On this Valentines a note that I carry over from my signatures.
“Who you know is not as important as how you treat the people that you meet.”
This carries over from “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.
Valentine’s Day is about “love”. It is about how we build and maintain relationships. Whether these relationships are deeply personal, workplace, casual or a simple hello, how we interact with people we have known for years or moments defines us as a human being. From the stand point of Jesus, “Love One Another”” was never followed by exceptions. If there are those who are not inclined to the golden rule, or simply do not grasp that humans are basically chameleons who reflect their environment, one must simply move along, do not force a reaction and do not look back. (“Wipe the dust from your feet”.)
Ours is a role of reflecting our Teacher’s message. When we accept the banner of “Christian” we accept a powerful message that people should recognize by how we interact with them. If we do not reflect Jesus’ message in our own actions, the message we are teaching send the wrong message of what it is a “Christian” is. It is because of what I have seen in others who proudly raise the “Christian” banner that “Unorthodox Christianity” was born.
What makes “Unorthodox Christianity” unorthodox are its roots in the red print of a concordance Bible. No caveats, no exceptions, no exclusions, no racism, no sexism, nothing other than “Love One Another”. It is much more difficult to be an “Unorthodox Christian”, than it ever will be to wear the banner “Christian”.
“Though I walk through the valley of the shadows of lost souls, I shall not fear them for thou art with me. Thy word and thy example comfort me. Even now, this very day, you are preparing the future before me. In the presence of my enemies, even in the midst of my own personal struggle. You anoint my head with oil and once again my cup overflows with your bountiful blessings. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever…” (the 23rd Psalm applied to me.)
“Who you know is not as important as how you treat the people that you meet.”
Following on the lines of Simply Love One Another.
Would you be so kind as to hang in there with me here.
There has been a considerable amount of press and activity lately centered around the term “White Supremacy”, and it’s preponderants called “White Supremacists”. In regards to the currents ‘news’, I have to sympathize with the ‘other side’ because I am white, and not much of a “Supremacist”.
If there is one thing that I have never been much of it is “Supreme”. As a member of the simple working class, I have experienced quite an interesting diversity of “Supremacy” over the years. Because of this, I have a Dennis perspective on how our country has become so divided along the lines of “Supremacy”.
Much like I look at religion, I find “Supremacy” requires a huge caveat along the lines of “Truth in Advertising”.
No news has been written much about German Supremacy, or Black Supremacy, or Asian Supremacy. (There are more potential Asian Supremacists in the world than any other cultural group, but I just never hear about them). You get the idea.
I have seen many I call the “EDUCATED SUPREMACISTS”. They carry a degree in their back pocket that qualifies them to be “SUPREME”, ( do you know any of these people?) They can be recognized because laws do not apply to them unless accompanied by a police car with lights on top.
On any given day, I hear or read about the Democrat Supremacists or the Republican Supremacists and why one is better than the other, irregardless of their color.
I, unfortunately, remind you that I am not supreme. Consequently very little that I get involved in matters much in the scheme of things, but my Senator or city council person is close to GODLY in his (or her) impact in the daily world.
I will defer the “RELIGIOUS SUPREMACISTS” to another writing.
And all this has yet to deal with two huge competing segments of “AMERICAN SUPREMACISTS”.
Women and Men.
Women and men I have discovered come in all kinds of colors and cultures and often find themselves in positions of “Supremacy”. I guess the “White Supremacist” example has not been wasted on many of these. It is just that this supremacy is hidden in the background, much like the now infamous “Gay Closet”. This level of Supremacy needs to be brought out of the closet and examined for what it also has become. This kind of “Supremacy” also results in acceptable bullying, abuse, condescension and the general overall air of “My Success at YOUR Expense”, that often is shared as the American “Dream?”
