February 08, 2022


Penobscot Bay in Morning Light B/W 09/29/2010 Oil Paint Rendered — Stonington, Deer Isle, Maine
There are only two things to know:
What needs to be done that we can do anything about.
What we need to do it.

We need to know those two things
in each situation as it arises.

That's it.

Why do we waste time 
on so many concerns
that don't amount to anything?



Lower Antelope Canyon 06 05/18/2010 Oil Paint Rendered — Paige, Arizona
There are ugliness and absurdity
everywhere we look.
We look for peace and unity.
We find upheaval and decay.
Everybody wants what they do not have
and hates what they do have.
Differences are emphasized.
Disenchantment abounds.

That's where we come in.

We are the hope of the world.

We search for hope,
and see no hope,
and declare our situation 
to be hopeless.

We are the hope of the world.

Paul Watzlawick's book comes to mind:
The Situation is Hopeless, But Not Serious.

We are the stabilizing factor
in each situation as it arises.

What is happening is nowhere near
as impactful
as what happens in response
to what is happening.

How we respond to the situation determines,
or, at least, strongly influences,
what becomes of the situation.

How we respond to the situation
depends upon two things:
What is called for,
and what we have to offer
for the good of the situation as a whole.

How the police are responding to the situation
in Ottawa is making it worse, not better.
How the police respond to many situations
make them worse, not better.
The police have an agenda,
and an attitude.

Agendas and attitudes are the worst things
to bring to any situation.
Agendas and attitudes are responsible
for things being as they are worldwide.

Putin has an agenda and an attitude.
If we have an agenda and an attitude,
we are making things worse, not better.

The best things to bring to any situation are
the right kind of emptiness, stillness and silence.
Do not know what needs to be done.
Be empty, still and quiet.
See what is called for.
See what arises unbidden,
spontaneously, naturally
within yourself
in response to what is called for.

Do not discount, dismiss, disregard, ignore

Disarming the situation
brings balance and harmony
to bear on the situation.

Sometimes, what is called for
is letting the fire burn itself out.

The people who don't like anything about 
Critical Race Theory
need to keep their children out of schools
embracing equality and truth.

We do not stop doing what needs to be done
to make people happy who have never been happy
their entire life long.

The Catholic Church committed atrocities 
in forcing its version of truth
upon the discoveries of Copernicus and Galileo,
and upon the Gnostic Christians 
who embraced a different version of truth.

Everybody does not have to see things the same way.
The minority has their right to their opinions,
but do not have the right to force their opinions
on the majority.

Truth has a way of prevailing over time. 

What is taught in schools 
has to stand the tests of examination,
introspection, exploration, investigation,
and validation.

It cannot be what makes someone comfortable.

Everyone grows up against their will.
Everyone grows up by living beyond
their comfort zone.

It is the way.

What we see today in the unfolding of tirades
and tantrums worldwide
is the defiant refusal to grow up.

Refusing to grow up
comes with a price to be paid.
If you won't pay the price,
you won't ride the ride.

If you failed to learn that lesson
as a child,
you have to learn it as an adult.

Or pay the price.

Growing up is so very hard to do.

And we all have to do it on our own.
No one can do it for us.
And it must be done.
Everything depends on it.

And everybody is responsible
for being what the situation 
is calling them to be.

And everybody suffers
when everybody is not living responsibly.

And here we are.

The situation is calling for everyone
to be mutually responsible
for the good of the situation as a whole.

And Donald Trump is saying
"You can't make me!"
And his followers are saying,
"Yeah! You can't make me, either!"

Leaving the rest of us to find ways
of living our lives around them
without allowing them to disrupt
the way life needs to be lived
in service of the good of all.

This means firing the police
who aren't going to enforce the law.
Etc. up and down the line.


Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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