Who’s the Third World Country Now?

Eastman Audience

Rather than a problem to be solved, the world is a joyful mystery
to be contemplated with gladness and praise.

~Pope Francis~

We as Americans like to think of ourselves as a world leader among nations. We are leaders in the areas of power and technology. We had a large part in winning critical wars in the past century. We also put the first man on the moon. But are power and technology enough to make us a great nation? Perhaps not. We have a few things to fix about our society before we can brag about it.

Let’s start with our federal government. A Gallup poll in mid-June of 2015 shows a 30 % confidence level in the supreme court, a 29% confidence in the presidency and 7% confidence level in congress. We elected most of the people in whom we now have so little confidence. The others were appointed by those we elected. What does that say about us as voters? We have given up control of our elections and placed people in power who have the money to support their campaigns and cajole us into electing them.

Another issue is our lack of reverence for life. Of the 195 countries affiliated with the United Nations, only 36 retain the death penalty. Of these countries, we have the fifth highest rate of execution. We may feel better taking revenge on individuals guilty of the most serious crimes, yet states with no death penalty have no higher crime rates that states which do. What does a national policy of executing its citizens say about our reverence for life? What example do we set for those among us intent on violence?

With all our talk about sacredness of the family, we are the only country in the western hemisphere with no national maternity leave policy. A few countries have started offering paternity leave for new fathers. We are among the many nations with no such policy. Early studies show that fathers do a better job fathering when they have time after childbirth to bond with their children.

After our start as a country accepting slavery, we fought a civil war largely over this issue and passed a series of laws over the years outlawing slavery and its effects. Yet racism is still at the core of the beliefs many of us still hold and operate by. We banished the Native Americans to reservations and denigrated each new wave of immigrants whether they came here willingly or as slaves.

These are a few examples. It seems we are not as civilized as we thought we were and still have some work to do. We need to find ways of working together rather than against each other. It’s not an easy task or we might have done it by now. Start asking questions of yourself and of your fellow citizens.

Life Lab Lessons

  • Look into your heart.
  • Is there room for anyone else besides you?
  • What are you willing to do to make this “our” rather than “your” country?
  • Find out how you can take responsibility.
  • See yourself as a shepherd rather than a sheep.

(Re-posted from http://www.slidingotter.com)

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Updating my Website

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Joe: Good afternoon Calliope.

Calliope: Good afternoon Joe. What’s going on in you life?

Joe: I feel a little upside down these days but mostly I am still having fun. The process of redoing my website turned out to be a little more complicated than I thought.

Calliope: How so?

Joe: I have worked with WordPress for quite a while and thought I understood it fairly well. At the same time I was juggling my hosting account, switching to BlueHost, finding a new third party theme, Author, and getting all this to work together.

Calliope: How is this progressing?

Joe: I have the site live but it is missing some of the elements featured in the Theme demo. I installed the Author theme from Original themes. There are still a few things I haven’t figured out how to do. There is supposed to be a directory of my books with a page for each one and a slider featuring pictures of my book covers. Both of these remain mysteriously absent.

Calliope: What do you plan to do about it?

Joe: I sent an email to the company and am awaiting a response. Hopefully I will hear from them soon and have my site fully functional. Right now it’s time to do some yoga and get my mind settled. Later.

False Alarm

Beach sculpture- Martha's Vineyard

Beach Sculpture- Martha’s Vineyard

Sorry, False alarm. It turns out that I don’t need to move this blog to a new site. In case you already moved I will leave a not there inviting you back. Sorry about the inconvenience. But I did like the new layout at the other site so I brought it back here. I hope you like it.