Posts Tagged ‘Sunday’

Where Did Our Heritage Go?

November 26, 2011 1 comment

We’ve come into the season of holidays; Thanksgiving gives way to Christmas and moves inexorably to New Years. For centuries this season has stood for blessings, fellowship, and unity; if not in actuality, at least on the surface.

This time around something has gone off the tracks. Everyone is edgier, ruder, more desperate. One could attribute this holiday syndrome as an ever-increasing out-pouring of the stress felt by countless millions of people who don’t know what the next year will bring economically, politically, or within the family.

The question is: Why has our population become seemingly unequipped to keep themselves under control?

Our forefathers for centuries lived with the knowledge that nothing in this world is certain. Life and their own common sense taught them to plan for those lean times, rely only on necessities, especially when luxuries cost so much more than most could pay. They lived with few clothes for each member of the family.

A father with more than two pairs of pants, one work shirt and one for Sunday, and who could give the same for each of his family, was a wealthy man by the standards of the time.

A mother who didn’t lose at least two children to stillbirth, illness or injury before they were five years old was truly blessed. Children who still had both birth parents to attend their weddings, complete with cake and a bride’s veil, could remember that for the rest of their lives.

If one owned a small cabin or house, with enough land to provide a kitchen garden that would produce enough food to put away for winter stores, wealth was clear. Size of the home didn’t matter. Everyone would have a place to sleep, warm and secure when cold and snow took over the outer territory. The living room/family room/kitchen, etc. occupied one space, all of which might have measured 15×20 feet. A loft was always necessary for sleeping nooks for the children.

When the world industrialized and cities became the working world for many, credit became common for those who always paid their bills on time. The 1929 Depression and subsequent lean years didn’t teach everyone the price of greed. People afterwards merely moved to different avenues for making money.

By the early 21st Century we’ve become barbarians in subtle ways. Take the incidents these past couple of days across the country. People, so absorbed in their passion to buy the latest and greatest for the cheapest price available, have been willing to kill or maim others to get to a desired item first.

Headlines in the news: Woman pepper sprays others, injuring 20 people, to get to a xbox on sale. Shoppers, anxious to get into a store for first pickings, dismantle a door and trample to death a young woman standing ready to open the door at the appointed time. A man is shot in a store’s parking lot during a sale.

Question: Have we become barbarous murderers in the name of possessions? Or, has greed so possessed our people through constant consumerism propaganda that we’re desensitized to our own actions?

Incidents like the above are on the increase, and not just at this season. When will be grow out of this selfish adolescence and back into the adulthood of our ancestors and their hard-won heritage of living with what you need and feeling blessed that you have that much security?

These are truly things to think about during this time; especially during this season.

A bientot,


Reading the Manual

February 28, 2011 1 comment

Like many people on Sunday, I spent a quiet day yesterday. Part was spent in study, part in worship, and part in socializing. During each of those activities came reflection.

I doubt if writers ever truly stop writing since so much of the outside world gets rolled into potential material use. Yesterday was no exception to that unwritten rule.

For those who haven’t spent time with an official manual for Microsoft Office 2010, take the time to do it. I began my in-depth study of it yesterday and came away astounded at the possibilities for my future work. Does that mean that I haven’t been using Office 2010?

Nope. I’ve used it for nearly a year now—as a simple point and shoot word processor that allowed me to put words on-screen, add and delete, and create unsophisticated raw formatting that could maybe impress the local insect zoo. I had no clue that the whole package could do so much.

Why? You ask. Simple. The software comes without a manual.

Anyone who’s bought software or downloaded any in the past few years knows that the only option for major understanding of it is to go online and read the tutorials, etc. for that particular program or pay to take a class. Only then do you get the overall picture of uses, functions, and potential support needs.

I happened, by chance, to find my small manual in Borders not long after I had purchased Office 2010. I wasn’t happy about having to buy any support books for it. I felt that given the price of the software, it should come with an actual manual.

Extra time is something I didn’t have a lot of at the time and the manual got put aside until later. So when we began this journey of ours, I threw it into my work satchel so that when I found some down time, I could learn the software.

Nice thought, wasn’t it? Actually, yes it was, because when I decided to do more than glance at the manual, I found a world of possibilities I will be exploring for a long while to come.

It was like Christmas.

In fact, all of yesterday had a sprinkling of holiday cheer to it for no specific reason. I went to bed with that satisfied feeling, coupled with anticipation, of having come to a junction in my life. Oh, not because of the software study, although that did give me pause.

The reflection that I’d done had broken loose some unrecognized needs that required fulfillment. That’s when the light bulb when on. That’s also when I knew that my life was taking another turn.

I suppose that sounds a bit out there, but what I rediscovered were neglected layers of me and my own potential. I started asking myself what the manual to my life contained that I’d never paid real attention to. That personal question needed more reflection. As a result, it became a late night.

The odd upshot to this is that my daily life won’t look much different from what it is now—at least for a while. Later that will change, but then all things do given time.

In many ways this trip of ours has rewritten my life in profound elemental ways that others can’t see. The mundane chores and tasks of my life remain as always. What has changed is the underlying processor that’s become supercharged to travel on unexpected highways of life.

I don’t know how all the facets came together yesterday to elicit my personal epiphany. In the end it doesn’t matter. Irony does manage to enter the picture. I began my day trying to understand Word. I finished reading The Word. In between those two activities my life shifted. That’s quite a bit to expect of a Sunday, don’t you think?

Until later, folks, a bientot,