Inside, Outside

Where we spend our time, inside, outside. Literally, and figuratively. In the world, in our heads.

Who are we outside? Inside? The same, or different…?

These questions churn through my noggin most days, challenge me, inspire me, forward, the stop!

Then forward again. Striving to understand, live the truth, each day, nudge, speed, forward.

Inside, and outside,

Ever forward. Ever forward.

Listen, Lean-In, Love

Listen to the voices you trust, to those that inspire you, each day. Learn the lessons being offered if they resonate with you. Learn them well.

Lean-in to hard things when it makes sense. We can do hard things . You can do hard things. We humans, we are built for struggle, to overcome difficulties, to persevere. That’s you, too!

Love yourself; at the same time, as you hold yourself accountable, remember to also love yourself.

And love those around you who love you; and love those who need love; let the love you are blessed with power you forward. Accept it when it is offered; give it as often as you can.

Let it be so: Listen, Lean-In, Love.

Jerry Rig

Jerry Rig or jury rig, is the practice of making due with what you have on hand to repair something or otherwise solve a problem. Making due, that’s a good life lesson.

Things don’t always go as we’d like; sometimes to get some result close to what we want, we have to make due, make the best of the situation as it is.

Opportunities arose for this practice all the time. It promotes compromise and resilience and fortitude.

Don’t be afraid to jerry rig something if need be to accomplish your goal. Be resourceful. Make it happen.

Oh yea, and if you want to learn more about the term and it’s history, see below.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jury_rigging

Shanty Town

It’s not near Cape Town or Karachi, not even Skid Row— nothing like that scale or density of population, but in this home town of mine, San Jose, California, homelessness has over the years become a societal problem on the rise.

The pandemic has only made it worse.

Vast disparities of income versus the cost of living is part of it. Mental health issues are part of it. And with the pandemic, pretty suddenly many whole could just make it, can’t anymore. And so they live in their car, maybe, or under an overpass, or in a shanty.

In this wealthiest of regions in this wealthiest of nations, how can this be so? And how can we fix it?

Can we agree that it should be fixed? That we are better than that, that we can do better than that. Let’s figure it out. Let’s make it better.

We can do this. We are called to do this. Love your neighbor as yourself. love your neighbor as yourself.

Lyrics Post: “Anthill” By KINO (Victor Tsoi)

This one from almost thirty years ago, living in the then Soviet Union…this band, they became part of the soundtrack of that year for me…so GOOD.

“A new day is starting

And cars pass there and forth

If the sun isn’t too lazy to rise,

It’s okay for us too then.

The anthill lives on,

Some ant broke a limb – it’s alright,

It will heal soon,

And if it’ll die – it’ll die…

I don’t like it when I’m lied to,

But I’m tired of the truth as well,

I tried to find a haven,

They say that I wasn’t searching too well.

And I don’t know what’s the percentage

Of insane people nowadays,

But If I were to believe my eyes and ears –

It’ll be three times bigger…

And we could’ve lead a war

Against those who are against us,

Because those who are against those who are against us,

Can’t manage without us

Our future is vague,

In our past it’s either heaven or hell,

Our money doesn’t find its way to our pockets,

But it’s morning already – get up!

I don’t like it when I’m lied to,

But I’m tired of the truth as well,

I tried to find a haven,

They say that I wasn’t searching too well.

And I don’t know what’s the percentage

Of insane people nowadays,

But If I were to believe my eyes and ears –

It’ll be three times bigger…”

Courtesy of

https://lyricstranslate.com

And the original –

Муравейник

Начинается новый день

И машины туда-сюда…

Раз уж солнцу вставать не лень,

И для нас, значит, ерунда.

Муравейник живет,

Кто-то лапку сломал – не в счет,

А до свадьбы заживет,

А помрет – так помрет…

Я не люблю, когда мне врут,

Но от правды я тоже устал,

Я пытался найти приют,

Говорят, что плохо искал.

