Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Thoughts

I have a great deal of respect for the late, and lamented, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was a man of integrity and of vision. He would have fit in well with the Founding Fathers. Perhaps but for the color of his skin. Those men might have been able to see past that cosmetic difference and seen into the man's character. The founders were perceptive and very intelligent, but would the circumstances and customs of that time have hampered their opinion of Dr. King? Perhaps, but we'll never know.

I know in my youth that Dr. King was often judged solely by his skin color. Many of our fellow Americans were, and sometimes still are judged by that accident of ancestry. For that is all it is. Early humans adapted to their environment and adapted very well. In the heat and the harsh climate of the African continent, dark skin was a feature. Not a bug. In the cold, northern climes in which my ancestors evolved we tended to be pale. Not a lot of sun in the higher latitudes for much of the year.

So skin color and other physical attributes were adaptations to the environment. Nothing more.

Below (in italics) are some quotes from Dr. King that I rather like. My own thoughts on each are not italicized. For whatever it's worth.

I am harping a lot about "race" lately because there are evil forces out there who seek to divide us, and conquer us, along whatever lines they can. Sometimes it's skin color, sometimes it's religion, sometimes it's party affiliation. But evil forces do seek to split us apart and fragment us. E pluribus unum. Out of many, one. United we must stand, or most assuredly, divided we will fall.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
  • Dr. King was a pastor, a very good one. This quote can be supported by multiple passages in scripture. Though Matthew 22:37-40 describes it best (to me at any rate):
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
  • When the going gets tough, well, you know the rest. Making a stand in perilous times is truly an act of great courage.
Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.
  • So much of life would be simple if we only had faith. Not knowing where life will take you in the hardest of times is a tremendous leap of faith. Sometimes that first step is a doozy!
I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.
  • Hate requires a great deal of effort and diminishes the hater far more than the hated. Again, I'm sure Dr. King let scripture be his guide in many things, if not most things.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
  • All it takes for the triumph of evil is for good men (and women) to do nothing. (Edmund Burke nailed that one. It has been proven again and again throughout history.)
Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'
  • Reminds me of JFK's speech: "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." Both sentiments ring true.
The time is always right to do what is right.
  • Doing the right thing is always the smart move.
I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
  • Sigh... I long for the day when this holds true. Look inside someone, look at their actions, their deeds, look at their beliefs. Looking at only the surface attributes of a fellow human is the epitome of stupidity.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
  • I hadn't heard this one before, but it has the ring of truth. How can anyone sit back and do nothing when there are people suffering injustice at the hands of the powerful? As it says in Matthew 25:40, The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
  • There is nothing I can add to that. Look around you, it's everywhere.
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While this hasn't really been a political post, it leans in that direction for any number of reasons. I am sickened by what is happening in my country. Lies and deceit are everywhere. Try and find an unbiased news story. I looked up something on Monday where I had eyewitness testimony to the facts of the case, from someone who was there, from someone directly involved, and what did I find from multiple news outlets (of all persuasions)? Lies, outright lies.

I guess if you don't know the truth and can't recognize the truth, you are lost. Truly lost.

This election frightens me more than I can say. We are on the precipice.



22 comments:

  1. Nicely done. I seriously thought about using that last quote as my title yesterday. In retrospect, I wish I had. ;-)

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    1. I rather liked the one you used yesterday. Inspired me to do this one.

      Thanks Juvat.

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  2. Very much on the precipice. One group wants desperately to shove us off, as they believe that that is the way to a lifetime of power and privilege for them. The other group wants desperately to believe in the promises of con man. I am horrified that the con man is our only seeming chance of survival. I am especially afraid, as I believe it is 1938, and 1939 will soon be upon us, and neither of the fools presented to us as our choice is fit to be in charge in such times.

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  3. "I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear."
    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity"

    Two of my favorite quotes. The first one is basically how I was raised by my parents and grandparents and
    one of the hardest for me to follow every day as it's so easy to hate! The second one I have on my door at work.

    "This election frightens me more than I can say. We are on the precipice." I am so with you on this one Brother!!

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    1. Hate isn't worth my time, though I find it hard to adhere to these days when so many want us to hate something, seems like anything will do. Nope, no thanks. Not gonna be a hater.

      Thanks Russ.

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    2. Me neither. I'm going to keep on laughing till I die. Hate consumes a person and I'd rather not go that way.

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    3. It may sound trite but laughter is the best medicine. (H/T to Reader's Digest.)

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  4. It is why every election, I see it a duty to vote. A continuation of our revolution. But, I do wish, they had a box for "none of the above". I believe that would win this year.

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    1. I do believe you have the right of it Sir.

      It is a duty, sometimes an onerous one. You're also right in that NOTA would probably win in a landslide this year.

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  5. I keep thinking about HCA's "The Emperor's New Clothes." I remember when Obama was first elected and that story was tossed around for a time, but almost exclusively by people pointing at Obama (whose behavior I despise) and saying, in effect, "Hey, look at the naked blankety-blank." But the story isn't about the Emperor, it's about the people. You can only swindle a swindler, and those folks were all fighting to be swindled.

    We've become in far too many cases a group of lazy, irresponsible, swindling parasites, far too busy pointing fingers to even consider checking our own basic principles.

    The only thing that will save us is the individual decisions of sovereign citizens to straighten up and fly right. And they've got to get there on their own, which is both frightening and (given some of our history, like the 1980's) somewhat encouraging.

    Great post.

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    1. Thanks Shaun. Yes, the tale of the emperor's lack of apparel was more about the people than it was about the emperor. As a nation, many of us are simply not doing their duty. Far too many don't even realize it is a duty. Who does one blame? The schools? The parents? The media? Perhaps "all of the above."

      Hopefully enough folks will wake up to reality before it's too late.

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  6. The thing I lament is that us old white guys are quoting Dr. King more than any of the so called "black leaders" today. I suspect his words are not uttered at all among the BLM crowd.

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    1. And that fills me with a great deal of sadness. I do hope you're wrong. But I doubt it.

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  7. Once again, an outstanding post. Thank you.

    Paul L. Quandt

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  8. And Dr. King is spinning at high RPM in his grave, based on what is going on now. :-(

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  9. The BLM movement is doing its damndest to destroy all the work MLK has done. They are taking us backwards. Reversing our gains.

    And political leaders are allowing to happen out of personal power and gain.

    You are absolutely right about the coming election. It fills me with dread that we are looking at the Vandals at the gates of Rome.

    Thus ends Pax Americana.

    But sometimes, at the very worst of times when all you are trying to svae is rotten to the core...

    The only thing to do is burn it to the ground and start afresh.

    Not a palatable thought and one I dearly dread.

    But one that may (and very soon) become inevitable.

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    1. It will happen in some places, I don't think it will be widespread.

      At least that's what I hope.

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  10. I have never met so many perfectly entitled people as around here. I live across the street from an elementary school where some of the mothers chivy along their kids weighted down by their heavy backpacks full of books and scream at the top of their lungs for the little motherf893ckers to get a move on and it's normal, to some. Every time I hear it I'm appalled. Entitlement is now in its 5th generation and it's not looking good for a whopping percentage of the population and it gets worse with each generation.

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    1. It truly is appalling. I've seen that behavior in other parts of the country as well. Sickens me.

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)