Is Morality Transferable?

Our need to find this shepherd becomes a search for anyone to give us the directions we so desperately look for.

Is morality a transferrable option, which is to say, can just anyone possess a sense of morality?  Well if we listen to some of the greatest minds (modern day or the recent past), there seems to be some who say “yes” and others who believe “no”.  The truth is, without a sense of objective truth, we are left to wonder just how objective we can be.  Reality is, we all stake even objective perceptions in a subjective reality where justifications abide.  This isn’t to say our subjective realities are always moving in a direction of sinful behavior, in some cases, we become more restrictive than is probably necessary (e.g. The Puritans).  However, actions intended to be moral, but without the source of an objective morality being in place, our hopes of being objectively “moral” turn out to be self-serving actions which in their intent may be good or bad, but nevertheless of our own making.  In a godless society, we’ve become, to take a point of modern atheists, our own gods.  We keep our own counsel, and we determine the rightness and wrongness of our actions (which in a selfish society seem to hardly ever be wrong), and the degree of wrongness to which others have acted when not in concert with our interpretations of truth.  That’s a mouthful, but in the end, within ourselves we become the judge, jury, executioners of modern civics up to and including social organizations which don’t meet our civic perceptions.

Ideas

This topic is loaded, so I will do my best to keep things brief and concise as possible.  The first part of this is to unload perceptions.  I often have conversations with my wife, about the perceptions of those, who are neither well read, nor experienced in many things (e.g. failure, desire, success, life), but yet they have an opinion about everything, and to disagree with their opinions is tantamount to heresy in the court of public opinion.  In truth, if the church of public opinion wants to cast me out, I’m good with civil fringe existence, this area of the cultural landscape is getting more populated by the day.  I will also confess, I am super opinionated, and I’ve been this way since I could remember.  Sometimes this can be good, but often times this must be taken with a “grain of salt” and be understood, although an opinion exists, we must not allow it to get in the way of actual truth.  We can’t be so bound to our opinions, because they make sense to us, and be unwilling to look at all sides of an argument.  This is where being well read and well versed in a particular topic stands to gain the most ground.  This isn’t to say a veritable novice wouldn’t have a good opinion or judgement of any matter their not an expert in, but it does recognize those who are well read or studied on a particular topic as having more exposure and thusly being exposed to more viewpoints creating a more well-rounded opinion.  This is usually the problem with opinions, we don’t know how narrow they are until exposed to further explanation and the creation or expansion of the original thought.  This is good when learning about topics, but this can also be negative when it comes to topics of morality.  Expansion is like the platitude of moderation, “anything in moderation is key to a balanced life”, this is true but too much exposure to one side or another on any topic, might create an unbalanced look at whatever topic is being considered.

balance

As morality goes, our culture suffers from a relativism which is an unbalance expansive point of view.  This is what I mean, western culture has been largely influenced by Judeo-Christian beliefs, which is to say a moral foundation created and is the base for moral and societal determinative efforts for areas such as the law, societal acceptance, and workweek activities.  As a society has continued to age, the population naturally has increased considerably, but methods of exposure to morality has not.  This effect of expansion is the causation of a gulf between objective moral sourcing and perceived moral behavior.  Essentially, as the culture is aging and people are so busy, they are filling their time with activities which carry their attention more.  Like an ever-changing list, they are constantly moving items of interest in their list to “top five” designators and creating importance from this list.  Here is an example, if you were given two choices, go and listen to a speaker talk about the importance of financial planning or watch a movie you’ve anticipated for some time, which would you go to?  Truthfully, twenty years ago, I would have picked the movie, but now I would give some consideration to the financial planner, eventually resting on the movie.  My determinate behavior would be based on a few factors such as how much time I have to consider financial planning, maybe how much I’ve desired to see the movie, perhaps in just how bored I would be sitting in a hotel conference room listening to someone with more money than myself explain what I should do just in case I get some money.  If I boil everything down to its most simplistic terms, I would be bored in the room listening and not bored being entertained.  As you can see though, my perspective in life has caused me some pause to change my general outlook.  As something becomes important to me, it carries more weight than whether or not I should be entertained.

