I just read a great essay by Jonathan Sacks regarding how to defeat religious violence. It is a great essay.
The essay discusses the role religion plays in wars and conflict, why religion should not play a role, and what would need to happen for it to stop. Moreover, it also touches on how advances in technology, the free market, and the democratic state enable us to make great achievements, but they do not help answer the 3 basic questions of a reflective individual:
1. Who am I?
2. Why am I here?
3. How then shall I live?
Can you answer these three questions? I am almost 40 years old, and I think I could answer two of the questions, but the second one has me most stumped and always has. I have always believed every individual has a specific role in his or her life. I believe that until that role is realized/fulfilled we have more protection than after our role is completed. I have had several instances in my life that could have ended my life early. The most noticeable was when I was 19, I fell 18 feet off of a ladder, and landed on my head and neck first on a commercial concrete floor. The accident should have killed me, or at least given me injuries that would have dramatically altered how I could live. Instead I recovered fairly quickly with limited problems, and I live a normal life. I figured my purpose had yet to be fulfilled and so I was spared/protected. As much as I want to know my purpose, it is because of my belief/theory, that I have never been in a real hurry to find out. Fear plays a funny role in my life I guess.
I do not like the hatred and violence social media helps to spread, and it has made me resent social media far more than I appreciate it. The political BS is exhausting and provides no benefit to my life, but blocking it all has been impossible. It is tough to find posts about love, peace and community when it is often buried by the negativity that seems to take precedence in what people choose to share. The only role any of us can play to change social media’s purpose is to share what we would like to read, or what we would appreciate someone saying about us.
The essay is fascinating and that is why I am posting a link here . Jonathan Sacks offered clear writing about religion without the “I’m right and you are wrong” mentality that too often litters the teachings of faith, and allows wars to be fought in the name of it. Even if some disagree with his interpretations of religions – the overall picture is tough to deny. It was originally posted in the Wall Street Journal, but I am not a paid subscriber so I couldn’t read it. Luckily, after some digging, I found where is was posted without needing a subscription.
“To test a man’s character, give him power” is a quote ringing in many of our hearts. The election of 2016 was a difficult one for me. The candidates challenged what I believed before, what I believe today, and what I should believe tomorrow. Watching Trump’s victory speech and Hillary’s concession speech challenged me yet again. Why couldn’t they have talked to us that way during the campaign? What a crazy 24 hours.
I know many of us stood strongly against one or both candidates throughout this election, and the debates only cemented the nastiness of their campaigns. I couldn’t watch the debates. I watched 10 minutes of the first debate and turned it off. I felt like I was watching two crass toddlers fighting, and it wasn’t valuable to my time. During the other debates I watched Twitter briefly and knew I wasn’t missing anything by tuning out. Today Twitter taught me the same. So much hatred is written by people on social media sites. The commercials and campaigns are over – let’s end the hatred too.
I understand the sentiments of #notmypresident. I understand because I never voted for Obama and I remember thinking that very thing the second time he was elected. I felt he divided more than he brought people together, and I did not see his policies working for mine or my children’s future. He was elected twice so obviously I am the minority in my thinking. At the same time, the world went the opposite direction yesterday. Not only with who they elected for president, but for the seats in the house and senate as well. It made me laugh.
Many Americans were tired of George Bush after 8 years, and his approval rating was super low in the end. In response to this sentiment Americans did the same thing when Obama was elected. Not only was a democrat elected, but power was added to the democratic hold in the house and senate – but then power in the house and senate changed after 4 years as many were getting restless with Washington DC. Now we are 8 years later, and we are once again changing direction to the extreme again. Although the power is newer for the Republicans -they have not held this kind of power in many years. This brings me to the first sentence of this article: To test a man’s character, give him power.
Power is a deceiving feeling. Many people in power over-play their hand, and ignorance and ego take over any positives that could have been possible. Power often fails to unite people. I fear this happening with Republicans. I would like nothing more than to be wrong about this fear, but time will tell.
We do not have the benefit of a glimpse of the future before our choice is made. We don’t know what Hillary’s presidency would turn out like, and we didn’t know Trump’s. Instead we had to have faith in the candidate we voted for. Faith believes in things hoped for and not seen. What will we see?
I understand emotions are raw. Mine have been raw for the past year. I implore all of us to stand strong, but kind too, in this next chapter of uncertainty. I don’t know the future, and stressing about it only takes away from my life today, and I might not get tomorrow. So, stay kind even when people are not kind to you. Your heart will live longer and your mind will be clearer. We enjoyed or survived 8 years of Obama. We can all survive or even enjoy 4 years of Trump. Maybe good will come? Maybe bad will come? But we all have the power to make today and everyday positive inside ourselves and toward each other.
I am thankful to be an American. I am thankful to God for another breath to take and another day to live. I am thankful for my home, family, animals, friends, job and more. I have been given too many blessings from God in my life to let the uncertainty of tomorrow diminish my true blessings today. Love’s power beats hate any day. And even better – the commercials are finally over.
Be kind to each other. Fighting won’t change anything anyway. Shannon Sharpe reminded people of that very truth today – the only positive I saw on Twitter this morning.
I shy away from politics. I vote, and I pay attention, but I avoid the battles in fighting with people. I believe fighting about politics or religion is a waste of time. Fighting doesn’t change your opposition’s view, but it does waste minutes of your life.
