I’ve been thinking quite a bit about life lately – much different than I usually do. Over the past three years I have had this kind weird interest in obituaries and the need to see faces to the names. It won’t surprise me that whatever this is – is also behind my interest with the Doe Network. Lives need to be acknowledged but that is a subject for another time. What is swirling around in my mind and spirit is the knowledge that “this” life in comparison to eternity is nothing. I realize it is hard if not impossible for us to get our minds wrapped around the fact of eternity but that doesn’t change the matter that eternity is a reality and a fact. This coupled with our soul – the “us” trapped in our physical bodies – is eternal as well is really becoming sobering to me. My soul, your soul whether one believes it or not if a fact is indeed a fact then our beliefs in many ways doesn’t matter. Yet in the end our beliefs do matter in reference to the state and location of our soul.
Let me try to explain… If I believe that “me” – my soul – my essence, what makes me – me is eternal and there is no afterlife of the soul then – ultimately no harm done to me. But if I am one who does not believe my soul is eternal therefore no afterlife and there is indeed an afterlife and place for my soul based on my beliefs then I am in eternal trouble.
If the matter of an eternity is real and fixed – and is the result of some being > God and He makes the rules – period. And if in this very temporary span of time I fix my eternal state based on what I think or expect and it does not align to His rules… my eternal state, the where and how of soul will be based on His rules not mine – period.
Thinking this and considering then how many lives here are even shorter than the expected lifespan. Plus the reality that eternity makes our lifespan almost insignificant HOWEVER the weight of this insignificant lifespan has ETERNAL WEIGHT to it and fixes the eternal state of one’s being when we pass from this life to the afterlife; when we leave the temporal for the eternal. Think about it! If eternity was only 10 million years and let’s say I live to be a 100 that means my lifespan is .001% of my eternal soul. Think how insignificant in numbers a 100 is to eternity!
But what a huge (understatement) implication and impact our short lifespan has to our eternal wellbeing.
Here is a section from Roger Cohen’s article in the NYT “The Age of Possibility“: “Although there’s talk in the West of a new Age of Anxiety, the neurosis is in fact fairly narrowly confined. True, the unease lies in what is still by far the world’s largest economy — the United States — and is shared by the European Union. The problems there — of soaring deficits, high unemployment, aging baby-boomers and sporadic anti-immigrant anger — are intractable. Excess has given way to distress. Yummy money has dried up. But the vast bulk of the world’s population lives outside these enervated and overextended enclaves. For billions of human beings opportunity is expanding rather than contracting, if very unevenly. This is in fact the new Age of Possibility.”
What is angering is the lie of this phrase. People are not up in arms about immigrates to the USA, we are exasperated by the numbers of ILLEGAL immigrants who are here. Get the story and vocabulary straight! This choice of wording was not an error but just one of many MANY times the position has been misidentified.
It is long past the time we need to come to grips with this inaccurate phrase: all are created equal.
One can call it fate, chance, or God but whatever word you use to describe the fact that you were born at such a place and not another, to a woman and not a different woman, at such a time and not 200 or 3000 years ago – we are not created equal.
We have people who get unfair breaks because they trade on their family name. They have no better talent than many others who are involved in the same hobby, vocation, or trade – they however were born to a family that has power behind their name. The child, now an adult has done nothing to bring about their own existence into this world and to whom and when it occurred. They have the unfair edge and advantage over many people far more talented that were not born under the celebrity or power names of our times.
We have people who are born in settings and circumstances that are below poverty that have talent and a heart that can accomplish great things if only they had the edge or advantage of being born in the UK or US instead of New Guinea, Pakistan, Thailand and so on.
Life is not fair. All of us are not created equal.
But wouldn’t it be great if some people of wealth and power had a passion to share their edge and advantage with those who could better those around them and maybe even the world if they had such an opportunity? What if we cared enough to try to spread opportunities for others to shine?
Inspiration can come from the darndest things. Answers to questions unspoken can also appear as secret Santa gifts at your desk in the middle of July. Such was the case for me.
I was getting coffee at my favorite coffee shop and decided to sit in one of the comfy chairs that the bottom was actually sitting on the floor. Really – what are people doing on these chairs!? Do the employees jump up and down on them when the store is closed? But there I was sitting in the comfy chair with my knees parallel to my elbows when I decided to close my eyes for a moment. (See, I really needed the coffee.) I like to eavesdrop, hopefully, discreetly on the conversations around me. Not that I am nosy per-se but more that I love to listen to real conversations. I have had my heart filled with emotions listening to such table talk and it is much more real than being tweeted. (C’mon you know the celebrities have people tweet for them. And besides those aren’t conversations.)
So I took a safe sip of my hot coffee, set it down and looked around a moment to see the faces and body language of the people in the shop and then I closed my eyes to try to focus on the them. It is much like using a dial radio and trying to zero in on the channel you are wanting to listen to. I heard the table of three that were closest to me which were talking about their plans for the weekend. The table beside them where two guys were talking about a web page design and then to my left at a table about center to the traffic path was a couple of women who had their notebooks on the table and their laptops on. I heard the words “please understand” and tried to focus. I have learned the best way for me to focus is to open my eyes and look at the people I am trying to focus on and then begin concentrating on them directly slowly closing my eyes. I have, let it be known, got up from a seat to sit closer to a conversation that I found very interesting. Right now though the words “please understand” for some reason struck a chord with me.
