Archive for August, 2008

29
Aug
08

Envy

Why is it that we, as human beings, are rarely happy with what we have?  We always seem to want something more, especially if we see that someone else has it.  Keeping up with the Joneses has been a game played since the beginning of time, and yet we don’t seem to have learned much from it as a whole.  When this “deadly” sin was first introduced, the church was engaging in all kinds of envy – the desire for wealth of other nations, land that had been previously unavailable, and the souls of heathens to increase the holy sea.  The Vatican didn’t attain all of that wealth because they didn’t envy others for having it, and many times it was attained through avarice and the careful misuse of other sins (That Shalt Not Kill comes to mind).

The other side is this: when we want something, we need to force ourselves to examine the cost and consequences of recieving it.  The ultimate goal is to want only what we absolutely need to survive and be reasonably comfortable.  I could have a better job and make more money, but I would have to give up a lot of time with my husband and son.  A larger house means larger bills, and what I already have is more than adaquate.  We complicate our lives by envying those who have more than we need, and waste precious time in the struggle to attain them.  But envy can be a positive force as well.  Envying those with better grades forces us to study harder.  Coveting the health and vitality of someone older than us forces us to re-examine our own choices in food and exercise regimines.

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27
Aug
08

They’re Gonna Kill ‘Em

I was watching the Democratic National Convention(which isn’t quite Democratic, or national) on Monday night and they cut to a picture of where the Democratic Nominee will be speaking from on Thursday.  That’s when it dawned me.  They’re going to kill him.  It may not be on Thursday night, though a “plot” has already been disrupted, but I think there’s a reasonable chance that they’re going to kill him.  Don’t ask me who “they” is.  There are so many people who feel they have a reason to take his life that I’m sure the list is days long, but my guess it that we’ll never really know and the idea will have originated in the highest levels of the government.  I’m going to guess that the attempt will be blamed on a “lone nut” racist who works in the stadium (noticed that the stage lends itself to triangulated crossfire) and has recently talked to someone about how much they hate the man.  Blaming a national disaster on a terrorist has already been done.

26
Aug
08

Avarice (Greed)

Money is the root of all evil, or so they say.  It’s not so much the money itself, but the power and control that comes with having what others do not (and the idea that focusing on money means you’re not focusing on God).  Of course, when greed was first labeled a “deadly” sin, the church was the most corrupt institution in the land, but no one likes to talk about that.  In fact, avarice has long been a vice of religion, from the selling of “holy” relics and special favors to the evangelical preachers of today raising money to build a mega church and buy themselves a Hummer.  I wonder how many people have been convinced to rid themselves of their greed by donating all they have to their local church. 

The other side is this: putting yourself above others in one area (especially when it comes to sharing) makes it easier to put yourself first in all aspects of life.  Any time you forget to think of others you open yourself up to the ability to ignore their needs completely.  That doesn’t mean you should never put yourself first.  It is also important to learn to say “no” when you’re feeling overextended or you must do something to take care of yourself, but, as with anything, the more you do it, the easier it becomes.  Being greedy with your time is the same as being greedy with your possessions.  Try to make sure to do something for someone else every day, and if someone needs something that you have (and don’t absolutely NEED), it’s should be theirs.  Many of us learned to share before we had any concept of religion or God.  It is a basic requirement of humanity, and something we should all be paying more attention to.

25
Aug
08

The Seven Deadly Sins

Even if we are not religious or we find ourselves absent of religion, we can still learn a lot from what religious texts and people have taught.  One of my favorite lessons is centered on the seven “deadly” sins.  Though I don’t believe that I will automatically end up in hell if I commit any of them and do not repent, I do recognize that having a life ruled by one or more of these unflattering attributes contributes to a personal hell that cannot soon be overcome and generally necessitates professional help.  Each sin contains a lesson on how to live your life.  Since many people tend to think of these things in the Biblical sense, it is difficult for them to see each to a lesser degree in themselves.  In truth, these are the things that destroy our lives, our relationships, and our ability to see the world as it is.  When we are clouded by greed, evny, gluttony, lust, pride, sloth, or wrath, we cannot see what is really happening around us.

23
Aug
08

Obama Choses Biden

I think Mr. Biden is an excellent choice for Vice President.  I liked him a lot when he was runing for President, and I feel that they various ways in which the media tried to discount and discredit him shows a lack of integrity and respect in a field that has been overvalued for too long.  In addition, it’s obvious that the media is going to pull out everything negative that Biden’s ever said about Obama (but they will conveniently overlook that in the Republican nominee), but fortunately Joe’s addition to the ticket makes up for anything that Barack could lack.  I still have little hope for this election season, mostly because the media lacks objectivity.  I think they’ll publically crucify both of the Democratic Candidates at every opportunity.

21
Aug
08

Expecting a Miracle

It scares me that many people in the United States believe that God can save their loved ones when doctors cannot.  Though we don’t know everything about out bodies and minds, and I do believe that there is something to the Chinese method of directing energy, I find it difficult to wrap my head around those who rely completely on the mythological.  To me, it’s tantamount to expecting to be cured by a fairy.  My sister’s chronic illness had opened me up to the possibility that prayer helps, but not because God had anything to do with it.  Directed energy, along with the patient knowing that many people care for them and are hoping for their recovery, can do wonders for the psyche (which in turn affects the body). But just because a recovery or remission is unexplained does not make it a miracle.  It just means we don’t know how it happened.  My concern is that believing so completely that God will heal someone can be psychologically devastating when they do not improve, but then, the religious will just explain that away as God’s will.  What the people of the United States need is to rely less on God and be more in touch with reality.

20
Aug
08

Lower the Drinking Age

A movement called the Amethyst Initiative has recruited over 100 college Presidents to urge the government to lower the drinking age from 21 to 18.  Besides it being extremely difficult to enforce the drinking age on college campuses, or any place where large groups of young people are gathered together, it should be reduced even further, to 16, to allow parents and families to teach their young adults how to drink responsibly in the comfort of their own home.  It would help reduce drunk driving as well, as teens who don’t have to sneakaround to drink can do so in the privacy of their own backyards and would be more likely to stay where they are, under the watchful eye of parents and neighbors close by.  In many countries the drinking age is between 16 and 18, with only the nanniest of states requiring that young men and women who can join the military to die should do so without their first drink.  Besides all that, the best way to get people to stop doing something is to make it perfectly legal.  Did we learn nothing from prohibition?  The forbidden is ALWAYS more fun!

My first drink was a wine cooller at 16 under the critical eye of my parents.  At 18 my friends and I started having parties, but only when our parents were around (but out of site).  At 21 we all went through a legal drinking stage in which we drank too much (but NEVER drove) because we’d had enough experience with ourselves drinking to know what we could and could not accomplish while drunk (unfortunately streaking didn’t make it on the Not To Do list; fortunately, that’s how I saw my husband’s ass a year before I’d even met him).




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I am not perfect. I do my best to practice what I preach, but I am human. My mantra is, "DO NO HARM". I may not always succeed, but I will always try. My goal is to be a better person today than I was yesterday.

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