Which brings back into focus the subjectivity factor, this is to say, and we need to unpack what motivates us, and creates the subjective behaviors we all act on.  Now, as I was stating before the Judeo-Christian beliefs of kindness, love, compassion, and accountability are always there.  However, there are those who find going to church and listening to someone they hold in contempt, perhaps don’t agree with, or plain bored with because of an incomprehension to what is being said or done finding a deviation of these objective teachings as a matter of subjective thought.  So for instance, someone who doesn’t go to church nor do they believe in God, has all their life seen and heard the objective moral teachings of Christianity, and now they have molded the parts easiest or seemingly fair into a personal credo.  They then apply this credo as a matter of personal thought even placing a sense of originality to the thought as they apply it.  They thought it (at least this is what they tell themselves) and now they apply it and attain results.  Here is where the subjectivity will let them down, they own nothing to a negative result, other than to say it is a part of their understanding which will need to be reworked until a positive result ensues.  Their moral behavior has now become subjective, and their moral goals have now moved in one direction or another so as to achieve a result as they see fit.  The problem this moral subjectivity causes is, when millions of people are doing the exact same thing, thinking the exact same way, it creates confusion tantamount to chaos.  The chaotic whirlwind of secular morality is such as to create a relative point of view allowing for everything or nothing but all is good or all is bad.  Extreme?  Seems this way, but at the same time, if we don’t know there the line is, then who can we assume knows where this is at, and if we don’t know who knows then like lost lambs we await a shepherd to bring us into the proverbial fold.

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Photo by Alex Smith on Pexels.com

Our need to find this shepherd becomes a search for anyone to give us the directions we so desperately look for.  In an interview Jordan Peterson once made a point of the waves of men, especially young men, who flock to his presentations searching for anything which wets the appetite of their moral intellectual philosophies.  They are searching for directions, the relative pathway seems nice for a while, but the gift God gave us to search for the light of truth, persists within us to find truth and seek a shepherd within our lives.  The truth is a protection of sorts, it binds us to God, and creates within us a set of boundaries, a line as it were, and knowing where this line is creates a sense of calm within our restless souls.  Knowing where the path is at allows us to walk to the path instead of becoming agents of opinion and spending an entire life in search of the pathway needed to find joy, essentially finding God.

This becomes a figurehead to the question as to why, if there are objective points of direction, do people stay away from these points (i.e. the church, families)?  There are three basic reasons, as I can see, which would provide an answer to this question, but they may not be the only answers just the answers I’ve found to be of prominence.  The first would be what Peter Kreeft spoke about in some of his lectures as the boredom and complacent position of humans, we tend to stay away from those things which we determine to either be boring or those things which may cause us discomfort by removing our contented way of life and creating a perceived turmoil (once again we tend to utilize a subjective opinion pattern to determine future actions).  The second is a matter of familial subjectivity, take for instance my wife, she was not always Catholic, but when she converted, she was shunned by her side of the family, who were protestant and looked upon the Catholic Church as being an enemy to Christianity by some context.  My wife though, is a strong a woman as I have ever known, she held her ground and continued to move forward in her faith.  However, some people might have found this paradigm within their families to be absolutely debilitating and thusly cause them to stop.  The final and probably most significant to all people is the appearance we all face, by believing in something which may appear (based on any media driven outlet) the antiquated and perceived incorrectness of an institution which has existed for some over 4,000 years (Jewish) or for others 2,000 years (Christians).  Being bombarded daily by social media or reports from every news media possible about the inadequacy and perfunctory efforts of religion would create potential for anyone to rethink their position.

Not Interchangeable

Morality is not interchangeable.  Those who both claim to be moral and atheist or at least agnostic are a walking logical fallacy.  An oxymoron of sorts, to be without an objective moral authority means to have no moral line to which crossing would be considered verboten, which is to say a sin.  Instead, when there is no moral objective authority to counsel and direct us in our actions, then we make the decisions which will allow us (individually) the best outcome possible.  In other words, as long as we benefit from what is happening, then we are “morally” sound in our judgement.  However, the concept of morality, although it is based in a “rightness” or “wrongness” of decision, the principle of morality is a measure of sacrifice rather than selfish indulgence.  Here is what I mean, when I choose to treat others with self-less moral behavior, I sacrifice me in the process by giving of my time for the benefit of another.  Perhaps, I charitably give of my money to the benefit of anyone in need of it.  Whatever the result of my objective moral behaviors, sacrifice is at the root.  I must sacrifice what it is I want, in order to be supplied with what I need.  The need for God’s light, love, and presence in my life is the main objective of the Church, and its objective is a proper interpretation of God’s word either in action or written down for us to study and expound a reasoning.