Asked the other day about my culture in a meeting that included primarily Latino people, I mentioned that I was classified as WHITE. The response clarified the question as to what Nationality was I. I responded that I was WHITE. I have never been asked on an employment application if I was Swedish, or German, or Irish, or Scottish (all of which I am). I had no other reasonable option but to list “WHITE”. I even have a tan from the El PASO sunshine, but automatically I am addressed in English vs Spanish. I have never been listed as a member of a “preferred hiring” group. I have never been listed as a member of a preferred educational assistance group. I have never been involved in a “WHITE HISTORY MONTH, DAY or YEAR.” I have yet to see a “WHITE ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS” or “WHITE MUSIC PERFORMING ARTS AWARD” show on TV. I have never been acknowledged as being German, or Swedish, or Scottish, or Irish, I have always been WHITE. I have never been “SUPREME.”
Yet what many in America now see is Dennis the “WHITE SUPREMACIST.”
The mysterious “They” never seem to see a “FEMALE SUPREMACIST” or a “MALE SUPREMACIST”. I have had many male and female teachers, instructors, bosses and bullies cross my path whose attitude has been to be “Supreme”. I have never met a “BLACK SUPREMACIST” but I am familiar with the “BLACK POWER MOVEMENT”. Those who have, seen, know of, and have themselves been bullied and bossed by those in their own BLACK community. I have had bosses and co-workers that have crossed all sexes and cultures and they seem to be competing with the WHITE SUPREMACIST culture to succeed in the workplace as well as the political arena.
WRONG IS WRONG.
I have heard terrible stories of the (ANY CULTURE) teachers and coaches (ANY GRADE) that bully their students because they feel that they can because they feel it is free of charge because of their “Supremacy”. These people are no different than the “White Supremacist” of the daily news. The police officer who bullies people because they feel empowered to by their position making it free of charge are no different than the “White Supremacist” of the daily news. Thankfully I know of many more policeman and military personnel who I admire more than all others because of their sacrifice who are getting lost in the “POLICE SUPREMACIST” movement of some of their peers that is all over the daily news. These few “Supremacists” create a “POLICE SUPREMACIST” model that also needs to be acknowledged and acted upon. Often the model comes from the top down.
WRONG IS WRONG.
I have actually known some awfully bad people of all colors and cultures who should just be called BAD PEOPLE. These I would classify as “BAD PEOPLE”. NOT to be confused with SUPREMACISTS.
I pray the day is coming when the applications simply ask:
“Check here if you are an “AMERICAN.”
You see all of the above people whom I have known have been “AMERICANS”. The ones who have had Pakistani roots, they are AMERICANS. The ones whose color was different than mine have been “AMERICANS”. The GOOD people as well as the BAD people have been AMERICANS. What AMERICA needs to do to become GREAT (not Again, but the FIRST TIME) is go back to our roots and evolve along with our nation. All men (and women) created equal. One nation, indivisible, melting pot of the world’s cultures, doing unto others as they would have them doing unto themselves, in LIBERTY and with JUSTICE FOR ALL.
Ellis Island should not be a figment of our imagination, it should be the bulwark of our success. At some point in time in our “American History” (for all but a select few of our citizens by number) Your family and culture came here through Ellis Island or similar port of entry, they signed their name, they took a pledge of allegiance, and they started contributing.
Some President once said “Ask NOT what your country can do for you, Ask what YOU can do for your country.”
History would record that that concept was beyond most of our citizens abilities of comprehension.
What America needs to be GREAT is AMERICANS.
Not WHITE AMERICANS. NOT BLACK or LATIN, or GERMAN or SCOTTISH or ASIAN AMERICANS, or MIDDLE EASTERN AMERICANS. JUST AMERICANS. One of my great acquaintances is an AUSTRALIAN AMERICAN. My partner is a CANADIAN AMERICAN. It has taken all of these AMERICANS to get AMERICA where it is today. The railroads were not built by just “WHITE” Americans. The Cotton and tobacco was not picked by just “WHITE” Americans. The clothes were not sewn by just “WHITE” Americans. The more AMERICANS the better, following John Kennedy’s dream. It is the desire for too many of us to be “SUPREME” that is getting in the way of America becoming “GREAT”. The problem is that we learn by example, and the examples can leave a lot to be desired.
