What is true and what is truth?

I was reading through my Quote Book (yes, I keep my favorite quotes in a journal) and starte thinking about this one.

In a time of universal deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

What an amazing and true statement. I feel that we are living that right now. How much of what we hear is truth. Instead it is someone’s version of the truth. There is a big difference between those two things. When I was teaching a high school at the church one of the things I stressed was seeking truth…looking at all sides and any information available and making your own decision. Too little of that is done today. Most of what we hear could actually be classified as rumors.

It is important to teach our young people how to make assessments based on many sources before coming to any conclusion. There are too many talking heads and I am sure that there are no statesmen left…only politicians. That comparison can apply to any source from religion to politics to anything else. We must filter our information.

Tolerance?

Through this whole crisis I have stayed away from the news. It is so biased. It seems there is no real news anymore only opinion…so totally intolerant. It reminded me of this quote.

Toleration is good for all, or it is good for none. Edmund Burke, speech, House of Commons, 1773

tolerance-is

How intolerant everyone is. The whole country is so divided and so one sided. There is no longer a middle ground. I have talked about this before. I am a moderate. I am part of a dying group. To be moderate we have to be willing to listen to someone else’s opinion. We don’t have to accept it but we should be able to talk without rancor. There could be the chance that we would learn something new. It is sad that many people are unable to hold a discussion without getting angry or upset.

tolerance world peace

We can’t pick and choose who we choose to tolerate. That is not tolerance. Being tolerant by being socially correct is also not tolerance. It is false. Our acceptance of others has to come from something deeper. It is found in seeing the human being inside and seeing that we are the same deep down.

Memories and wondering

Today has been hard. The isolation has finally hit us both. My husband really wanted to go out for lunch but not possible.

Pearl Harbor: Three films - HistoryExtraYesterday I talked about living (as a child) through WW2. My husband’s experience was much more noteworthy than mine. He was four years old living in Hawaii behind Diamond head in army quarters when Pearl Harbor was bombed. He remembers waking to lots of planes flying overhead. He got up and told his father who told him it was people training and go back to bed. A few moments later his father was called about the bombing. His father was in charge of the Coast Artillery that was actually in the volcano.

Inside Diamond Head - Hawaii PicturesMy husband, his mother and sister, lived in a bomb shelter in the yard that day expecting the bombers to come back. Later they moved into the volcano and stayed there for several weeks before being evacuated to the states. The ship that took them to the west coast went back for more people but was bombed and sank before getting there.

His memories are much scarier than mine and clearer. After all, being bombed is enough to sit in the memory for quite a while. I can’t imagine what it would be like to live where that is a threat every day.

This crisis is bad. It is testing our will just as WW2 did. I hope that we can pull together as we did then to get past this enemy. I hope it will unite much of the world to the real threat….the distress of the environment which may be why these viruses are gaining hold. I don’t know that… I just wonder.

Adam Grant | Wondering Q&A

Why?

Today we went to see the movie 1917. I am not fond of war movies but my husband wanted to see it. I don’t want to talk about the movie but something that came to me while watching.

Image result for why is there war

Another war….how many since? Why are we this way? Why do we go to war rather than solve problems? Why are we greedy and selfish? Why do we hate those who are not like us? Why are we not loving and kind and compassionate?

Did we start out that way or did we grow into it? And the real question is what can we do to change?

Lots of questions and no real answers. Rilke’s quote tells us to live in uncertainty and wait for answers.

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” Rainer Maria Rilke

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I hope that he is right and that some day, somehow, a miracle will occur and the earth will be a place of peace and love.

Will we learn?

I heard this song just the other day. It brought back so many memories. I love folk songs and the stories they tell. I was lucky that the era when they were so popular was during my college years.

This song was written by Pete Seeger who was a long time activist. It reminds us that we are the ones who cause wars. His question always gets to me: “When will they ever learn?”

We haven’t learned yet. Is there any chance that we will learn?

Here we go again

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Old poster

We are now in an election year. Lovely. Many months of listening to TV ads and people claiming that they will do things that they have no intention of doing. I am so glad that I have alternate TV (netflix, amazon, hulu etc.). I don’t know when was the last time that I actually watched the real programs. I have gotten to where I can’t stand to watch the commercials.