I’ve heard, recently, people who exclaim they don’t like the complexity of our times and wish to have it simple and a simple understanding of Christ, much like the Apostles did in the first century.  Though, this leaves me somewhat perplexed, as a living body of the followers of Christ, we are set on a pathway of growth.  A pathway which given a boundary of morality we are to walk and learn as our life progresses, and we are to learn those which others have learned along the way.  This constant and hopefully consistent learning patter brings us form the proverbial mustard seed to a healthy growth determined to spread its branches as far as possible.  This cannot be achieved if we are constantly in turmoil about the parameters of morality.  The movement in morality is based on a person or person’s unreliable method of taking their own counsel in all matters.  As we “cry out in the desert” we must “prepare a way for the Lord, and make straight his paths” (Matt 3:3)

never-changing

To sum everything up, our morals are not up for change, and they are definitely not up for negotiation.  When we assume to take our own counsel and interpretation of God’s word, what we run in to is a subjective point of view which will not carry with it a proper introspective understanding at one point or another.  This is to say, if we only listen to the voice in our head, and claim it was the spirit, we might be more wrong more often than we care to comfortably admit.  This isn’t to conclude we won’t get things right on occasion which might turn to bolster our confidence in our perception of what we know, but is the pitfall the devil is counting on, our arrogance to put us down the path to sin.  Sin is a highway paved with good intentions as the saying goes.  We don’t read and hope to enter life in order to get things wrong, but we do, and this is a constant.  The need for an objective authority to point out and explain where the parameters of morality exist is the shepherd we are all looking for in life.  As a father, I realize I must accept this, if I ever hope to teach true love to my wife and kids by example.  The Catholic Church for me, meets this standard I’m looking for, and although there are problems with the inner workings of the Living Church, the bones of objective truth still exist and should be applied.

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In case I haven’t sufficiently made my point clear, morality is found in the words of Christ and the teachings of the church.  Nowhere else will you find the proper dissemination of truth in your life, but it’s up to you in what you do with this truth.  It will be uncomfortable at times, and at other times you might even become disheartened and mad.  These feelings you feel are the pain of tearing away the sin which has become infused with you in life.  This pain is the pain of growth and of substantive understanding, of self-reflective capability, and above all else, like someone who has lived in the darkness their whole life and then suddenly is thrust into the sunlight, it hurts.  If you’re not currently holding to a moral life, then be courageous and start, accept the pain which will follow, but start right now, I promise a life led in morality is one which will set your inner turmoil to rest.  I pray God blesses you and your family!!!

 

God is good, all the time, and all the time, God is good!!!

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Expectations

The objective truth is, we will never be able to suffice the needs of each person, and to try and do so, becomes a subversion of the truth and actual desires.

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When we read about the works of Jesus, we often talk about them with the same level of enthusiasm we would refer to an anchor on the nightly news.  Well, I do, not intentionally though.  So, I began to think about what were my general expectations regarding life, work, and most importantly my faith.  As deep and philosophical as the question certainly appear on the surface, I assure you, they are as important as any question you can ask yourself.  I found my expectational level placed importance on those things which mattered in the larger scheme of life. Of course, I wasn’t focused on money, I was taught from the earliest age, money should never motivate you to do what is right and what you love.  Thankfully, I’ve never been one to make decisions wholly about what sort of financial gain I hope to make.  I have made decisions with it in mind, but never the complete focus.  No, my expectations were more geared towards, what was I hoping to gain, and how would it benefit me in reaching my own ambiguous goals.  So therein lied the most distinct problem I was facing and I didn’t even realize it; I had no idea what my true goals were, and so I had no true expectations of myself or anything else.

