When is it discrimination?

This morning in church the sermon focused on two pieces of Scripture one from second Kings and the other from Luke. Both pieces of Scripture were talking about someone with leprosy. In the Old Testament of the Bible lepers were considered unclean. Unclean meant that they could not participate in any regular community. They were outcasts. In other parts of the Old Testament specifically the Torah there are laws written concerning people with leprosy and other diseases. The law prohibited these people from being part of the community. I am sure that they were initially formed to prevent contagion and exposure to those who might pass on illness.

In Luke Jesus heals 10 lepers. According to the laws of that time those lepers must go to the priests and be properly assessed and determined that they were no longer unclean. Only the priests could make that decision. Jesus, however, asserted that they were now clean and sent them to be looked at. Jesus essentially sidestepped the law.

critical thinking

This exclusion of people from society still exists today. Laws have been written to prevent people from being excluded from life in the community. Job discrimination is not tolerated on many levels. However, often the wording of laws is somewhat ambiguous. When a law is written it is usually written in a certain period of time and to address specific concerns of that era.

Now we have cases before the United States Supreme Court questioning discrimination laws concerning sex. The laws were written in a time when Blacks and women were being discriminated against in the workplace. Now there are questions about that law. The questions really are concerning issues that we face today that we didn’t face in the 60s. So a determination is having to be made about the real meaning of the law. There are people on both sides.

think for yourselfThere has been a lot of discussion on media for both sides. “Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, as amended, protects employees and job applicants from employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.”

The law itself is not in question. It’s the interpretation of the law that is the problem. Whenever these issues come up it is always a good idea to go and read the original law in order to understand the discussion. Listening to the talking heads does not give you an accurate picture. Sometimes looking up the Constitution or other documents will give you a clearer picture. Don’t take someone else’s word for something. Read it for yourself and make your own decision.

 

Disturbance

Today I thought about the word disturbance. It struck me in two different ways.

kerfuffle

This is what has been happening in my home and my life. Workmen tramp in and out. Stuff is carried about and dust collects daily on anything that doesn’t move. I clean in vain. I know that this will be over soon and the house will return to normal?? ( I use that word loosely) It will be wonderful to have things stay clean longer than one day. We will have a renovated and safe bathroom. We will not fall through the shower into the depths beneath.  Hooray!

Our home will return to what I hope is:

disturbance

Do we appreciate our freedom?

In this country we take our freedoms for granted. Most of us are unaware of what it is like to live where there are few personal freedoms. We have never experienced it. Maybe we need to spend some time in North Korea or another country where the decision are not ours to make. As a people we are so naive.

freedom 3

Be grateful for the freedoms we have. We have to guard them carefully and speak out when we see them being eroded .

Too special to use?

In my generation we were so much more formal that things are today. We had special china and silver that we used on special occasions. There were always things that we put aside.

everyday-is-a-special-occasion

I am so glad to see that much of that has changed. Now I use whatever I want whenever I want. Each day is special. Each moment is important. We need to celebrate that by enjoying the special things that we have. Don’t let them just sit in a cabinet or drawer. Will the special occasion when they will be used be your funeral?

The sadness of remembering – Memorial Day

fdr-memorial-day-quote-1525289591Today is Memorial Day. It is a day for thanksgiving for those who gave their lives that we might live free. This day is hard for me to write about since my husband was in the Army for 20 years. He spent two years in Viet Nam fighting a senseless war. He graduated from West Point in 1962 and felt obligated to serve in the war.  Wars run by politicians cannot be won. All the idiotic rules that governed what could and could not be done made it impossible. I could give many examples of this but it would not only take too long but also bring up too many bad memories.

My husband does not talk about the war except for a few incidents that had some humor attached to them. He fought in the battle of Dak To which was so badly run that many people died. He won’t talk about this.

We have been to the Viet Nam Memorial Wall but he will never go again. There are too many friend’s names on it.

the wall

I spent those years at home with our children worrying about him. There was little communication with loved ones during WWI, WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam. I even had to number my letters so that he knew if some were missing. His letters to me came in bunches. Communication is better now but it doesn’t take away the worry.

missing soldier

This is the fate of families today who wait for loved ones in danger. I grieve for both the soldier and the family. Many families don’t survive the separation. Please pray for those soldiers and their families.

