Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Coretta Scott King

I wanted to mention and honor the passing of Coretta Scott King. I have always heard about her in conjunction with her husband, Martin Luther King Jr. Yet reading other posts honoring this woman yesterday and reading the articles they link to, I am amazed at what she has done on her own and in her own name.

It is sad sometimes to be a child while history is in the making. You are too young to understand at age five what the civil rights movement meant, yet you are so close to that history that by the time such information roles around 10 years later in high school history, the school year has ended and you hear only that there was, indeed, a civil rights movement.

Yahoo news finishes their story with the following quote from Coretta Scott King that seems appro for our times today:

"Many despair at all the evil and unrest and disorder in the world today," she preached, "but I see a new social order and I see the dawn of a new day."

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Meaningless Middle Ground

I got a comment on my "Competition to Be Right" article but then it was removed. I still got it as an email. The writer, who obviously did not want to be identified called "a middle ground" (ie compromise) meaningless.

I'd like to address the issue of "meaningless middle ground." The importance of the middle is that it includes everyone, not just half the country or less. It includes those people who don't even know that they have rights. It includes humanity as a connected whole. Middle ground requires an overview of compassion because it realizes that the needs of the many are just as important as the needs of the one.

We are blessed with the mental capacity to think and make decisions and come to conclusions on our own. We are morally obligated to work as community for the best for all. We do not all arrive at the same conclusions and see eye to eye. Some ideas are wonderful but there will never ever be a time when everyone agrees. If we see the middle ground as meaningless then we are essentially saying that the greater community of humanity is meaningless and only our needs are important.

The middle ground is often frustrating. We do not have the right to say it is our way and only our way. We are morally obligated to work for the improvement of everyone. We do this through compassionate service to all. We do this realizing that when everyone is feeling good and doing well, so will we. To cut ourselves off from the rest of humanity and to say their needs are meaningless and shouldn't count is like saying that the needs of our right arm or our left leg are meaningless and don't count.

Let's end with this meditation prayer: May all sentient beings find happiness and [more importantly to me] find the source of all happiness.

Monday, January 30, 2006

What we Have

I realized something the other day. I was thinking about how much we have and how much we pay for other things and for people to do things for us. I was thinking about how my father had time to change his own oil on his car. My mother had time to sew clothing for us and to make dinner almost every night.

Today, instead of doing these things, we take our cars into the mechanic (because, even if we knew how and could, we no longer have the time to change our own oil). We hire someone to clean our homes (because we don't have time to do it). We go to restaurants to eat dinner and lunch and breakfast (because we don't have time to make it).

Certainly we work more than those of my parents generation. I am wondering though, where and how this cycle started. What does it do that we no longer do those chores that I suspect no one really liked any way but just pay someone else to do them? Does it give us more peace to do that or does it just create greater impatience with all the rest of the tasks and challenges that come our way that we don't want to deal with?