И я не знаю, каков процент

Сумасшедших на данный час,

Но, если верить глазам и ушам –

Больше в несколько раз…

И мы могли бы вести войну

Против тех, кто против нас,

Так как те, кто против тех, кто против нас,

Не справляются с ними без нас.

Наше будущее – туман,

В нашем прошлом – то ад, то рай,

Наши деньги не лезут в карман,

Вот и утро – вставай!

Я не люблю, когда мне врут,

Но от правды я тоже устал,

Я пытался найти приют,

Говорят, что плохо искал.

И я не знаю, каков процент

Сумасшедших на данный час,

Но, если верить глазам и ушам –

Больше в несколько раз…

https://lyricstranslate.com

Compromise 2

The way forward.

Compromise.

“Not every disagreement on every issue requires a war; that’s not reasonable; that’s not responsible leadership.

We elect our leaders to govern; we expect our leaders to govern.

If you’re not protecting our people and moving our society forward, you’re not governing. You’re not doing your job.

The Gang of Six, 2018.

The Gang of Eight, 2013.

The Grand Bargain, 2007.

Consider the art, the duty, of compromise. I believe it’s a fundamental trait we humans possess, and must adhere to, to co-exist in the world. We are a social species, which means we are meant to live together.

To live together, in this world, in this country, in our community, in our family, we must hone the skill and willingness to compromise.

Compromise: the path forward.

Struggling and Searching? Russians, Tolstoy, and Faith

Personal Preface, then “Lessons from Leo Tolstoy” – An Article via BioLogos

I was raised in the Christian faith; it stayed with me as an adult, and has seen me through five decades so far.

For pretty well the whole of my adult life, I’ve also been a Rusophile.   There is a special place in my heart, in my soul, for the Russians.   Ukrainians too, for that matter.   My friends, you know who you are.

Since learning as a young adult about the Cold War that America had with Russia, my desire to understand the Russian people and help find common ground between our peoples became a life-long commitment.

Reading Tolstoy was one of the activities that solidified my connection somehow between my faith an my cultural/political interest in the Russians.  Anyone who’s even remotely aware of Russian literature is aware of Tolstoy.  Though he wrote epic verse, one passage in particular attributed to him stands out for me and has guided much of my most difficult moments in life.  It goes something like this…

“…you struggle in life because you strive to fulfill your own will, rather than God’s Will.   You will find happiness and contentment to the degree that you pursue God’s Will in your life; you will then be in touch with who you are truly meant to be.”

Something like that.

You can read more about Tolstoy and his faith via the following link, with the brief intro from the site, as such:

Famed author Leo Tolstoy went through a faith journey that ultimately led him back to Christ. His reflections can reassure those of us who have lingering questions and give us hope.
— Read on biologos.org/articles/struggling-and-searching-lessons-from-leo-tolstoy

What is a President?

Talking about the top elected official of our Executive Branch, the President is the CEO of the country.

The President is the ultimate servant leader, elected to set policy, make decisions for the betterment of the people, and the Commander in Chief empowered to protect the citizenry and our land.

The President’s duty is to the Constitution, and to the people. To serve and to protect the people. ALL THE PEOPLE

Here’s the text, the following Presidential Oath or Affirmation:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

And usually closed out with…”so help me God.”

With these words an ordinary person is given tremendous power for a time, entrusted by the people to fulfill the oath.

And then often, and maybe quickly, and maybe frequently, things get muddy, and things get murky.

But the work of the President, it’s Sacred Duty. Sacred Duty.

Presidents and People

It’s a big world out there: more than 7 billion people, on 7 continents, more than 200 countries all told.

Who leads? It depends. In the United States, we have something like a democracy. And so in this political system who leads formally? Depends on who wins the election.

Who follows? Everyone else.

The thing is, at least in the United States, those who become president, he or she, has pretty close to an ultimate power while in office,

And then they become regular citizens again, once the term is completed.

Presidents, and all leaders, in the US and everywhere, they should be, and are, just people like everyone else.

Presidents in their best moments, give themselves to their office, to their people who they are elected to serve.

That ultimate power, it’s to be used to serve, to further the common good.

Let it be so. Let it be so.