My Mother made a beautiful stitched picture that hangs on my wall. Every time I look at it, I think of her fingers carefully pulling the needle and thread. The message was important to her and it should be for all of us today.
History also is most important to us because it teaches us so much. We can look at what has happened in the past and in some ways project the future…unless we refuse to learn. Most present-day issues are sensitive and hard to discuss, but we must think about these things.
What kind of “fragile” times are we going through and what has history taught our last generations?
Let’s take a hard look at now and then.
- Everyone has become fearful of the possibility of becoming sick or dying from our recent virus.
- Governments have taken control world-wide more than we can remember in our modern history.
- Life and travel has completely changed.
- Tragedies have led people to respond with demonstrations as they let their concerns be known. This is the democratic way, according to our Constitution, and should be respected.
- More tragedies have occurred for business owners, of every race and creed, whose livelihood has been ruined by the breaking and looting, which should have never been connected with those wanting peaceful demonstrations. Some organizations have as their goal to bring down democracy and pit our citizens against one another.
(Let’s look at those in other parts of the world who are fighting to keep their democratic way of life.)
- People in Hong Kong are facing further governmental crack-downs from mainland China as Beijing proposes new legislation. ( “China stunned Hong Kong when it announced it would impose a national security law on the city. Many worry this could spell the end of Hong Kong’s unique freedoms…”) whole story on BBC News
Why even mention the present day problems? It is because these are only a few of the world’s problems that makes “Life Fragile” for all of us, in this country and around the world today.
What can we, the present generations, learn from history?
- The slave owners and slave ship captains were the ones responsible for the sins of the past…not people living today. By making slavery the sin of those living today only makes our society more fragile. Unfortunately, history cannot be relived, as much as we would like to correct the wrongs of the past. Looking at and condemning the actions of the past by individuals or governments is one thing…to place it on the shoulders of those not responsible is another.
We talk of the need for “being together and unified” and for everyone to work together to rid all injustices in society. Yes, the present and future are our responsibilities. To rectify present problems is an honorable goal that most would want to see accomplished, but talk is cheap if we continue to blame those who are not responsible for past injustices.
Mass blame only leads to disruption and a society sickness within groups of people, leadership, the media, and our communities in general.
( Let’s think also about German history.)
- The Nazi regime blamed an entire group of people. They were the builders of the death camps, designed to eliminate the Jews from their culture. I had the honor of taking young Americans to Auschwitz to remember this tragic time during World War II. It is an experience one never forgets. Even the Jews, themselves, could not believe that their businesses were being destroyed and that they would be rounded up to die, simply because they were a particular group of people. Society has a way, through the evils of leadership, to turn against one another. Interestingly enough, Hitler continued to use the expertise of his Jewish doctors and dentist. How could he not have known the value of the individual? Mass hysteria became the weapon of choice, as well as propaganda through the German media, leaflets, and posters against people as a whole.
The German youth today, or their parents, are not responsible. We will make life more fragile if we try to pin on innocent people what tragedies were espoused when they were either tiny children or not even born.
- Past generations of Native Americans had the horror of walking to their death on the Trail of Tears, which is a despicable part of our own history of governmental policies. The white, mostly of European descent, who rode their wagons through the tribal territory to settle the West were often murdered and scalped. No living Native American had anything to do with this tragedy.
- We must not forget the hundreds of Japanese Americans, who were placed by our government leaders during World War II in the U.S.Internment Camps because of being Japanese. The generations today of U.S. Government officials had no part in this.
- Because some policemen have acted in evil ways against defenseless people, ALL men and women wearing the badge can not be blamed or demonized for the acts of others… for many have dedicated their lives to helping safe-guard our communities. Without them, those who mean harm will be let loose on those who will see a greater need to protect themselves. In this case, those wishing for more gun control may find their proposals will fall on deaf ears.
Are we getting the picture?
Blaming ALL people for the actions of some only leads to an extremely fragile society. It leads to the persecution of the innocent and instability of our nation and the world today.
Our last question: Can destroying the representations of history remove it from memory?
Condoleezza Rice, former 66th Secretary of State, explained her view about destroying history to the Washington Examiner. She believes that the Confederate statues and associated names of schools and universities should be used as teaching tools. It is as a way to understand history even as we learn not to celebrate it.
This is why we, the Believers in Christ and of the dignity of all people who were created in the image of God, must not forget to pray. We must pray for each other, all mankind of every nationality and the government leaders around the world, who have the power to turn our world upside down.
We are a fragile world.
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” Nelson Mandela, former Pres. of South Africa
Video: Turn up sound
Throughout history, there has been religious groups spreading their mayhem into lands where innocent people have been brutalized. One only needs to read the Holy Scriptures to find what happened when the Jews took revenge on their enemies. The Muslims invaded territory after territory with slaughter. The Christians were also brutal during The Crusades. On and on it goes if we look into Genghis Khan and tribal warfare around the world.
