Compassion, caring, and empathy are important qualities that can lead to success in every aspect of life. When you show understanding and kindness towards others, you create a positive environment that encourages people to feel good about themselves and the situations they encounter.
In order to succeed in today’s world, it is important to have a strong sense of empathy and understanding towards others. When we can put ourselves in the shoes of others, we can better understand their needs, emotions, and points of view. This allows us to better communicate with them and work together towards common goals.
Caring and compassion are also important because they allow us to create stronger bonds with others. When we care about someone, we are invested in their well-being and want to help them in any way we can. This creates a strong sense of trust and loyalty, which is important in both personal and professional relationships.
Overall, it is clear that being compassionate, caring, and empathetic is essential for success in all areas of life. By cultivating these qualities within ourselves, we can create a better world for everyone.
Most of the folks who are virulently anti LGBTQ are unsure of their own sexuality. I’ve found gay people to be twice gifted with unique contributions to make. Indigenous people in the Americas referred to gay folks as the people of two spirits.
Taking away a woman’s right to choose is also profoundly wrong. Imposing your narrow religious beliefs on the rest of us is fucked up.
The real existential threat facing our world is climate change. If you aren’t concerned about that you ought to be. I’ll be long gone when the worst happens but our children and especially our grandchildren’s lives will be cut short by a mass extinction happening within the next 100 years.
Saw this on Representative Mike Thompson’s Twitter feed this morning. Mike Thompson represents California’s 5th Congressional District. This letter from a Catholic Priest friend says it all about Arch Bishop Cordileone’s latest misguided decision:
“Bishops, priests, etc. are neither the hosts nor the bouncers nor the ones who wrote the guest list. The Eucharist is the resurrected body of Christ given for the life of the world…
Jesus Christ is the one who invites the guests (“all you who labor”); he is the host of those who come; he is the setter of the table; and he is the feast which is shared (“Take this, all of you. this is my body, this is my blood”)…
We are guests at the meal, and sometimes (by his calling) servers. So stay in your lane, please. The wait staff doesn’t get to exclude those who want to come. If you don’t like the company Christ calls (and, admittedly, it is a rag tag bunch of sinners, one and all), it’s… you who need to leave the table, not them.”
Today I attended Mass at St. Benedict’s Catholic Church on Main Street in Amherst, New York. The church was packed and the service was lovely. For much of this week I have had the recurring thought of the mission of Jesus or maybe the omission of Jesus.
The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
Jesus provides the mission statement for his ministry and throughout the rest of the gospels regardless of the author there is one instance after another where Jesus does exactly what is spelled out in Luke. In Matthew 4:19 he says, “Come, follow me.” In Matthew 25:35-36 he says, “For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you took Me in, I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you visited Me.’
Jesus provides loads of examples of what kinds of behavior he expects of his followers. Nonetheless his whole impact of Western Christianity is reduced to the crucifixion and resurrection. He was crucified because he welcomed the stranger, he reached out to those on the margins. If you ask most Christians about Jesus they will say, “He died for our sins.” They mention nothing of the kind of life he lived nor what he expected of his followers.
This stems from the doctrine of original sin which was never mentioned by Jesus. St. Augustine was the first to use the term original sin. St. Augustine was also the author of the “just war” theory. Jesus said, “I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”
I guess it is just easier to say he died for your sins and then you don’t have to be one of his followers which is much more difficult.
I’ve been reading The 1619 Project. It’s an enlightening book. The author describes plantations as work camps. I’ve never thought of Monticello, Mount Vernon and the like in the same light as Ravensbruck and Birkenau but they were. Enslaved African Americans were forced to work, brutally treated and in many cases killed to keep them towing the line. They were bred like livestock and treated the same or worse.
I learned in school that Lincoln freed the slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation but it took the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendment to codify that into United States law. A new era emerged after the Civil War until the the end of the Reconstruction era when federal troops were withdrawn from the southern states. Then all hell broke loose as vigilante rule took over and Blacks and other people of color were systematically subjugated. Voter suppression and intimidation was the norm. Four thousand blacks were lynched between 1880 and 1940. Teenage Emmet Till was brutally murdered in 1955 for smiling at a white woman. People of color really weren’t free until the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1965.
