Seeds – Life Cycle of Plants . . .

Seeds . . . small and, yet
each reproduces after its kind . . .
the seed contains the full-grown replica of its producer . . .

Seeds . . .
small . . . like a moment of anger
and it calls forth anger from another . . .
how can I expect anything other than anger in return?

Small . . . harsh words spoken to another
who answers back with harsh words . . .
how can I expect a kind response, words spoken softly?

Small . . . a judgement made about someone
who has made some mistake . . .
how can I expect compassion when I make a mistake?

Seeds planted by me . . .
Anger — Harsh Words — Judgement
Seeds reproduce after their kind . . .
Why do I deserve a different response to those seeds
when I plant them?

Do I expect a rose bush if I plant seeds from an apple?
Do I expect an apple tree from watermelon seeds?
Seeds reproduce after their kind . . .

Why do I seem surprised
when I plant the seeds of unkind words
and someone is rude in response to me?

Why, when I am rude and
demanding of others,
do I complain about the fact that others will not “be nice” to me.

Why, when I judge someone who did something
I say is wrong,
should I be judged about a mistake i make?

Seeds . . . small and yet . . .

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the Swirling Chaos . . . a spiral . . .

Such a time of dark swirling whirlpools of chaos . . .

it is impossible to hold on to
WHAT IS IMPORTANT
in the midst of
constant “info” dumps . . .

there are new/old interpretations
of words and
no more easily identifiable
STANDARDS
for behavior . . .

redefining societal acceptable
RULES:
rudeness, disrespect, and
belittling of those who hold differing OPINIONS instead of
respectful discussions and
exchanges of ideas . . .

so many endorse or at least
do not object to VIOLENCE
as the ANSWER
to any disagreements . . .

lumping others
who do not agree with me
in the category of “enemy”—
the US VERSUS THEM
mentality that
ultimately leads to
DEFEAT for everyone . . .

selfishness . . .
hatred . . .
intolerance . . .
divisiveness . . .
closed minds . . .
disregard for truth . . .
rationalizing untruths . . .
spreading fear . . .

Love . . . Tolerance . . . Unity . . . Open minds . . . Integrity . . . SELF examination . . . sharing Life . . . can bring us back to a world where ALL can Live and Peace can be shared

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Life Cycles . . . seeds . . . stages

Life cycles start with seeds and continue through stages
that we can see in plants . . . interesting

As I have walked my path through varying shades of dark and light, I have always felt it was the small things (seeds) that can make a major difference in the direction of my life.

Algebra brought the idea to me early in my life.
Algebra, I loved that subject for four years in high school – I know, it sounds crazy, but the part of algebra that intrigued me was that there was logic that could be observed and
formulae that could help identify unknowns—
but it also taught me that a small mistake at the beginning of trying
to find an answer could take me way off into a place nowhere
near where I needed to be . . . and so it was in my life.

Plant life cycles recently called me back to the idea that
small things in the cycles of the life of plants could give me
insights for my path . . . look at the plant life cycle—
it starts with SEEDS and
the last step in the cycle is spreading SEEDS . . . WOW!
SEEDS . . . small things . . .
a process in plant life . . . a process in my life

Perhaps I will reflect on this a little more, see what “seeds” it plants in my thoughts and check out the process of Life . . . SEEDS . . . I may want to look deeper at the meaning for me in the process . . . what kind of ground does my seed fall on, what is the source of warmth and water, light or other “food” for my seeds. Since the cycle is repetitive, what stage am I in right now and does that change how I look at my past if I consider what stage I was in and what moved me on to the next stage in the process? How do I define each stage and what it means to me? Seeds . . . . life path seeds . . .

Plant Life Cycle:
seed stage—>germination—>growth—>reproduction—>pollination—>spreading seeds

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My Bubble World

I guess I have mostly lived in a bubble of my own making for most of my life . . . bubbles can exist side by side without ever interacting except to bump into each other and not even be aware that there are many bubbles around or different size bubbles, etc.

73 years is a lot of years to just be coming to the conclusion that I created and accepted unquestioningly my own filtered view of everything that went on around me and that helped me put labels on people and events and make it all fit comfortably into my own “reality show,” my bubble defining right and wrong through my own tiny, unseen filters.

Born in 1946, I lived
• before television was common,
• before personal computers,
• before cellphones,
• before many common appliances that exist today . . .
BUT I did not live
before
• racism,
• sexism, or
• hatred that could lead to men committing unimaginable horrors against their fellowman

AND NOW I live in the year 2019 and remember a history (1960s) reflecting hearts that some of my generation recognized as “not good” and there were protests and cries for changes and protections we put in place for all after many battles, even recognizing the rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” by those we did not agree with or whose lifestyle was different than ours.