I hope that you have somewhere to escape while all the talking heads are expounding. I am sure that most of us will want to vote. Let’s just hope that there is someone to vote for.

 

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Nothing is perfect

I was speaking to someone today and we were both wondering why our generation (60+) has less trouble tolerating the vagaries and foibles of various churches. We each do not attend one that totally offends us but we take for granted that none is perfect. We just seek out the one whose values are closest to our own.

Nothing-is-perfect-quote

I think that over the years I have sought a place where I can feel accepted and supported. I have a need to be in a Christian community. I would imagine that may be true of anyone in any faith. I don’t spend time pointing out my differences of opinion or the places where I see the train running off the track. I am entitled to my own thinking however strange it may be to someone else.

meet me halfway

This way of belonging has taken a big hit. More people are anxious to find differences are dwell on them. It’s as if they don’t want any kind of community. The sad part is I don’t think we are by nature loners. We need others for our survival and sanity. At least I do. When things go wrong in my life it is those others who will help me to weather the storm. They may not all be my very best friends but they will go out of their way to help.

I seems that my generation is more willing to compromise and understands that nothing in the world is perfect.

How things change!

Today I heard and interesting statement. “Laws are based upon values and then support the values.” This thought has made me think about how things are changing in our country and other parts of the world.

The phrase came in church after an discussion of The Leverite Law in Deuteronomy.

Deuteronomy 25:5-10 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Levirate Marriage

When brothers reside together, and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the deceased shall not be married outside the family to a stranger. Her husband’s brother shall go in to her, taking her in marriage, and performing the duty of a husband’s brother to her, and the firstborn whom she bears shall succeed to the name of the deceased brother, so that his name may not be blotted out of Israel. 

Times have changed since this was in effect. The woman was not considered at all. Now our laws recognize women as equal.

changing values

However, as we look at the initial quote we begin to question exactly what the values are today. So many are changing so fast that we can’t keep up with them and are part of our divisions. Even various religious denominations have switched from one idea to another. The earlier position of life at first breath came from the Bible: And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Gen 2:7

It is debated if the shift to life at conception was a political one or a change due to science or some other influence. Either way it was a big shift that has led to a conflicted country regarding abortion.

This is just an example of how “Laws are based upon values and then support the values.”  I never thought of it from this perspective and it is interesting to do so.

Where are we headed?

Today I wrote on my other blog about the erosion of Christianity happening in our society. This erosion is also true in other areas of our lives. We have already lost so much of our moral sense and what behavior is acceptable.

Never-let-society-determine-the-direction-of-your-moral-compass.

Rudeness and uncaring have become the order of the day. Anger is rampant. We have a society of entitlement and very little else matters.

Our media is violent, making us tolerant of almost any kind of atrocity. The news is biased to the point of the ridiculous. In fact it should not be called news but opinion. Children have to be taught that what they hear and see must be scrutinized carefully to determine its veracity. Most of them accept what they see and hear as true.

Our government is corrupt and careless of their behavior but quick to accuse opponents of the exact same thing. Hollywood idols lead youth into imitating their behavior.

moral-compass

The frightening thing is what to do. How do we turn things around and bring sanity and moral fibre (moral fibre (Britain) The inner strength to do what one believes to be right; often an ability to make difficult decisions.) back to our country? I wish I had an answer. Yet, I am one and I will continue to make my voice heard whether heeded or not. That is all that there is.

Seek the infinite

A “better” world is one in which we recognize that all people possess an incomparable value that we are morally obliged to respect . . . in social, political, and economic terms. Honoring the humanity of your fellow beings means that if they are hungry, ill, or oppressed, you must exert yourself to help them. . . . But this . . . runs up against our inherited instincts of self-protection, greediness, and desire to dominate others. . . . If we could rearrange energy from within—if we more often nurtured our companions and promoted their well-being, we would suffer much less. Rearranging energy from within is what mysticism does.                    Dr. Beatrice Bruteau (1930–2014)

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This quote from the meditation of Richard Rohr really speaks to what we must do to make the world a better place. Each of us has to dig deep and find that core of humanity that allows us to respect all beings.

She is so right. Our own instincts of survival, both physically and mentally, get in our way and keep us from becoming the humans we can be. She is calling us to seek that inner place where we meet the intangible, infinite spirit….no matter what we call it.