My Thoughts 

As I reflect on the Summer I have nothing but gratitude for the time I have had with family and friends, places I have seen, people I have met and most of all the love that exists in the world.  I know there is an element of evil out there as well.  What happened in Virginia yesterday is evidence of the ugliness and hate that can lash out.  I think we most often find the thing we seek in this world.  We tend to find the best or worst out there depending on us.  I cannot guarantee evil may never strike at us, but I believe we have given ourselves the greatest shelter we can by not seeking it out.  Not a single person would have been harmed yesterday if they had not been there.  There would have been no protests had ignorant people not been demanding statues be removed.  It all begins with hate and intolerance.  We as a people should focus our energy on things more meaningful.  Service, time with loved ones, yard work, the beach, mountains, sand dunes, or hundreds of other activities.  Until we reject hate absolutely this is society.  

Here are three ways you can protect yourself and those you care about.  1. Be tolerant of others.  Being tolerant does not necessarily mean you agree, but an attitude of tolerance does bring greater patience and understanding.  We live in a world of diverse ideas, cultures and people.  Diversity is and can be beautiful.  The truth is we have more in common than our differences.  When we actually seek to understand what is important to each other it is amazing how easy it is to find solutions.  2. Avoid protests and demonstrations.  People that attend these events are not there to be peaceful.  These activities have been usurped by extremists and that much passion and hate tends to radicalize people very quickly.  Is there any wonder why so much violence has erupted and damage to property that results?  These events are about anarchy.  You have the greatest chance of being hurt just by showing up.  3. Don’t buy into the media.  The doom they report on does not bring joy, hope or peace. It really is quite stressful and depressing.  We have it in us to change the world.  Decide on what you can do.  We may not have the reach to change the world for all but we can absolutely change it for one person.  One family.  One neighborhood.  One ward.  One City.  It is up to us.  Hope is demanding to be let out.  When we as a society reject hate and choose Charity, evil will have no hold on us.  

Mindset 

I saw this and it has really bothered me.  Although it nails the current mindset of humanity, is it right?  My understanding is doing something kind for someone else isn’t a conditional act.  If you are looking for praise I am not sure the intent is right.  I personally believe that acts of service tend to do as much or more for our own good than those we serve.  If our attitude isn’t right how easily we can be offended.  We are all a bit broken in this life.  The world has the capacity to beat us pretty good.  Some people don’t know how to express appreciation.  They may not even recognize it or may question your intent as it is so unfamiliar to them. They may be past feeling.  Kindness though has an incredible power to melt the hearts of the bitter given time.  Look at the great story of the Grinch.  The Whos still found Joy and Love and Kindness.  More than enough that the Grinch’s heart grew two sizes that day.  I know it is a made up story, but one that happens often.  Never give up on kindness. Never use an excuse and withhold service because someone is ungrateful.  It may save you both in the end.  

Social Justice Warrior

I can’t help but ask what these Keyboard Warriors are doing to actually make real change in the world?  I am totally supportive of people, even with opposing values to my own, seeking to make a difference.  We however are quickly becoming a nation that refuses to be governed by others that we don’t agree with.  This “Resistance” as they like to call it is not founded in Love, tolerance, compassion or even accountability it is fueled by hate, prejudice, pride and an attitude of anarchy.  Encouraging Rioting only builds the walls of difference higher and thicker.  A people whose differences have become so great they refuse to compromise and are incapable of finding common ground is like the first thundering you hear on the horizon of a terrible storm.  Like a horrible storm when it comes full force doesn’t care who or what is in its path.  Mother Nature unleashed spares no one.  I feel that we as a people are creating a storm of Biblical proportions that we are about to lose control of.  We all have our opinions but we actually have more in common than not.  For those that have a voice and an audience perhaps our message needs to be more kindness, empathy, compassion and patience with one another.  We tend to see the world we are looking for.  If you are not happy with what you are seeing do something about it.  Look for positive news, disengage from certain conversations, hang out with different people, shake up your life if need be.  One of the most powerful experiences you can ever have is to talk with someone that believes differently than you.  Ask them what is important to them.  Ask them what their goals are.  Ask them what brings them Joy.  It will forever change your perspective simply by listening.  The Social Justice Warrior offers no solutions only judgement.  They act without accountability because nothing is required of them.  It is easy to stir others up to anger.  It is much harder to make a difference.  Change the world by changing it for one person.  The gift of Hope is the only thing that can halt the storm that is approaching.  

Christmas Shopping List 

This is our Christmas shopping list for the kids.  

  1. Something to wear 
  2. Something to share
  3. Something to read
  4. Something for play
  5. Something just because 

We don’t do a lot.  We have found it allows us to focus on the true meaning of Christmas.  We go caroling, make treats, laugh…a lot, watch old movies, whatever we spend we spend double to the Bishop for others.  God lives and may the spirit of peace find so many this season that are suffering.  Merry Christmas to all as the season is here again.