With all the talk about ethnicity and political correctness, I got to thinking. Now that could be dangerous! I was born on Long Island, New York, and I grew up in one of the best places to discuss the above. My neighborhood was very diversified. We had Protestants, Catholics, Jews, and others. A French family lived next door, and my high school was integrated. No one gave much thought to our differences; after all we were all people. I played with dolls of all nationalities, and no one questioned. My mother made lamb stew (our Irish heritage), Sauerbraten (our German background), roast beef and Yorkshire pudding (the English side), and our local bakery made Dutch rolls that were wonderful. (If anyone knows where I can find these do let me know). But I digress. We ate pizza, Chow Mein, and bagels on a regular basis. One special treat was going into the city, where a variety of ethnic delights awaited. I remember Luchows, a famous German restaurant, where my grandfather was Maitre d, or for a more casual treat the Horn and Hardart automat was a favorite. Interesting foods were displayed behind glass doors and the patron deposited the appropriate coins into a slot and the door opened. Their macaroni and cheese was the best. Nedicks was another special place, and Nathans for Coney Island frankfurters (hot dogs) smothered in special sauce with curly fries on the side brings back special memories. I am quite sure political correctness would not have been in my vocabulary. Correct meant you treated everyone with dignity and respect. We were different, and rather than judge people by their differences, we learned from each other. I believe I am well rounded because of these experiences. I moved to Florida in my thirties and I encountered an unfamiliar world. While not the Deep South, the word prejudice became a part of my vernacular. Tennessee became home and although I encountered some people with long held prejudices, I observed that times were changing. Acceptance was on the rise. Sadly, another unreasonableness has occurred. What’s more it is sweeping the country. I wish I could say it is good, but it has brought another prejudice called political correctness. Words like diversity awareness and training are bantered about. Instead of allowing folks to choose their associates, we are forced to accept this new way of thinking or face grave ramifications. I don’t know about you, but this has had the reverse effect on me. I wonder why I cannot draw my own conclusions about people. The bottom line is I like some people and I do not like others. It’s not based on any bias, but on common interests, etc. I want to make my own decisions about whom I will interact with. Please don’t dictate to me about rights. I support the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights as written. I don’t see anything in those documents that says I have to accept everyone. It also does not say everyone has a right to a house, a car, insurance, etc. However it does say we all have a right to work so we can purchase the above. That’s a topic for another day.
Recently, I had a conversation with a friend about media. We discussed how much the way we communicate has changed. Downloading a book seems to be the way to go for many people today. I have a notepad with that ability, but every time I have thought I might give it a try the desire to hold an actual book in my hands stops me. I love the feel of a book, to turn the pages instead of sliding my finger across the face of the notebook. Perhaps the resistance is because I am a writer. I have a shelf full of books from my childhood, some with covers torn and others with pages brittle, but they are treasures from the past and full of memories. I can remember how old I was when I read most of them. They cannot be deleted when I’m done reading, or when my kindle or nook are full. There’s just something about a bookshelf full of books that brings me a sense of satisfaction. You can tell so much about a person by looking at what they read. I suppose I might adjust in time. I did when records became eight tracks, then tapes, then CDs/DVDs, and when floopy discs gave way to discs and when my desktop became a laptop and now I mostly use a notebook.
I remember a time when if we had something to commuicate we talked in person. But you had to walk or get in the car to do that so it became quicker on the phone, even if they lived across the street. My parents had a party line phone, which meant if someone else was talking you had to wait your turn. That would probably drive today’s instant generation into a nervous breakdown. Then we had a one party phone, but it was still attached to the wall so some brilliant soul invented long cords which stretched into another room. Great for multitaskers or mothers for short! Soon we got portable phones so you could actually take the handset with you and tuck it under your ear while managing family matters. E-mail became a must if someone wasn’t home. Voice mail was better yet. You could actually leave audible words. Cell phones were next and they are great when you have service, and they do offer lots of other conveniences besides being a phone. Still it’s kind of nice to be unreachable at times. I often see people with a phone on their ear as if it were an appendage. Are they so important that they must be in constant contact with someone on the other end of the line? E-mail has become passe for the current generation and texting is the rage. This evolved to short cut texting. I must admit I don’t like it. I don’t always understand the shortcuts. When someone agrees with you, they might just text K. I had to ask the first time what that meant. For those of you who are not in the know it means OK. How much longer would it take to text OK? A nano second? Or better yet to pick up the phone. I miss hearing a voice. I bought the bill of goods that all of these improvments were to save time, but then why does it seem I never have enough time? Sigh, progress. I think I’ll just go and read a book. From my bookshelf of course.
