Tag Archives: self-improvement

My Goodness

The tragedy in Paris has a lot of people – including the French, apparently – rethinking their views on the world picture.  I am here to tell you that I have no idea what the answers are to a problem that has both just surfaced in the past 20 years, and yet has existed since the 1700’s.

Social media has been ablaze with calls for action and calls for calm.  It’s his fault, their fault, her fault, our fault… and each of those contentions has some truth.  I’ve always felt, though, that the responsibility for murder falls on the murderer, whatever their bizarre motivations may be.

The French did something that surprised a lot of people.  They attacked the “head of the beast” by bombing headquarters of ISIS in Syria.  I’m not sure why we didn’t think of that, but I say, good for them!  I imagine ISIS was surprised.

Some people posting on Facebook were calling for restraint.  I guess it’s the “two wrongs don’t make a right” theory at play.  Turning the other cheek may work with individual human interactions, but Russian machine guns don’t leave much of a cheek left to turn, not to mention suicide bombs.

Others are calling for all-out war.  I hope we can avoid that.

The British, I believe, are calling this a very sticky wicket, and the rest of Europe is holding its breath.  I’m writing this from Washington D.C., which has been threatened again as well.  I can’t wait to get home to a less symbolic place!

What to do?  Who knows?

After 9-11 there was a radio host who encouraged his listeners to do something that seemed not to be helpful at all, on the face of it.  He suggested that people realize what they can’t do to solve the world’s problems, and focus on what they can do to solve their own.

He suggested reinvesting in home and family, looking more deeply into their faith, and thinking hard about what each of us can do to make our own lives more meaningful and well-lived.  He talked about re-evaluating our possessions, our indebtedness, our neighborliness, and our family roles.

None of that will defeat ISIS or prevent bombings and such.  But, since we as individuals will be hard-pressed to do much on that front, why not do something that’s attainable and valuable?

My goodness.  Your goodness.  Our goodness.  Who knows?  It may just catch on.


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Filed under 2015

The Garden of Weedin’

One of my favorite sayings is, “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.”  According to Wikipedia, a sometimes reliable source, the saying is attributed to ”Saint Bernard of Clairvaux who wrote, “L’enfer est plein de bonnes volontés et désirs” (hell is full of good wishes and desires).”

I think the reason I like that saying so much is that it applies to much in my life.  My intentions are always heart-felt, and yet often not acted upon.  I’ve paved more roads than Democrat counties after the stimulus bill.

One good intention for the summer was to keep up with the weeds in the gardens.  And, for quite a while I was successful.  Then it got really hot, and I got frustrated with not being able to see, due to the steady stream of sweat that smeared over my glasses.

Then the invasion of mosquitoes began, and, well, you know.  I don’t hate many things in life, but mosquitoes rise to that level of dislike. 

I have to admit, though, that my general laziness was a factor too.  There is always other work to do, trips to take, movies to see, email to read…  In a weak defense, however, I’d have to say that if we lived in San Diego, where there are no mosquitoes, and where it rarely gets hot, our gardens would be weed free at this point.  At least that’s what I’m claiming.

I did spend a couple of hours weeding on Saturday, since it was just breezy enough to make the spraying of Off I applied effective.  I pulled enough weeds to make a pile the size of a Volkswagen Beetle.  Not really, but I liked the imagery.  It was a big pile, though.  Another 12 hours and the vegetable garden will be weeded.  Then: the flower garden.  I heard those weeds mocking me Saturday, so I averted my gaze so as not to provoke them any further.

Frankly, I don’t even want to talk about the thistles in the pastures.  As beautiful as “thistledown” is floating on the summer breeze, each seed means more thistles next year. 

Paving the road to Hell is something I’m good at, but in my own defense I should point out that not all my good intentions go undone.  It’s just that the garden is so visible, and the weeds so big!

Eventually the mosquitoes will die, and guilt and the threat of winter will get me out there to clean things up to get ready for next spring.  In the meantime, I think the answer is to leave home each morning before sun up, and return each evening after dark. 

Another great saying: “Out of sight, out of mind.”

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Filed under 2010

To Do List

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Filed under 2009

Improve Yourself

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Filed under 2008