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When Jesus entered the synagogue, and removes an unclean spirit, and removed the spirit with authority, the people were astounded.  (Source – Mk 1:21-28) I had to read this passage several times for all of this to sink in; he performed an astounding thing, one most of us have either only read about, or seen dramatized (in most cases poorly) on film.  What were the expectations of the people around him?  Were they expecting him to fail, as I’m sure many people tried but failed in the past?  Was the possessed man written off as a crazy person or just plain mean?  These thoughts ran through my mind and it appears he blew the expectations out of the water for the people in the synagogue.  His teachings were one of authority as well; we must remember this was a man who was a tekton (a tradesman) most likely and not one who was taught as the Pharisees (educated) were taught, like Saul of Tarsus. So, the larger picture came to my mind about someone doing something wonderful, and us reading the works with the ability of hindsight have given way to emotions such as “ehh” or “hmm” when regarding this altogether.

So, the next expectational question comes to my mind, are we just understanding what is going on?  Do we really comprehend the magnitude of the events?  I have from time-to-time had discussions with non-believers where I want to know their perceptions of what I read, and just how profound an event like this would be.  I ask questions such as “do you think you would travel far and wide to let people know about this event you’ve witnessed, or is it something you’d be content just telling people about if the topic of conversation comes up?”, and often it’s the latter. Though the same individuals would consider not visiting family for the opportunity to see the latest movie or stand in line for coffee from your standard coffee shop.  I see an opportunity to adjust what people think when it comes either to the astounding or the miraculous.

The “miraculous”, what an over-used word these days; we use it when something happens which we can neither explain or have ever heard of.  However, the Catholic Church, an authority on the matter classifies a miracle very distinctly.  It must be of a divine power, beyond the power of nature so in essence “supernatural”, beyond the order of nature (so our souls are not miracles if they bring order to nature as we know it), it must be extraordinary in the sense as to be beyond the pale of the graces given to us by God, and finally it must be sensible the miracle “serving as a seal to authenticate God’s communication to humanity”.  (Broussard, article)

So, when we hear someone utilize a subject set of facts to indicate their perception of a miracle and this is consistently used repeatedly by people we meet every day or by interviews of people who claim it.  We are at risk of watering down the wine which produces the best flavor for our overall expectations (Wedding Feast at Cana; John 2:10)

If I’m being honest with myself and of course you, I feel this is my lack of reaction when I read about Jesus’s astounding actions and even those of modern day miracles.  Are we holding ourselves to a higher standard with what we expect?  In short, I wasn’t, I was desiring a tangibility with everything I experience, and at the same time becoming numb to what was truly miraculous.  This plays in to my original assertion, about the questions to people who would go far and wide if they were witness to such events.  Based on what I can see now, I wouldn’t go anywhere either.

Our perceptions of miracles come from everyone who claims that something wonderful must have been a miracle, when the truth of the matter is the event they are retelling is wonderful, unexplainable even, but not necessarily a miracle.  In this context, we must be more discerning and willing to say no to more things, regardless of the perception of another.  In this context, we may create a new equilibrium with our expectations of the miraculous and in this we might be more willing to understand a zealousness or fervent desire to spread the good news.

This reassessment of our expectations should be proffered to all aspects of our culture and society at large.  What do we gain by allowing a subjective point of view to dictate the direction our society and lives are pushed in?  Now we come to the meat of the matter.  Is it better to create a specificity which encompasses exactly what we’re looking for, either in expectation or action?  I know this would meet the very scientific and exacting nature in most people.  What’s the alternative though?  Should there be a broader scope to our overall expectation, whereby objective interpretation and ideologies are more conducive to a larger society allowing for growth in general proper directions?

The objective truth is, we will never be able to suffice the needs of each person, and to try and do so, becomes a subversion of the truth and actual desires.  In some small way, it is a justified lie to ourselves and the others around us, based on use of logical fallacy.  It sounds right, so it must be our mentality and actions associated in accordance.  Take for instance, the concept of “as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone, then I’m ok with it”, probably one of the worst things to come out in the last few generations (I’m ok, you’re ok).  This sense of being in our own bubble and having our own space which will insulate us if no one interferes with us.  So, what happens when someone interferes with us?  Are we so special as to receive a special consideration for any specific event going forward? The answer is no, if you don’t bother to have an ever forward look for actions and events in your society, the society is doomed to repeat the past events of other great societies (e.g. Rome).  We must take an avid interest in the events and the people around us; I tell my kids all the time, pick up your clothes and take them to the laundry.  I don’t tell them this because I see them watching tv and their inactivity bothers me, no, instead I tell them this because I know if they keep up with their work, at the end of the day they will have less work at a single time.  Our expectations (from the society’s standpoint) is just like my kids letting their clothes pile up.  Society requires as much diligent effort as a chore would require, and yes, it’s work.  Work stinks, especially when you don’t want to do it; but this is what is required of all of us, to change the expectation of everyone and gear ourselves for hard work.  When we’re willing to work hard for something, although it may not turn out as we always plan, the ending result will be something we all can recognize as going in the right direction.  When we hold our fellow brothers, sisters, citizens to this standard we stand a chance of having similar goals, and ideologies.