This election is very important and difficult. It is tough to make a decision with all the noise the media has given us to listen to. The media makes us think that unimportant things are important, and if we vote based on unimportant thing, then mistakes are made. That is why I am sharing this article written by Andy Andrews. He has a reputation for being a common sense writer, and carefully lays out what people should consider when voting. It has nothing to do with Her emails or His remarks or conversations – all unimportant stuff when it comes to the power they will have. It is a long article, but I hope you read it, because it isn’t filled with the noise of our media. Please click the link below.
There is a question both company and employee need to start asking before hiring and or accepting a job. The answer to the question, What are you paying me/them for, will help both company and employee find the right fit. Have you ever been told that you didn’t work a full 8 hours yesterday? Was it followed by “you didn’t get your job done”? More times than not — I am willing to bet it was one or the other — especially in office situations. Have you ever had or seen an employee not get their job done because their shift ended and therefore they didn’t complete something? Did it cause problems? I have a point here…
Situation # 1: Have you ever been told that you didn’t work a full 8 hours yesterday? Was it followed by “you didn’t get your job done”?
If you or your employee didn’t work a full 8 hours, BUT the job was done, and there is complaining anyway — you are doing it wrong! Don’t hire employees to do a job and then complain that they didn’t take a full 8 hours to do the job. You are asking them to work in a less efficient manner. How do you set goals that way? Are you paying for the job to get done, or hours of their time? They are not the same. There is a difference!
Situation #2: Have you ever had or seen an employee not get their job done because their shift ended and therefore they didn’t complete something? Did it cause problems?
If you pay an employee by the hour, and not to get the job done before he or she leaves, then you risk the job not getting done. Employees are more likely to waste time during their working hours by not working if they are only paid, complimented and appreciated by the hour. “I stayed in your building for 8 hours. I spent 8 hours not doing what I would have been doing if I wasn’t here.” This is the mindset of many hourly employees. Now — A receptionist makes sense as an hourly employee because you need someone to answer the phones for the set hours needed. Customer facing positions, like the post office front desk, need hourly employees to greet and service the customers. BUT — if you paid the mailman by the hour, and not the route, and the route doesn’t get done in that time — Oh well! People will get their mail tomorrow! Would that work? No. So then they should not be paid hourly. I am not saying they are — I am just making a point.
So, whether you are a hiring company or job seeking employee, you need to answer the question before you offer or take an opportunity. You need that answer to know if you are being paid or paying fairly. Otherwise you have unrest and job dissatisfaction. The “this isn’t fair” attitude kills progress in the workplace every day on both sides of the ball. Fix it by answering the right questions first and then pay or be paid according to the right answer.
On November 13, 2015 the world was shaken by carefully orchestrated attacks in Paris. So coordinated were the attacks that Al Qaeda was initially thought to blame by some news outlets. ISIS was quick to set the record straight and take responsibility for the attacks. Over 100 people were killed, but the true number is not firm at this time. Among the dead were some of the attackers. Seven attackers killed themselves and another shot dead by authorities. ISIS is a threat that I think few people comprehend. The hate they feel and use to carry out their attacks is not something I understand, but hate across the world is building beyond the powers of ISIS.
Across the world exists people who have experienced war before. The experience in the past will serve a small lesson for the trial of today. ISIS is fueled by hate and the need for power, and it will take the world to fight them. George Takei is an actor many people know from his role in Star Trek. After the attacks Mr. Takei posted on Facebook a message from his past experience:
“There no doubt will be those who look upon immigrants and refugees as the enemy as a result of these attacks, just as peaceful Japanese Americans were viewed as the enemy after Pearl Harbor. But we must resist the urge to categorize and dehumanize, for it is that very impulse that fueled the insanity and violence perpetrated this evening. Against the forces of darkness and terror, love and compassion shall always prevail.” I understand the motivation for Mr. Takei’s comments, but I also understand we are facing an enemy there is no future peace to exist with. This fight is not against a specific culture, people or country. The fight is against an organization that stretches against various countries and people, and threatens any group in its path. The enemy is fueled by the growing intolerance in this world.
The United States faced an enemy with a strong hatred as well. The enemy was Al Qaeda, and regardless of how people feel about the war that proceeded the 9/11 attacks, we were given a warning of larger enemy to be born. I remember watching George W Bush in a news conference once where he warned that if we did not continue to fight the war we would face a much larger enemy. Of all the times Mr. Bush was wrong I really wish this was one of them. Unfortunately he was very right and we face a much larger enemy and war.
Glenn Beck offered that the attacks in Paris were not a terrorist attack but instead the beginning of World War III. President Obama’s comments after the attacks offered the attacks were on us all, and just as France has stood by us in times of war, so too will be stand by France. The World lit up in the colors red, white and blue in support of France and to state a stance against our enemy. The world is once again in a war together.
I understand Mr. Takei’s fear that people will take justice into their own hands out of fear of who they could be. I understand his warning for people to not give into their hatred and act just like our enemy. Unfortunately this enemy will not be obliterated by love and compassion. The enemy is seeking places of love and compassion for their attacks, and will continue to attack until they are obliterated. Innocent people are going to die until the enemy is defeated. November 13th woke the world up to the progression of the enemy, and began the need to destroy or be destroyed. Unfortunately I agree with Mr. Beck that World War III is here. May God help us all to have the will and strength to save as many people as possible. Until then I hope people watch their words and actions of hate, and find a way to love and support all who need it.