BUT NOW
silence in the midst of
• racism,
• sexism, or
• hatred that leads to men committing unimaginable horrors against their fellowman or endorsing others who do violence
• harsh words for those who point out the “not good” parts of our society
• acceptance and justification of acts and thoughts previously condemned as unacceptable, especially distressing when supported by our religious organizations or their leaders

There are very few
• beating a drum called “Truth” (chaos often drowns them out),
• riding a horse called “Courage” (ridiculed by many), and
• shouting a message called “Common Good” (“answered” with new or made up words and definitions to avoid living it out)

We live in a society making many attempts to somehow convince us that
• dark is light,
• right is wrong,
• winning through intimidation, and
• looking out for number one should be our path . . . so sad, so very sad.

Our world can only survive if I realize my responsibility to examine myself, my thoughts, my words, my motives, my heart and accept my part in making or breaking our world. Do I know what I believe and why, what standards I demand of myself and others or do I demand any standards any more?

Truth: the world was created out of Love that reflects itself in diversity and is made stronger by that diversity through cooperative efforts and confronting selfishness

Courage: confronting myself and accepting responsibility for my actions and my words, speaking out against harm to any, and demanding change of what is SELF serving to pursue the common good

Common Good: the best answer to all challenges we face after respectfully sharing insights, thoughts, and opinions from all impacted by the answer—always remembering “united we stand, divided we fall” and a multi-strand cord is stronger than a single thread

TODAY I NO LONGER live in a bubble of my own making — I pay attention moment by moment in an attempt to avoid falling back into that fantasy mentality that says I know everything and I can judge others without any real information . . .
and
I REMEMBER when some young people refused to accept the mistreatment of other human beings just because of their skin color and, after much hard struggle, I saw laws passed to protect those human beings who were judged unacceptable by many loud voices and, just as today, the abusers of that time were also supported by many claiming religion as a justification . . . and that gives me some hope for today as I pray that the eyes of my heart will be opened to myself and I will be drawn back to the “higher way” . . . out of my bubble to walk the challenging path of Life by the “golden rule,” the path of Hope, the path of Love!

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ISM – I Sell Myself

-ISMs . . . we most often identify an “-ism” as something negative, harmful, or downright evil to ME!

Over the years, I have heard “communism,” “socialism,” “terrorism,” “paganism,” and many other fear-filled “-isms” to identify what I must fight against to protect myself, my family, my country, my very existence. The fear drives me to ignore the simple fact that I only know what I have been told about these “BAD -isms”—I don’t really know what they are, I only know what I have been told they will do to harm me or that they will take something away from me!

And these, and many other “-isms” have been used to:
• “sell” me on political candidates (ignoring the politician’s flaws in exchange for protection from one of these “-isms”),
• “selling” me on supporting laws to “protect me” while giving a huge power increase to some others (ignoring the potential for abuse by them), and
• “selling” me on the idea that I must focus ONLY on protecting myself and that others will have to do the same for themselves (others are not MY problem, I only have to look out for me or my group).

It is SO easy to buy into this fear-filled rhetoric, to be so totally focused on protecting myself that I don’t see anything else, to find myself crossing a line that I can’t even see . . . my own standards, values held dear by my parents or grandparents or others that I respected in the past.

It seems simple to identify those older beliefs as “outdated” and “it was a different world” or “they didn’t really understand,” but that is just an attempt to defend what I want to believe, a human nature response.

Do I know what I believe and why or what my values are, or what I consider important enough to die for? Or do I just ride along on the wave of fear and bow to the latest “-ism” being put out as my “enemy”?

I remember when John Kennedy ran for President of the United States of America and the loudest talk was how electing a Catholic would bring the Pope to power in our country and our “Christian” nation would all become Catholics . . . we elected him and none of the feared things came about.

Today I am still “selling myself” when I listen to and repeat fear about some group that I really don’t even know and I give power over my life to those selling that fear in some false idea that it will bring me what I want . . . protection, promotion of my beliefs (shutting down those who don’t agree with me), or something else I see as a gain for me—I sell myself. Like Esau I trade for a bowl of porridge because I am hungry and that bowl gives me what I want. I never really stop to think about what I am trading . . . ME!

Values seem to be unpopular today and voicing a need to live by standards draws ridicule and often harsh, defensive remarks. The idea that “the ends justify the means” seems acceptable today and, I believe, has served to draw many away from the need to walk the “higher road” when others choose to wallow in the mud to get their way.

My hope is that
• each of us will examine ourselves to determine what we believe and why, that
• we will realize not one of us possesses the ONLY or all of the truth, that
• we will try to inform ourselves about other groups and what they believe not just accept the fear-filled misconceptions spread about them—did you know early Christians were accused of cannibalism (see the -ism?) because of the Lord’s Supper? that
• we will view an “-ism” as a call to do objective research not accepting “exposes” or “conspiracy theories” without checking multiple valid sources (not just copiers), that
• we will come to see that working together we can create a world united in pursuit of the “common good” for ALL without identifying “-isms” as a way to get me to “sell myself” to a fear-filled cause . . . do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

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Perspective . . . a beginning

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Exposing Shadows . . . Removing Masks

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