I pray, my words make sense to anyone who chooses to read them; I want the best for everyone and society in general.  I know I may not always be a benefactor of what is chosen, but I have enough presence of mind to recognize good when I see it.  I think this stems from a desire to objectively look at my surroundings, if we can objectively understand what is happening, we have a better chance to make a more concerted difference in our lives and the lives of the people around us.  Many years ago, when I was in my late twenties I was forced to decide for the benefit of my children, I wasn’t a fan.  The decision put me at a disadvantage to others who were also affected by the decision.  I was getting the short-end of the stick, so to speak.  However, I made the decision, knowing I was on the losing end per se, and this opened a door to manhood for me.  I can truly say, I didn’t become a man till I reached this point in my life; an expectation of what’s right and wrong was placed upon me, and I had to decide for the best, the need for my unselfish decision was the only right decision I could make.  I did so, and although the overall situation was tenuous at best, it was a good decision for the betterment of my kids and everyone involved.  When I reflect upon this, many years later, I realize this is what our society has done for many generations to this point.  Look at the sacrifices of our soldiers on the beaches of Normandy, many of those boys were at a point in their lives where they were inexperienced in just about everything, they were kids!  They had to summon the courage (perhaps courage as a result of naivety, but true courage not to be questioned) out of true understanding of the events which were unfolding, and indeed they had to sacrifice their lives for something much greater than themselves.  Those boys became men on the beach in a far distant land, in a hostile environment, and with no one to cheer them on for their potential success or failure.  Many of those men died and never truly got the chance to show their loved ones what an excellent man they’d turned into.  They decided to do something, knowing it may have negative results for themselves but would ultimately be better for their loved ones and the future generations to come.

This does apply to the expectation of people now; had the Higgins boats as they moved towards shore decided to turn around because the soldiers stated, “I’m not much for dying today”, where would society be then?  Life is about sacrifice, when we can place this into proper perspective, then we can see our expectations take a natural position where they were always meant to be.  Be willing to sacrifice your time, efforts, and energy for the betterment of society and culture around you.  Be willing to say “no”, respectfully, be willing to dialogue about those things which in epidermal efficacy provide nothing more than the impetus to fostering a better society.

May God bless you and your family!!!

 

God is good all the time, and all the time God is good!!!

 

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(Catholic Answers, Karlo Broussard; https://www.catholic.com/magazine/online-edition/what-constitutes-a-miracle

When Did Everything Get So Bad?

“If you want peace, work for justice.”
—Blessed Paul VI

A question I ask myself from time-to-time, and it can be applied to all manners of sins and societal follies.  We have news and sports blasting us with “information” twenty-four hours a day.  Often supposition is made to look like a fact, and how could we have not known about this “fact” (unbelievable look of incredulity upon my face)?  Every day we pile on a new layer of intrigue or perception of no hope for a decent future.  We even have pundits ask the rhetorical, “what will be left for our children?”.  So just another layer of morose, unhappy existence, only to be topped by the next scandal or incendiary event.  Is there no control over any of this?

Simple answer; you have the control.  You choose your poison, and when you do, don’t be angry at someone else.  Ultimately, control has always been in your hands.  The media is only going to show you what you want, they don’t make money otherwise.  Everything is about the money (slightly cynical, I know), and money has two different outcomes, used for the good, used for the greed.  You can choose what it should be used for.  I for one, don’t want anyone telling me how to use my money, and if I choose that charity is the best use for it, then I can know it was my choice to be charitable and not an unseen entity creating a bar of distribution I neither know the beginning or ending to.  The interesting question should be, if everyone choses to charitably give their money to anyone in need, or chooses to give their monies to a more altruistic cause, would our world be in a better place?  Maybe, maybe not, but at least in the end, you made the right moral decision(s).  It’s about sacrifice, look at our nation today, built upon the sacrifices of others; not built upon what we can make people do, or how can I get what I want.