Look at your neighbor for what your neighbor is: AMERICAN.
If your neighbor is not an AMERICAN citizen help them become one.
If we are worried about them taking advantage of America and the benefits it has become accustomed to providing, because of a lack of their citizenship, make a Presidential Decree and make them all citizens. Then they will all qualify for just what the rest of us Citizens qualify for. (Apply this to Congress also.)
When we deny the “DREAM” to one, we have denied the “DREAM” to all.
WE NEED AMERICANS. Not “Supremacists”. We have enough of the “SUPREMACISTS” already.
“Dad (my daughter wrote today)
The pictures of the flood are just incredible. It’s heartbreaking, but also heart warming to see people helping one another.”
I answered my daughter: “Yes it is. Disaster can bring out the best of the human spirit. The disaster comes from the physics of Earth. The help is the hands of people.”
Some in the religious communities are calling Hurricane Harvey a judgement of GOD.
Jesus requested, “Love One Another.”
GOD is plenty powerful enough that the wicked fall and fail without GOD’s help. In the crowds of millions affected by the flood are the greatest people on Earth. They include the best mothers, fathers, bosses, employees, Pastors, Priests, Shamans and simply people. They are just like us who have been fortunate to be somewhere else during the disaster. They join the ranks of people all over the world that have been devastated by disaster in their own corner of the world, large and dramatic, or a car wreck or a heart attack. During Katrina we looked at the protections built into other parts of the world, but Nature plays no favorites. What my daughter saw and we have watched on the daily news is the sheer power of LOVE to take hold of the human spirit and motivate it into positive action. Neighbors helping neighbors. People jumping into cars and trucks and driving to help other humans in need. There is no “I’m only going to help White people, or Black people, or Latino people or just Jews, or Muslims, or Christians. They are going to Houston to help people in need. Disaster UNITES people to help one another unlike any other event that crosses the paths of history.
And GOD puts people there to help. GOD plans for the future by placing people where they are needed the most. The term I use is “GOD watches out for the ignorant and uninformed.” And many more will come over the next many, many days and even years. There will be people that we disagree with that will be helping those who disagree with them. There will be people that cause us to by angry who will accomplish miracles and then call it the everyday.
“On Earth as is it in Heaven.” Pay attention and see it on the news, on You Tube or the internet. What is the Heaven you aspire to visit someday? You will see it on TV now. It is “Love One Another” in action. No buildings, no leaders, no politics. That is what makes people Great, helping one another.
Pray for the victims, pray for the helpers. Give strength to their stamina, and assistance for their help. Someday it will be us. It may be a big and dramatic event, or just in the neighborhood. This was the vision of Jesus, love your neighbor as yourself.
What day are we to strive for that we are going to base the idea of ‘again’ on?
Of the people, by the people, for the people? Is that the day when we were great once? Is this the day we are striving to attain?
Was plantations and slaves the day that we were great once? Is this the day we are striving to bring back ‘again’?
Back in July of last year I posted Making America Great Again – Really? An excerpt of which is above. Little did I know how quickly I would be answered. Life can be scary.
The last few months, culminating in Charlottesville of last week, has developed a pattern of what “AGAIN” means that seems to be developing in America “Again”. The excerpt above seems to nail it. Was plantations and slaves the day that we were great once? Is this the day we are striving to bring back ‘again’?
1859 nails it. Just before the Civil War. Seems to fit perfectly. A little prior to Nazi Germany, but right (pardon the pun) on for the white supremacists. It was also a perfect time to be great again if today you benefit from stock in large corporations or invest in business or have a similar situation that would profit greatly by it. A time before income tax, minimum wage, OSHA, big government, No health care, no clean air, no unemployment, no benefits, rules or regulations. Slavery was the order of the day, (I guess a case could be made for free board and room by the Washingtons and Jeffersons and Jacksons of the day. All of whom who shared the Presidency with our current “leader?”
