim or Jew too or any practicing religionist should put the specific religion second to the God they are worshiping.
My argument is that we humans live a life built of faith, belief in something we think we know all about even though we know very little. We go to sleep, lie our heads down and enter a coma like state that refreshes us and makes our life better. We are confident we will wake when we lie down but what is that confidence built on? The experience we have gone through from birth, our mother telling us we "need" sleep but it is through blind faith that we permit ourselves to lose consciousness knowing we will wake refreshed for another day of work, love and laughter. We get into an Air Plane with the full faith, belief that the pilot knows what he is doing and we will safely arrive at our destination. But what is this faith based on? Certainly nothing that we have scientifically proved and in fact sometimes that faith is wasted as the pilot fails us and a crash ensues.
This discussion can be ended by saying I guess we should be more tolerant of ideas that are floated about because each and every one of us lives a life of faith based on beliefs formulated in our lifetime that bear truth and non-truths. Perhaps we all have a semblance of the truth and should do our best to weed out what isn't true and include what is true.
Or perhaps we exist only in the mind of some great giant existing only when he is awake and ceasing to exist when he stops thinking of us. But I don't think so.
Monday, April 14, 2014
How many times have you heard it said about some grouch that "He or she is not a morning person"? A version of that is the one who arrives home after work and wants silence so he or she can unwind. They want to keep the people around them under their control because they really want the world around them to mourn their existence just the way they do. They are unhappy about the conditions of their life and want everybody around them to be unhappy too.
Now I realize that there are medical or psychological conditions that may affect some upon waking that can make them feel miserable. But I know those who have some conditions and because of their attitude that it is better to smile than to frown they overcome the pains and help make their world better and the world around them much better also.
There are people around us that require quiet, so much so that they never hear the joyous sounds around them. The sounds of a baby crying suddenly changing to loving cooing as they receive soothing comfort from their mothers. The sounds of a soldier or some loved one returning home after a long and arduous journey elsewhere. The sounds of lovers enjoying their love just by being with one another. The sounds of nature such as the wind blowing through the trees, the birds singing, a dog barking, a cat mewing.
Have you ever sat at a festive table that was without raucous laughter, friendly arguing, loving sharing of experiences that make life worthwhile that was quiet and without noise? If you have been there then you just don't know what it is like to live life to it's fullest as joyfully as you can.
The quiet of the night is good for sleep but the dreams that the Greek God Morpheus sends are full of success and tasting of the joys of life. The one who sleeps without dreams is like being in a coma, or dead but the one with dreams has experienced a sense of loving, succeeding, living life to its fullest. And so it should be for those awake, a life full of dreams, of reaching further than where you are, a joyous existence that wants all to come along and enjoy rather than to be quiet and sulk in despairing loneliness.
So drop those morning grouches and tired and bored human beings and come along the river of life joyfully shouting to God "How good it is!", "How Great Thou Art"!..
Friday, April 4, 2014
The New York Mets' second baseman Daniel Murphy took off two days from the baseball season, which happened to be opening day of the season, to be with his wife for the birth of their first child and started a brouhaha that is taking on proportions one would have never imagined since this was in accord with the present baseball contract and met with full accordance with his employers. A couple of talking heads criticized Mr. Murphy for taking the second day using some unfortunate language. This started the conversation. But the argument should not be about Daniel Murphy because he a had a perfect right to exercise the option. The argument should be focused on other matters not the least of which is if all this talk says a father should be present to support his wife and love his family shouldn't it apply to all including the very poor who may be working at the lowest wages and would lose very important income needed to feed and support his family?
The job one chooses certainly plays an important role in family life. If family is the most important feature of a lifetime and that is expressed as being with your family during all the important moments which include the quiet moments as well as the most prominent ones then one shouldn't choose to be a professional baseball player because there will be little time for family togetherness much less all the moving around as one is traded from one team to the next giving no chance for roots to take hold. The fact is one shouldn't choose many professions such as the military, travelling salesperson, or even the medical profession. All these careers interfere with family life of togetherness and sharing. However they provide other goodies which may not be available in other professions such as great food, shelter, clothing, education and all that stuff that good income provides.
Life is full of trade-offs. The biggest trade-off is where the effort is made to succeed and the price one is willing to pay for his or her definition of success. The driving force for many is money, power, influence while others look more to the tight knit family unit with the stability of a home, neighborhood, role models.
I knew a young man who declined a very lucrative offer for an international sales job because it would remove him from his family for a good part of the year. He never had the fame, or notoriety connected with successful people but he had his family even though the family paid it's price for this, prestigious colleges were out, but stability was in. Peculiarly many would view the professional man who makes the one time effort like the professional man who is there for the birthing event but absent for a good part of the growing up years as the success while the other one is quietly viewed by onlookers as the not so good one. Somehow I guess it is all in the eye of the beholder. However, trade-offs must always be considered.
With all this conversation over what Daniel Murphy should or should not have done or what those pundits should or should not have said is really diverting one from the real question. The real question should be if the right to be have a real family life which includes being with each other at the birth of one's child then why are the poorest among us denied that right? Just ask the guy who is barely making it if he would be paid if he took time off to be with his wife while she was giving birth and I bet the answer would be no, and maybe even result in the loss of his job if he took that time which should rightfully be his if he so chose. The real question should resolve itself about whether we as a nation concern ourselves with only the high and mighty and let the poor and needy scrape along thinking how lucky they are that we let them live off the crumbs that our society let them have. Because at the end of the day those that can afford it like Mr. Murphy do what they please to do and those that can't do only what the ones in power let them do.