Morality, where did it go?  Is it hiding from us, have we allowed, as a society, others to tell us where our morality should be?  Society can benefit from some simple foundational pillars.  First, I am a man of God, so my first pillar and my strongest pillar is my belief in God (God is in every decision and everything I do).  Everything good comes from this.  James Martin SJ, a prolific writer, priest, speaker, and campaigner for those marginalized in our day, indicates the Jesuit belief, “God is in all things”.  A recognition of this simple yet profound belief causes and arc of understanding which points to truth and love as the central focal points for a productive society.  Not love from a song, or the misperceived love displayed by our decrepit entertainment industry.  I mean the love of self-denial, the love of “no”.  I tell my kids all the time, “I tell you no, because I love you” (of course I get an eye roll, but it doesn’t make it untrue), and I truly mean this.  What I mean by “no”, is simple, “no” to the extra drink, “no” to the acedia, plainly “no” to what I want when what I want might just be the problem.  A little more of this and we might see a night and day difference in our perceptions as a culture.

Education is the next pillar.  Our world is getting ever more complicated and this complication requires a three-fold system of education.  The first is, we must in every fiber of our culture encourage education; Mike Rowe makes an excellent point in referring an antiquated understanding of higher education.  Not everyone is made to be a college graduate, and at the same time not every college graduate is competent to handle the trades (Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs, with tremendous eloquence espouses this theory, even to the extent we have a deficit in good paying jobs in the trades which need to be filled).  We need them all though; we as a culture must encourage every opportunity to advance one’s education as a must.  Our place in this world from every place on the global spectrum is tied to education in one form or another, and this combined with ingenuity to create is what helps us to tackle every opportunity placed in our pathway.  However, competition in a realm of first place, second place, and loser is just simply outdated to one extent.  The subjectivity with which anything can be measured, and those of us who want a simple answer to all things are what create a complete inability to compare ourselves based on a perceived training, but instead the result should be our focus.  Instead of asking, if everyone went to college, shouldn’t we ask if everyone has a job?  There is either a do or don’t do, a desire to be the best at what is tried, and education provides us this, but education can mean anything and should, we should never pigeon hole ourselves into a paradigm which stifles the very nature of who we are.  I don’t care if you can count the best or do math the best, I care that you’re creative and understand what is needed; if you can do those things, we’re always going to be on the cutting edge, but we can’t get there without education.

Family is so important for the perpetuation of the first two pillars, is it any wonder why we have a dwindling faith and education culture in our society these days?  Family is there to lift you up, tell you how wrong you are, and create a sense of worth rooted in the deepest levels.  Without family, you’ve become Edmond Dantes and all you have is your goal and your vengeance to pursue.  Vengeance against society for somehow holding you back, guess what, society doesn’t care if you’re held back.  Society just is, but family does care, they are the ones to open doors for you, and push you into areas where you once thought impossible to attain.  Our culture has celebrated the broken family; we’ve celebrated the “courage” it takes to do everything on one’s own.  I do think this requires courage, but I also must be honest, if people would take more time being selective with whom they introduce into their families, apply a true understanding to faith as a covenant with a familial relationship, and accept family not as a dividend relationship but one of giving we have a real chance to see an applicable change in the paradigm.  We can’t, as a society do much to change past cultural decisions.  However, we can apply this to our future generations, and it begins with family.  A family to teach and educate children in the truth, the faith which brings us closer to God, and gives us a sense of purpose on both accounts.

