From an old friend, this quote, recently shared. I think it stands pretty well on its own. Enjoy. I did. Do.
“As long as we observe love for others and respect for their rights and dignity in our daily lives, then whether we are learned or unlearned, whether we believe in the Buddha or God, follow some religion or none at all, as long as we have compassion for others and conduct ourselves with restraint out of a sense of responsibility, there is no doubt we will be happy.”~ His Holiness The Dalai Lama
And the thoughts I’d woken up with that day, “What’s on my mind? Tolerance and love, patience and mercy, and just a spark of inspiration — wishing this for each of you, and the world, for the world, Happy Tuesday, peeps~”
“There is unrest in the forest There is trouble with the trees For the maples want more sunlight And the oaks ignore their pleas
The trouble with the maples (And they’re quite convinced they’re right) They say the oaks are just too lofty And they grab up all the light But the oaks can’t help their feelings If they like the way they’re made And they wonder why the maples Can’t be happy in their shade
There is trouble in the forest And the creatures all have fled As the maples scream ‘Oppression!’ And the oaks just shake their heads
So the maples formed a union And demanded equal rights ‘The oaks are just too greedy We will make them give us light’ Now there’s no more oak oppression For they passed a noble law And the trees are all kept equal By hatchet, axe and saw”
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.
“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.
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:
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.