Native Americans were forced off their lands and put on reservations. Schools were created to forcibly destroy their culture and they the original owners of the Americas were not granted the right to vote in the United States until 1925. Following World War 2 white American servicemen and women qualified for the GI Bill which helped many including my father to attend college and pursue professional lives. The GI Bill was denied to soldiers of color. There is so much that is not understood by whites about people of color and how our society is not color blind at all. Our lives as white people is skewed to benefit us while disenfranchising our brothers and sisters who are darker.
I don’t like the term racist as there is no such thing as race. It is a social construct that was created to justify the repression of people of color. We are all the same race, the human race. Paradoxically we are all prejudiced. It is normal and natural to feel more at home with those that look like us.
I know I’m prejudiced. I don’t want to be prejudiced but I am. I work to overcome that on a daily basis. What’s most distressing in this country is that we have systemic prejudice that many fail to recognize and accept. Many of our presidents owned slaves. When our founding documents were written in the 18th century Black people were enslaved, Native Americans had their land stolen and were routinely murdered.
We have a lot of work ahead of us to truly become the United States of America.
Acceptance is the key to life. Those who cannot change cannot survive. Those who can wear masks and get vaccinated are likely to flourish in our new environment. As I sat watching a basketball game at St. Bonaventure University’s Reilly Center I was surrounded by people. Young and old alike. Some wore masks as requested by the university to keep us all safe while others were wearing chin straps or at least that’s what they looked like. Last week parents in Franklinville had an impromptu protest in front of the school that was anti-mask.
Everyday we read the news of angry folks decrying mask and vaccine requests and mandates. We read too of those whose inflexible reaction has cost them their health and in some cases their lives. Wearing a mask is annoying especially when one has hearing aids and glasses too. I’ve been contemplating a response and today I’m reminded of the wisdom of the Tao that was written twenty-five-hundred years ago.
The living are soft and supple;the dead are rigid and stiff.In life, plants are flexible and tender;in death, they are brittle and dry.Stiffness is thus a companion of death;flexibility a companion of life.An army that cannot yield will be defeated.A tree that cannot bend will crack in the wind.The hard and stiff will be broken.The soft and supple will prevail.
I first saw this quote from a framed poster at Mount Irenaeus over twenty years ago. It’s as meaningful now as it was then. In fact I find myself more and more attracted to solitude the older I get. Sitting in church or anywhere for that matter never really turned me on. I find God or if you will the higher power in the silence of the woods, the babbling of a brook, the gentle lapping of waves along a lake shore or anywhere that silence abounds.
If you are wondering what God may be, Looking for a purpose in life, Craving company, or seeking solitude, Come to our Meeting for worship. We shall not ask you to speak or sing, We shall not ask you what you believe, We shall simply offer you our friendship, And a chance to sit quietly and think. And perhaps somebody will speak,
And perhaps somebody might read, And perhaps somebody might pray, And perhaps you will find here That what you are seeking. We are not saints, We are not cranks, We are not different- Except that we believe That God’s light is in all persons, Waiting to be discovered… Author Unknown
I’m listening to a book by Neil deGrasse Tyson on astrophysics. It’s extremely interesting and mostly over my head. Last year I took a course on “The Bible and Science.” It was a Christian college and though the professor was very open minded many of my fellow students clung to the belief that the Bible is literally true.
I’m a long time fan of Ilia Delio’s writing too and she frequently writes about how we need new thinking in the church vis a vis the discoveries of quantum mechanics. Tyson’s book has confirmed for me that the Bible is mythologized history. It was written by ancient writers whose grasp of the cosmos was limited.
There are lots of solid principles in the Bible. Universal truths like treating others as we’d like to be treated. Giving gifts and being repaid many times over. I accept that as I’ve witnessed it in my own life. Our concept of a supreme being and it’s expression must be revised in light of what we now know.
Yesterday I listened to the words of a young woman in Texas who eloquently spoke of the war on women’s bodies being waged by elected officials in Texas and elsewhere who are severely limiting the right of women to choose what is right for them. Her words are more powerful than anything I could write.
The people who sponsor this legislation care little about life though they hide behind the mantle of “pro-life.” God bless Paxton! God bless her message. We need more eloquent young women to step forward.