Yesterday EJ and I took my precious laptop to the repair shop. The repair guy looked it over, saw that it started and then shut itself off, and said that my laptop problem was very weird. That is not surprising. I always have weird problems. Like new lawn mowers that break after one month. Later the repair shop called me to tell me that my laptop’s fan definitely needed replacing (which I expected since it’s been not acting right for a while) and they wanted my permission to replace it. They don’t know yet if there are other problems since they can’t do anything more until the fan is replaced. I am really hoping that there are no major problems or major bills.
Last night a very severe storm came through our area. We knew it was coming because we watched it approach on Accuweather radar, but I went to bed anyways because I was tired. I figured I’d try to get at least some sleep before the storm. Despite the severity of the storm, I probably would have slept through it all except JJ came and woke me up when it hit–about 2 a.m.–because there were tornado warnings in a nearby county and my guys wanted me to be awake if we had to run to the basement. I protested waking up, but JJ did not give up until I was downstairs. The lightning was constant and dramatic, the winds were very strong, and it rained hard and sideways. Today I’ve heard that there are a lot of branches down and many people are without power, but our electricity didn’t even flicker.
Because of the interrupted sleep, I am very, very tired today. But I am also tired because of things happening in the world. This post is more serious than usual.
At Facebook, I read and share a lot about what is happening in the world as well as my beliefs and opinions about spiritual and political things. I have a lot of people and pages that I learn from. Many times I just listen. Sometimes I join in if I feel I have something to add. I also share a lot of cute animal videos and links about interesting creatures and places in the world. I find that I have to balance the serious or heartbreaking news stories with softer, happier things. I once started a blog in which I shared my beliefs and opinions, but I felt that others are better able to write about such things, while no one can share MY story. So I have kept THIS blog as a nice, gentle place to refresh my spirit. Sometimes I cannot handle the big global things. I need to focus on the small, everyday things for a bit.
My parents taught me a love for history. When I was growing up, we never vacationed to places such as Cedar Point or Disneyland. Instead, my Dad always planned vacations to historical places. While there, my Mom always said things like, “Imagine having to raise the sheep, shear them, spin the wool, and weave the cloth so you could make clothes to wear.” Or “Imagine having to cook meals over a fire.” My Mom also made us watch historical events on TV, such as President Nixon’s resignation. I was young enough at the time that I didn’t understand its significance and it was boring to me, but she insisted we watch because “You are watching history.” I’m glad she did. As an adult, I also choose to watch events on TV because “they are history.” My Mom taught me that history is not merely about dates of major events such as discoveries or wars, but about people and their stories of their lives. Their lives became part of the fabric of history. What happened yesterday affects people today, and what happens today will effect people tomorrow. Because of my parents, I have a love of history, and I take note of what is happening in the world. EJ also loves history and we have tried to pass this love and understanding to JJ. EJ and I have connected cause and effect of historical and current events for JJ, and have described events we have lived through and what we felt at the time, and have said, “Pay attention: THIS is history.” We have been successful in passing down a love of history to JJ and he is deeply knowledgeable about it.
In this blog, I write about the small events of my life. In a way, I write about nothing, and yet, I also write about important somethings. Laura Ingalls Wilder also wrote about the day-to-day nothings of her life, the daily chores and tasks and events that were common and ordinary to everyone in her day, but which has given future generations a glimpse into a “historical” life that no longer exists. While BIG WORLD events are taught as significant, it is the stories of people who describe them in their diaries and journals that give them true meaning and allow us to understand. We understand World War 2 because of stories like Anne Frank, a little girl who was affected by it. It is the small glimpses into the lives of people trying to survive in their world, a world of events that would later be significant, that I find most fascinating. My blog is in many ways unimportant, but in other ways, in other times, might allow a glimpse into what life was like during my time to future generations. Who knows?
Anyway, today I am going to describe some of my core beliefs and how an event in the world has affected me.