“I know that you want to succeed and that right now there is a lot of pressure to perform but you need to consider where you are at. You are new to the team and the team knows that. What you need to acknowledge is that this is not the employer where the unprofessional and arguably the unethical behavior took place – that was in the past.”
“I know, I know but I am somewhat apprehensive and concerned. I wonder if I am making the right choice working on this project. I am not sure I can meet the team’s expectations…”
“You had no problems until a week ago so what happened?”
“Jay called me, my old boss, and offered me a new position…”
“So that is what this is about? Money?”
“No, no I am looking ahead and I am not sure…”
“Quit looking ahead, for that matter quit rehearsing the past as well. You need to live in the present…”
Connection broke – it was like someone took those seven words and planted them in my heart and mind. “You need to live in the present” – why were those words so jarring to my mind? I ran through the conversation again in my head and nothing else stuck out. I began drinking my coffee and looking around at the people and mulling over the feeling those words gave me. The best I could describe it as is the so-called Eureka moment.
I began to think of Tess and my mind told me softly “you are on the right track”. (Aren’t people who hear voices in their heads and listen to them given lots of medication to shut up those voices? But I digress…) I have been concerned why Tess – such a wonderful woman would allow me to be in the center of her life. I have been concerned that I will screw up the whole thing as well as my fear of repeating past mistakes. Then the bell rang – past and future, I was dwelling on things past and unknowable future events instead of enjoying the present. I looked over at the two ladies talking and I wanted to say thanks to them. I was all excited now and knew I needed to see Tess and give her the biggest hug I could muster. I picked up my coffee and got out of the coffee shop and headed over to the store she worked at. My heart swelled and I could feel a lump developing in my throat – I was so fortunate to be enjoying life with Tess and I was never going to forget that again.
Late last week the University of MI consumer sentiment report and analysis was released. It is “present” looking study and has over 30 years of historical data to compare the present with. It is a nice, short and sweet snapshot of the national consumer “feeling” about spending and earning. The November report highlights:
Unfortunately, there has been no improvement in consumers’ financial prospect in the past two years. While consumers clearly believe that the recovery has gained some traction, most still think that the economic gains will be too small to improve their own job and income position anytime soon.”
The personal finances of consumers remained quite bleak in November. Nearly twice as many consumers re-ported that their finances had worsened rather than improved during the past year, with one-in-three reporting declines in household income.
The majority of households expected no income increase during the year ahead in November, for the 23rd consecutive
The Expectations Index, a component of the Index of Leading Economic Indicators, worsened during the past year (-2.6%).
The monthly report is available here: https://customers.reuters.com/community/university/default.aspx#
Mr. Krauthammer’s recent article dealt with the Wikileaks subject and Assange in particular; here a few snip-its:
At a Monday news conference, Attorney General Eric Holder assured the nation that his people are diligently looking into possible legal action against WikiLeaks. Where has Holder been? The WikiLeaks exposure of Afghan war documents occurred five months ago. Holder is looking now at possible indictments? This is a country where a good prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich. Months after the first leak, Justice’s thousands of lawyers have yet to prepare charges against Julian Assange and his confederates?
Throw the Espionage Act of 1917 at them. And if that is not adequate, if that law has been too constrained and watered down by subsequent Supreme Court rulings, then why hasn’t the administration prepared new legislation adapted to these kinds of Internet-age violations of U.S. security? It’s not as if we didn’t know more leaks were coming. And that more leaks are coming still.
Think creatively. The WikiLeaks document dump is sabotage, however quaint that term may seem. We are at war – a hot war in Afghanistan where six Americans were killed just this past Monday, and a shadowy world war where enemies from Yemen to Portland, Ore., are planning holy terror. Franklin Roosevelt had German saboteurs tried by military tribunal and executed. Assange has done more damage to the United States than all six of those Germans combined. Putting U.S. secrets on the Internet, a medium of universal dissemination new in human history, requires a reconceptualization of sabotage and espionage – and the laws to punish and prevent them. Where is the Justice Department?
And where are the intelligence agencies on which we lavish $80 billion a year? Assange has gone missing. Well, he’s no cave-dwelling jihadi ascetic. Find him. Start with every five-star hotel in England and work your way down.
Want to prevent this from happening again? Let the world see a man who can’t sleep in the same bed on consecutive nights, who fears the long arm of American justice.
2 cents: It is pretty well known that he is in the UK. In fact it has also been established that week that the UK MI5 and 6 know exactly where he is. I am leaning more and more to having him picked up and detained. I agree about the charges being brought against him for spying and if the law is not up to date it needs to be updated you bunch of dopes. Then grandfather past cases in and lock him away. Again – this was not a whistle blowing case and he should not be protected because of it.
full article here
My mother asked me via email what I thought about the organization and the recent data dump. I was wondering myself because I was a bit unnerved with the Sunday dump where in the past I haven’t been. I think I got it figured out for myself and replied to her – I think that Wikileaks original purpose was to be a whistleblower safe haven and I am all for that. However the action by the organization on Sunday was not whistle blowing but revealing sensitive information for the sake of releasing it and causing embarrassment – most especially for the USA government. I see the potential for a lot of harm and distrust in relationships with other governments and quite possibly undermining very sensitive work that has been accomplished or in the works. They should be held accountable for the disclosure of information just as if they were a captured spy which possessed sensitive/government documents.