Thank you

Yesterday I wrote a post that was thought provoking. I knew it wouldn’t be some people’s cup of tea. That, in fact, was the case. Sometimes when we write we don’t think about how others interpret our words. The thing that I love about word press is that the resulting comments were so kind and clearly looked for my meaning. That is so appreciated.

Thank you card

This forum has brought nothing but kindly worded comments even if there were differences about what was posted. This is a great blessing. I know that putting my thoughts to paper do not always speak clearly what I mean. This does happen. It is so nice to know that we can communicate with kindness AND honesty. There are so many places that sharing thoughts does not get that kind of response.

I want to say how happy I am to communicate in a place that allows us to share, agree, disagree, and still keep the conversation going. This also gives us the chance to maybe give a clearer meaning to our words.

Thank you Word Press community.

Joking can hide pain

jokester

I have know some people who have the ability to make everyone laugh. They are just naturally funny. Many comedians have this natural ability. A great many of them use events in their own lives to laugh at. These things and usually commonplace and occur in most of our lives and that is why they are so funny.

However, the things they make so funny often contain a great deal of pain. Joking about something becomes a way to deflect the pain that is underneath. Sometimes making a joke covers up depression and anxiety. A number of comedians suffer on the inside. Also, the joking hides insecurities. When I say this I think about Joan Rivers who seemed to see herself as unattractive. A lot of her comedy routines focused on looks.

We all do wear masks and don’t let the world see the struggles that are going on inside. Some people never take the masks off. I knew someone who was funny until the day he died and it was only afterward that I discovered he suffered with depression. It would have been so nice to nurture the person behind the mask.

i masquerade

On Word Press is it possible to discard the mask and let the true person out. It is all right to share the thoughts that plague us. In my many years I have learned to share the person inside more and more. If I am not accepted as I am then I don’t need those people. Life is too important to spend it using energy to hide yourself behind a mask. There are those who will accept the real you and they are worth knowing.

No comparisons!

We are Unique. Each of us is a separate creation and important. A number of years ago I wrote this poem about comparisons.

I wonder if the rose

compares itself to all other roses

and thus negates its beauty to itself

by comparison

 

I suppose the rose

would find this idea silly

and wonder why anything

would want to do this

 

I would imagine

that the rose

simply delights in its own

uniqueness

and never worries about

comparisons

At-Night-We-Make-No-Comparisons-Between-Right-And-Wrong-Stars-Nor-Between-Well-And-Badly-Arranged-Constellations (1)

Never spend time comparing yourself to others. It can be self destructive. Remember your own uniqueness and cherish it!

Moderates are extinct

In America the president reigns for four years and journalism governs for ever and ever.-—Oscar Wilde

I am constantly frustrated by the fact that the press in so biased. I don’t care if you are right or left politically. It doesn’t matter. Either way you are bombarded with news that is so slanted as to be unbelievable. I am not sure but that the press rules the country.

I am a moderate in thinking, and I hope, action. I am almost extinct. A creature dying out. It seems that there is no one concerned about what is best for this country or its people but only that their opinion rules.

ripextinct

Elected officials used to vote on issues based on its merits. That doesn’t happen any more. We no longer have statesmen, only politicians. I know that our founding fathers and spinning in their graves. They imagined a congress where people left their jobs temporarily and served for a short time and returned home. Now we have members who have been there for many, many years.

The government has totally lost judgment, responsibility and critical thinking. I would bet that the most intelligent and moral individuals would run the other way if asked to serve.I hope that somehow reason raises its head but I have my doubts. The country seems to be dumbing down on knowledge and entertainment is king.

Now I have had my rant for the day.

I hope the rest of your week-end is wonderful!

 

Freedom is a gift

It is dangerous to take human freedom for granted, to regard it as a prerogative rather than as an obligation, as an ultimate fact rather than as an ultimate goal. It is the beginning of wisdom to be amazed at the fact of our being free.—-Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Insecurity of Freedom, 1966

we the people

It is so easy to take our freedom for granted. For those of us who were raised in countries where freedom is the basis of our life we don’t appreciate how rare it is. Freedom should not be considered a noun. It is a verb. It is something that we must strive for every single moment. It could be snatched away from us so easily. We must see it as a very fragile gift that has to be nurtured. If not it will be gone.

Don’t take freedom for granted.

Happy fourth of July!