The last pillar is community, how can we claim to care about the other pillars without a successful community.  The community helps us as a society to move forward with advancements in all realms of the society as they pertain to morals, laws, and general cultural idioms we face from day-to-day.  Community gives us sense of purpose; a purpose to clean up areas of concern within the community, or provide a future for future peoples who inhabit our communities.  Take for instance crime, if crime is an issue in any single community, the first thing to do is not blow it out of proportion, the second thing to do is realize the police are never the final answer.  The police are brave souls who risk everything to help a community attain a level of safety which will provide potential for growth.  Growth is good for anything to become healthy and sustainable.  The police are simply a vital cog in the wheel of the community, and an equally vital cog is the society at large.  It’s up to the citizens of any community to create a safe environment through involvement in community activities, and informing the local law enforcement when these are in jeopardy through illegal means.  How much better would our communities operate if the local police had an inside track, or neighbors looking out for other neighbors?  We see in poorer neighborhoods less trust and greater propensity to violence as a way of life, though a solution by the Office of Policy Development and Research suggest investment in the community is vital to reduction of crime, increase of jobs, and increased social awareness.  The solution of community is giving back, the government’s solution isn’t even one of putting money into, but rather putting an awareness of social progress as the driving factor for any community over any economic gains.  We have the tools to fix our communities, we just must be unselfish enough to work to achieve those goals (https://www.huduser.gov/portal/periodicals/em/summer16/highlight2.html).  When there is a paradigm of “I want what they have” or “they got that benefit because of the way they look”, it pursues a cavernous waste of racism, but also denies the truth of the matter.  Some people got where they are because of luck, and others received what they have because their earlier generations (i.e. grandparents, parents) worked hard to achieve something potentially never realized in their own lifetime’s.  To deny a person their past because you don’t care for your own future, is wrong. When there is a general mistrust of all these pillars we see communities break down and become cancerous lesions dotting our society, bent on the destruction of the society in general if the few in power get their decided piece of the pie.

For me, all four pillars must be embraced for a society to function properly.  If we choose to acknowledge their existence and choose to move in this direction, I think society will have its problems, but on a whole, won’t appear to have the systemic issues it currently does or be as bad off as everyone perceives it to be.  When we can recognize, the news and entertainment are solely pursuing an end and means with money as the main motivator (cynical yes, but not altogether untrue), we can find a middle ground whereby we look for the information which exists and not someone with an unexperienced or extreme opinion about a topic.  The truth is, we listen to people’s opinions about topics where they are neither and expert, nor have much experience in the subject whatsoever.  Just like now, you read my words, but I would be just like everyone else if I expected you to take what I’ve written at face value.  No, I expect you to search deep and find a place of truth for anything which you’ve read today.  It’s the only way you can truly begin to create an expectation for yourself and the others around you.

Finally, my expectation of everyone is something I hold myself to, it’s not acceptable to be anything less than the best representation of yourself always.  Yes, this means, you should make the right decisions for you, not because someone may think less of you, but because it represents truth and you should desire the truth.  I hope and pray, my words help light the fire for a pursuance of God, and a more fruitful existence within a better society, a better you, and a truth which is neither good or bad, but just is.  May God bless you and your family!!!

God is good all the time, and all the time God is good!!!

Faith, Fatherhood, Manhood

As a man of faith, a father of three, and at the very base of everything I am, a man.  My desire for this is to still those thoughts which constantly run through my mind, which deal with those topics and could perhaps help someone, anyone who may have the same questions.  At the very least, dialogue is my utmost concern.  One of the major issues in any discussion or argument these days is the lack of good dialogue between differing opinions or ideologies.  I’m not looking for simple as a imbecile embraces it, but rather looking for simplicity as l am sure it is the best route to life’s most profound answers.

I see things as they are, my wife has always stated I can cut through the mess with profound ease, but this comes at a price, I’m blunt and have an uncanny ability to bruise even the most buoyant personality.  So, in this, I will do my best to create an atmosphere of truth, and candidness.  I’m not one to usually get my feelings hurt, there is always more than one side of any story and perceptions are as numerous as the galaxies.

So, this blog’s intent is to focus on issues of faith, family, and my perceptions as a man.  I don’t believe in ad hominem attacks, I believe in love as our God has given us the choice.  These choices are all I dare to speak about; my choices in life and hopefully I can leave someone with a positive and faithful perspective which helps them in their everyday struggles.

As our relationship grows through dialogue and thought, I hope to answer any questions you may have, and I hope you’re willing to do the same.  May God bless you and your families!  God is good, all the time, and all the time God is good!!!

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