I get upset when people speak about “tolerance” but they are hateful towards those who disagree with them. I believe that true tolerance and true freedom means that we allow a voice to people who disagree with us. This doesn’t mean that every belief or opinion is equal because they aren’t. There are true beliefs and false ones (for example, 2 + 2 = 57 will never be true no matter how sincerely a person believes it. ) and there is a moral right and wrong, good and evil. However, I believe that people ought to be respected even when we disagree with them, and that ideas ought to be respectfully challenged and debated. If something is true, it can stand honest scrutiny, challenge, and debate. As Patrick Henry declared, “I might not agree with a word you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Here is a wonderful article that describes what I believe about this topic: The Intolerance of Tolerance.
I believe that a person ought to pursue truth rather than defend a comfortable error/lie. I would “rather be hurt by truth than be comforted by a lie.” My faith has changed because I have been willing to pursue truth and let go of error as much as I can, rather than hold on to a comfortable belief that I was taught.
I believe that if an action is wrong if one person or group does it, then it’s also wrong when another person or group does it. Too often people criticize the “opposition” if they do something that they consider wrong, but they are silent if their own people do it. If it’s wrong if Conservatives do a behavior then it’s also wrong if Liberals do it and vice versa. If it’s wrong and discriminatory for a White person to insult or mistreat a person because he is Black then it’s just as wrong for a Black person to insult or mistreat a person because he is White. BOTH is discrimination and BOTH are wrong. We ought to be angry about all injustice, whether our own people are the ones suffering the injustice or committing it.
I believe that beliefs, opinions, actions, and character are more important than ethnicity and gender. To like, hire, or vote for someone only because of his/her color or gender is just as discriminatory and offensive as to hate, not hire, or not vote for him/her because of color or gender. I, for example, would want to be liked because I am worth liking, not just because of my race or gender. I’d be insulted if someone hired or voted for me only because of my race or gender. I’d want them to hire/vote for me because they support my beliefs and opinions, and believe that I am the most skilled and the best qualified for the position–and I’d work hard to be the most skilled and qualified. And while there are certainly people who are racists, bigots, and haters in this world, I think people accuse others of these terms much too often. Just because a person disagrees with you does not mean he or she is a racist, bigot, or hater. It’s possible he disagrees only with your opinions and beliefs.
By the way, I have a lot of races, colors, and cultures in my family. I have aunts, sisters- and brothers-in-law, and nieces and nephews who are Japanese, South Korean, Samoan, Puerto Rican, American Indian, and Black. And probably others. I also have friends from around the world. Their ethnic and cultural differences aren’t as important to me as their character. At the same time, I love the differences–I love learning about the similarities and differences in our cultures, society, customs, language, foods, talents, and so on. I love to learn about different places and peoples. How boring if we were all the same. Variety is truly the spice of life.
I will not hide that I love the Jewish people, and I love Israel, and I believe that the Jews are wonderful people, that the G-d of the Bible has given them their land and is bringing them back to it, and they have the right to defend it when they are attacked. I understand that others might believe differently. Obviously, I do not think you are correct, but even while I disagree with you, and would challenge and debate you, I respect that you have a right to your opinion.
And now I am getting to the news that has saddened me: A few weeks ago, three Israeli teens were kidnapped by terrorists. They were not soldiers, they were just nice teenagers on their way home from school. They were kidnapped only because they were Jewish. While the Israelis searched for them, the Palestinians/Muslims celebrated the kidnapping. The mother of one of the suspected kidnappers said that if her son was really responsible, she would be proud of him. The bodies of the kids were found yesterday. They had been murdered shortly after they were kidnapped. These are photos of the boys. They were my JJ’s age, and I can imagine a parent’s terror of having a beloved son’s life threatened.
I cannot comprehend evil. I can understand that there are twisted and evil people–like serial killers or terrorists–who delight in inflicting pain and suffering on others. However, I cannot comprehend that any person or people would support or celebrate it. If my beloved family member or friend, or someone in my country or religion wrongfully hurt another, I would not be proud of them, I would be sickened by their actions, and I would strongly condemn it. If the children of my worst enemy was kidnapped or murdered, I would grieve not rejoice. I think evil of all sort, no matter who does it or who it is done to, ought to be condemned in the strongest way. It’s not EVER right to do wrong. Evil should make us all grieve and weep.
I weep for those three boys, and for the grief of their families and country. I am angry at those who did it, celebrated it, and/or supported it.