Christians were burned at the stake during the Inquisition. Today, in the Middle East, they are being murdered for their faith. Jews were murdered by the millions in World War II.
There has never been a peaceful world since sin and evil began. Will there ever be peace or will the fury remain? We’ll attempt to answer this at the end of this blog.
Great anxiety is happening as nations in our modern day time deal with the potential of nuclear warfare and even the possibility of space warfare as more deadly inventions are developed. Should people be more than a little anxious…you bet they should be! Who then is responsible for the fright that people feel? Is it the actions of a new administration which swears to protect the people? Is it our own imaginations and thoughts that pity the people who try to flee to a safer place regardless of their religious beliefs and actions of tyrants?
An article was written recently that had a number of responses from readers. A reader challenged the author with the following words about the raw nerves and anxiety of people concerning extreme vetting of refugees who may or may not be Muslim because the entire world is worried about terrorism in all forms. He wrote the following, giving specific examples of why extreme vetting may be the only answer to finding out the motives of people who come to a country other than their own:
“…the US isn’t responsible for anxiety about Muslim refugees. Who is actually responsible? People such as Somali Muslim migrant Mohammad Barry, who in February 2016 stabbed multiple patrons at a restaurant owned by an Arab Christian; Ahmad Khan Rahami, an Afghan Muslim migrant who in September 2016 set off bombs in New York City and New Jersey; Arcan Cetin, a Turkish Muslim migrant who in September 2016 murdered five people in a mall in Burlington, Washington; Dahir Adan, another Somali Muslim migrant who in October 2016 stabbed mall shoppers in St. Cloud while screaming ‘Allahu akbar’; and Abdul Razak Artan, yet another Somali Muslim migrant who in November 2016 injured nine people with car and knife attacks at Ohio State University. What’s more, all of the Islamists who murdered 130 people in Paris in November 2015 had just entered Europe as refugees. In February 2015, the Islamic State boasted it would soon flood Europe with as many as 500,000 Muslim refugees. The Lebanese Education Minister said in September 2015 that there were 20,000 jihadists among the refugees in camps in his country. Meanwhile, 80% of migrants who have come to Europe claiming to be fleeing the war in Syria aren’t really from Syria at all. So why are they claiming to be Syrian and streaming into Europe, and now the U.S. as well? An Islamic State operative gave the answer when he boasted in September 2015, shortly after the migrant influx began, that among the flood of refugees, 4,000 Islamic State jihadists had already entered Europe. He explained their purpose: ‘It’s our dream that there should be a caliphate not only in Syria but in all the world, and we will have it soon, inshallah.’ These Muslims were going to Europe in the service of that caliphate: ‘They are going like refugees,’ he said, but they were going with the plan of sowing blood and mayhem on European Crusader streets. As he told this to journalists, he smiled and said, ‘Just wait.’ On May 10, 2016, Patrick Calvar, the head of France’s DGSI internal intelligence agency, said that the Islamic State was using migrant routes through the Balkans to get jihadists into Europe…”
Most people that I know have a great deal of empathy for those people caught in war and are persecuted for their beliefs. They are not against people for their religious beliefs as long as they are ones of peace and tolerance. Unless the reasons for coming to America or any other country are for these reasons, people neither want to be enslaved to another religion or murdered for their beliefs. We are all responsible to not allow that to happen. Unfortunately, it will be hard for us to know exactly who those with evil in their thoughts really are unless we actually hear or observe someone spouting these thoughts and goals. We’ve been told “See something…say something.” Otherwise, we are at the mercy of those professionals in our countries who watch out for us.
Courtesy of Phil Schmidt
So is there any hope? Will there be peace on earth? It begins with us for certain and every individual. The Holy Scriptures tell us some disheartening news:
“And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that you be not troubled, for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places.” Matthew 24
“Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil, but those who promote peace have joy.” Proverbs 12:20
So often we hear the sad stories of both young and old not making it home because of an accident where there was a DUI (Drinking Under the Influence) involved. The heartache that goes with these reports is probably indescribable. So what is the problem with “just a few beers”…probably nothing…if a person knows when too many is definitely too many.
I remember one date I had in my youthful years…and he definitely was not able to drive anyone anywhere. The choice I made that night was not an easy one…because it was not only embarrassing, but a definite let-down to a night that could have been a happy one. I asked another guy that I knew was not drinking that night to take me home. He did.
Recently I saw a Budweiser commercial that had a good message of choice…even if it was a bit sad. It had a lesson in CHOICES:
- The CHOICE not to drive.
- The FACT that some made a CHOICE to drive…and did not make it home.
- There may be those at home WAITING…and counting on you to return. It would be best to think before it becomes just a few…or a few too many.
Watch this video and see what you think. (or better still…watch it with a young person.)