The conflict between the North and South was as similar to Republican vs Democrat then as it has now become. The theft of private property then is very similar to the “Eminent Domain” of our present day cities, or counties or states to find the property to assist the owners of the campaign PAC’s who supplied the money to put them or their ‘charge’ into office, to have a convenient and cheaper way to satisfy their need to make money out of a location that merely housed ‘people’ rather than add to their financial success. The American Indian can forward a discourse on the World of Rich Business of then, vs now. I remember the music of the day referenced by a song from my generation “Owe my soul to the company store”. Of course our modern CEO’s eliminate employment by moving employment totally out of the country for what conforms to the Great Again theory of “FREE” “profitable” business. The law of the land was Success AT ANother’s expense. Which still reigns supreme in America. Low wages and no benefits = bigger profits and a testimony that says “I made myself a Billionaire all by myself.” Patriotism and profit are not considered to be the course of action for “Great Again”. Making America Great Again is not as important as making MYSELF wealthier again.
The news of the era that comprised the Civil War made American Armament (and European) makers discover the profitability of war and the weapons to wage it that has carried forward to this day. Business has found war quite economically advantageous. And the ‘bully pulpit’ of present day world leaders. When Health care became a burden, the country seems to have divided over the merit of concerning itself with taking care of its citizens, or for some of our citizen’s the answers would be to kill or deport as many as necessary to make it less of a burden on others apparently.
This is the seed of news media. Of our social media, and of too many who owe too much to the powers that put them in office. A swamp that rather than being drained is merely being covered by algae, and tweeting birds.
More than any, I would like to see America the Great. We were headed toward great at one time. The Civil War began a movement toward a level of Civility in the United States. But that Civility was extinguished almost immediately with the assassination of a President whose name is held up as GREAT and invoked often by those who seemingly have no knowledge of what made him great. It was not division that made him great, it was the pursuit of UNITED that made him great. UNITED is what will make us GREAT. It seems Great AGAIN is confused AGAIN.
In high school and college I studied ‘ologies’. There was sociology, psychology, geology, physiology you know. As I got older and started the journey of living there became churchologies, Scientologies, and I have forgotten what I am certain were others (like workology).
But one ‘ology’ stands out in my history that I did not study in school but that I have studied in living.
I call it faithology. It is the study of having faith.
I have faith in my own destinations. That the decisions I have made and continue to make carry with them an idea that faith connects to a real place. That what seems to be directionless one day, proves to be understandable the next. That one step forward and perhaps 2 steps backwards, eventually moves forward in the scheme of things.
This is faithology. One has to practice it to learn to believe in it. It does not always rely on a religion, but it does rely on belief. It is a practice that can accept challenge, and a determination to keep moving forward. For some it flies in the face of practicality, for others it seeks the end of the rainbow. For those who hang on to it the world contains many new treasures. The ocean without faith contains only water. Those with faith found new countries.
The perception of darkness, when challenged by faith, discovers the light.
It is not for everyone. It is the road less taken, and the impossible dream. It learns to swim by jumping in. It also becomes the never ending story. For the desperate and disenfranchised it becomes hope.
Faithology……Keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times.. dw
As I sit here, I am reviewing some of the writings of my life. There are words, and poems, and songs. There are tidbits and stories. It is hard to save them all and yet more difficult to destroy. I often reflect on how much of my life will be lost to the hazards of time?
Will we have made a difference as a result of the journey?
Will we have touched some people meaningfully?
I believe many of us ask these questions as we grow older.
Perhaps it is a question we ask should we ever become wiser.
I pray always that some will be saved.
And that the time has not been wasted.