These are probably the hardest words to write because mere words cannot convey the pain I feel in my deepest parts. My heart and prayers go out to those who lost children and loved ones in the school shooting. Children are not supposed to proceed parents in death. But should we be surprised? As long as we have little regard for human life people will kill. It’s done everyday with abortions. These innocent babes also had a whole life before them. As long as our society accepts violent video games and television programs, as free speech we become desensitized to violence. As long as we continue to move away from Judeo-Christian morals and condone blatant immorality, calling it political correctness, we will become more degenerate. As long as we strive to remove all mention of God in our society we will see the escalation of events like this. As long as we do not provide help for those who exhibit abnormal behavior the unthinkable will occur. And while we must report these horrific deeds we ought not obsess on them day and night because there are others who crave the same attention and will act accordingly. As long as we call wrong acceptable and right wrong we should not be surprised. Nikita Khrushchev said “We will bury you from within.” And he was right. Indeed what he spoke of was moral decay and every great nation has fallen because of it. Gun control is not the answer. What we really need is God control!
French philosopher, Rene Descartes, is well-known for his statement “Cogito ergo sum.” In English, it reads “I think, therefore I am.” I got to thinking about this and I did a little research. One definition of a thought is to weave, another to fabricate. Therefore, from conception a thought has the power to cause us to imagine. Imagine means to mold into a form, or to squeeze into a shape. Think of a potter molding clay. In essance, a thought is a shaper. It shapes. It conforms us. God’s Word tells us not to be conformed, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (our thoughts.) Romans 12:2. What I think is what I will become. Where did thinking originate? If you take this to a natural conclusion the only one who could think something into existance is God. Quite literally, He thought us into existance. I think this is very profound.
I was at a book singing yesterday, and privy to many mini conversations. I have a new children’s book, and one set of proud grandparents spent over ten minutes telling me how great and wonderful their grandchild was. I smiled because I is one. And we love to tell anyone who will listen about our grandchildren. As I contemplated afterwards, I wondered if we would spend ten minutes telling others how great and wonderful is our God. In the news recently there have been stories about a physicist NOT being awarded a nobel prize because he called his discovery the God Particle. You see this is not politically correct. The God particle is also known as the Higgs boson particle and Isaac Newton believed it existed, but now this sub-atomic particle can actually be seen, however briefly. In Hebrews 11:3 we find these words. “The worlds were formed by the Word of God, so that the things which are seen, were not made of things which are visible.” The Bible was right all along. God’s hand is on everything he created. But wait there’s more. There is a family of proteins called Laminin. Laminin literally is the “glue” that holds particles together. Col. 1:17 reads “He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” Okay, so Laminin holds you and me together. Why is that important? Look closer. Within this glue-like substance is a cross. God’s stamp of approval, if you will, just waiting to be discovered. Wow! I challenge you to take ten minutes today to tell someone how great and wonderful is our God!
I love to do word studies. When I hear a word that is new to me, I will go to the dictionary to find out all of its meanings. I will then endeavor to try to use it in conversation soon afterword. This increases vocabulary, which is great for one who writes. I often find the media misuses words. I think this occurs because the person has also heard a word new to them and they don’t take the time to research the word. One word that has come to the forefront in the past year is disingenuous. I hear that word so much that is becoming boring. Like sheep following sheep! In doing a word study recently, I came across a scripture in Proverbs 18:21. It reads “The tongue has the power of life and death.” Wow, does that mean what I speak out of my mouth can bring life or death? Actually, yes! I can speak life to a situation or death to the same situation. For example, I often hear the expression “It scared me to death.” I have to reply,” then why are you still living?” I think the right expression should be “It scared me to life!” More accurate, don’t you think? Another common expression is “I’m fixing to catch a cold.” You can be sure that person will get a cold because they spoke it into existence. My word study led me to James 3:10, which reads “Out of the same mouth comes praise and cursing.” How true this is. How many of you have cursed a car that is acting up or a computer, which has just swallowed your masterpiece. I wonder what would happen if we praised the situation instead. I would love to hear reports of what happens if we praise instead of curse when things go awry.
Do you remember that little rhyme we spoke as children, “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me?” That is not true because words can and do hurt. We can choose to allow negative words to impact us, or we can choose to let them go. We can also speak words of encouragement to others. What a better place this world would be if we all tried to uplift one another. Proverbs 12: 25b says a kind word cheers up. Think of all the people you come in contact with daily. Today someone took the time to say an encouraging word to me, and all the cares of the day melted away by her thoughtfulness. Try it and see!