Monday, January 28, 2008

Remember the song, We Are The World?


It seems like forever since a group of artists gathered to try to remind us of what should be obvious. At the time I think we were all greatly moved, but the feeling passed all too quickly. I'd love to make a difference, but I don't know where to start. It seems my days have become all to predictable: Another day, another wrinkle and a new pain. Luckily, I can still count my blessings and laugh at life. But not everyone is so lucky.

Do you think God doesn’t have a sense of humor? Think about it. He gave us one to deal with the stresses of life. He has to have some release once in a while from a world that’s in a huge mess. A clap of thunder, a bolt of lightning...a sudden downpour. People just can’t get along no matter how much they’ve been warned to ‘play nice’. If forty days and forty nights of rain didn’t get the message across, he probably threw up his hands and cried in frustration. I can just hear him now. “For heaven sakes, I drowned everything and gave them a chance to start over.”

Did we? Heck no. We turned all his beautiful work into arteries of blacktop littered with tons of trash, and with the wondrous brain he gave us, we created mechanical devices that belch smoke and gases into the air, turning his pristine blue sky to murky brown. No doubt, he’s wondering why we couldn’t have stuck with the horse-drawn carriages; the most trouble they caused was a little pile of manure here and there. That only helped the flowers and grass to grow.

As I listen to the daily news, I feel the Lord’s pain. His children are engaged in constant war and killing one another. Imagine what that must feel like. I detested my children’s bickering; I can’t picture one taking the life of the other. Losing a child is a parent's worst nightmare. We pray for God to end the fighting, but it's not his job. We expect way too many miracles. Instead of being part of the solution, we put all our problems in God's hands. Even a supreme being has limits.

It’s not just in Iraq where war rages. Even our own streets aren’t safe. We fight for turf, designer shoes, and racial slurs. Our children take guns to school to get even with those who bully them. How sad we’ve become. God allows us to make our own choices, and we continue to make bad ones. How we act speaks volumes about us. This morning I followed another car as I drove my grandson to school. A lit cigarette bounced off my windshield and then into the weeds along roadside. Luckily, the grass was drenched with frost and probably drowned the flame. How can people show such little regard for the safety of our land and the people who live nearby when they decide to flick out a burning butt?

My anger is stirred to the point of boiling every time I see someone throw trash out their car window. Our beautiful landscapes are littered with bottles, cans, dirty diapers, and fast food containers. How difficult is it to hold onto your trash until you get home and can throw it where it belongs? Just think if everyone did. Wouldn’t that be grand?

My mother brought me up to take pride in where I live, to value my belongings and never feel ashamed if someone drops by unexpectedly. I used to be anal about dust and rumpled pillows, but I’ve relaxed. Still, you’ll never visit my house and find it filthy. I believe in hygiene, both physically and in my surroundings. I stood in line behind a guy at the market a few days ago and wished he’d shared the concept. I reminded myself that the reward for hard labor is a good healthy sweat. He must be a very hard worker.

My thoughts of his hygiene problem were swept away when the cashier rang up my total. I think I gasped that the few things I bought came to almost $75.00. As long as the cost of gasoline is sky-high, prices of everything else will continue to creep up, too. Everything you buy is delivered by a truck, and the cost of diesel is even higher than gasoline now. Why, I ask myself. For years it was a whole lot cheaper. Just another game that conglomerates are allowed to play. I tried to find a bright spot by thinking that maybe high fuel prices would keep the litterbugs off the street, but alas, as I drove home, I was bombarded by a flying McDonald’s bag and a few French fries. Where’s the pride, people?

Everyone is mindful of the upcoming elections and trying to decide on the right person to lead our nation. In the big scheme of things, it really doesn’t matter who gets elected. Things will never change until we do. The secret to a better life is within each of us. Love, pride, honor, and selflessness… just a few things we need to practice a little more each day. Whether we elect a Republican or Democrat, male or female, no one has the ability to monitor all the little things that need to change to make our world a better place. The candidates can’t even run for office without engaging in character assassination and smear campaigns. What hope can you draw from that?

We all share responsibility to honor the gifts God has given us… to find a way to live shoulder to shoulder with one another in harmony and learn respect for our beautiful world. I’d love to live to see the day. Wouldn’t you?

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