Why?

Argument, Angry, Silhouette, Boss, Client, Dispute

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay  

 

Why is it that some instigate, incite, and connive?

Creating rifts and obstacles, so many just contrived –

They feel they are entitled to bring upon others pain –

Then they act all contrite; and innocence then they feign.

 

Why is it that so few build-up, encourage, or cheer?

Helping others surmount their worries or their greatest fears.

Giving just a moment to rectify misunderstandings great or small,

Aiding others in their wants, and open hurts so raw.

 

Why do we pass by silently, when these things we see?

Ignoring chances to speak up or aiding others to agree –

Be it politics or relationships, do we really need to divide?

I leave that with you now,  it’s for you to decide.

 

Padre

 

 

 

Inspiration Call: Word Prompt Wednesday – Why?

FOWC with Fandango — Instigate

FOWC with Fandango — Surmount

FOWC with Fandango — Raw

FOWC with Fandango — Rectify

 

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A Room of One’s Own

Classroom, School, Education, Learning

Pixabay

Ten years of government austerity, and rising student numbers were not good bed-fellows.  Some Victorian era primaries had leaking roofs, and the academy programme allowed some trusts to sell off cartakers’ housing and playing fields to generate cash.

Class sizes rose from 25 to 30 to 32 or more.  Special schools closed their doors as large multi-academy trusts tried to maximise profits by taking special needs pupil “in house.”

Short term contracts for teaching staff, and multiple part-time staff, as well as the large student cohorts turned every available space, including offices, into teaching spaces.  Gone was the concept for all but a few full-time experienced teachers of ever having a room of one’s own.  Many staff moved classroom nearly as often as did the children.

Good thing that such things could never happen in a Conservative, Brexit-obsessed Britain.

Padre

Christine’s Daily Writing Prompt: A Room of One’s Own

Reposting by Tygpress.com not authorised.

“Vicious Gunfire”

Image result for silhouette target

Amazon

“I wont have a gun in my house,” she said.

“Why it is just a piece of sporting equipment,” he retorted.

“Guns kill,” she said.

“True but so do hammers and frying pans,” he retorted.  “It is people that kill.  A gun is just a tool.  It is the use of the tool and the intent of the user that is the issue.”

“Then why do all those reporters call it vicious gunfire?”

“Now, you’re being silly.  Shooting a paper target isn’t vicious,” he said.

“Silly?  Then why is the silhouette in the shape of a man?”

“Umm,” he hedged.

“Exactly,” she said. “It’s still linked to violence.”

Sometimes there is nothing more vicious than discussions about gunfire.

Padre

Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge: Tuesday, July 30, 2019

For the Love of It

Team, Grass, Cheer, Field, Game, Sport

Pixabay

Why do we do this?

Is it just for the pay?

Can’t we do it for love?

It’s the only true way.

 

“Amateur” – now an insult or taunt –

Meaning few skills you hold or possess,

They say talent must be rewarded for profit –

True masters get paid for what they profess

 

Padre

 

How sad is it in our society that everything is monetised?  Doing things for enjoyment, or just to pass time with friends is “wasteful.”  These unpaid activities must therefore be “second best.”  It is not too long ego that “professionals” were not allowed in the Olympics.  We the athletes of the 1970 or 80s “second rate?”   Who has not seen a memorable AmDram production, or fallen in love with a sketch that someone made just to capture a moment?   As in sport, drama, or art; so too with politics or social action – we are told to forget the amateurs, and  “leave it to the professionals.”

 

Weekend Writing Prompt #116 – Amateur

The Fame Generation

Image result for kim kardashian

image: The Independent

We were the “Fame Generation.”  Celebrity was everything.  We ravenously consumed reality television, we marvelled at the lifestyle of the rich and even against all common sense even elected them to be our leaders.

We wanted to be like our icons.  Labourers and the children of labourers believed the tabloid press and the glossy magazines which depicted the life we all could have if we only were more beautiful, better dressed, or enhanced ourselves with surgery.

Soon we would only wear designer labels.  We followed every fad diet that was produced.  We rehearsed our moves, both those meant for the stage and those we used in day to day life.  We entered ever increasingly humiliating “reality” programmes which increasingly were anything other than real life.

Messages on the environment were denied by those in the public eye, and ignored by others in deference to conspicuous consumption.  We worshipped pop stars, we began to “live” the message of RAP and Hip Hop artists.  And we were all sure, in the end, that we too could all be Kardashians.

Then it happened.  The financial system, undermined by greed, collapsed.  The oceans filled with plastic.  Violence spurred by prejudice or envy spilled out onto the street.  The end of Western Civilisation had come.

“Why?” you might ask.  It is simple:  the fault was in our stars.

 

Padre

(223 Words, 20 minutes)

 

Christine’s Daily Writing Prompt: The Fault in Our Stars

To Sell One’s Soul

 

Image result for reality tv tucker challenge

image: The Mirror

 

Selling a soul is a thing to see,

It’s not done in a lab-rat-ry,

But in online Vlogs and Reality TV,

For few brief moments of cash and “fame,”

You embarrass yourself,

And bring your family shame;

You bathe in slime, or sing out of key,

Do crazy stunts, or publicly pee,

All for endorsements – their granters fickle,

And your dreams of wealth are oft

Just a trickle.

 

Padre

The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

On The Nature Of Others’ Beliefs

 

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Fandango’s Provocative Question #29: Thomas Jefferson said, “It does me no injury for my neighbor to tell me there are 20 gods or no gods. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”   The question therefore is: “Do you agree with Thomas Jefferson that it doesn’t matter or hurt you if people believe in many gods, in one god, or no gods? Why or why not?

Fandango’s question must be addressed with a nuanced response.  I will therefore approach it as a two-parter.  Does it matter? Yes.  Does it ‘hurt’ me? It depends.

As to the first part: does it matter?  In a pluralistic, liberal society which celebrates difference and diversity – no.  It does not politically or “socially” matter.

On a more philosophical level – socially it does have some relevance.  Community cohesion and shared social values can be strengthened by shared beliefs and values.  Human beings are quick to detect perceived difference.  Jesus had said “the poor are with you always,” but so too is the “other.”  The other is subjective.  Be it appearance, origin, or belief – people “notice” the “odd one out.”  If our absolute social goal is pluralism, then belief may be personal, but then to “new other” is the one that cannot accept the beliefs of others, therefore division emerges.  Shared belief in a deity removes this philosophical division.

Theologically it does matter.  Not necessarily to the beholder.  But to the one holding to the polytheistic or atheistic belief.  If there is one truth.  One God, one faith, and one baptism, then there is an imperative for people to live up to that standard.  It is their salvation that is at risk.  For the atheist, this may not be of any concern.  They expect nihilism (in the Roman sense, that existence ends with the last breath) anyway.  But if Pascal’s wager is correct, they are playing a dangerous game.

I as a Christian minister, hold that it does matter in an eternal reality.

The second part is equally important.  Does it hurt me?

Fundamentally, it does not effect me.   The belief of others does not in and of itself have any direct impact on my own belief or faith.  Does it affect me?  Yes, I am afraid it does.  As a monotheistic believer, it saddens me that any might turn their back of the free gift or grace of a living God.

But should I act?  After all it isn’t effecting me.  But as a Christian believer, I have been called to teach the gospel.  So it does require action on my part.  An action of example, teaching, and loving concern (not necessarily acceptance) of others’ beliefs.

In the US Navy Chaplains Corp there is a motto: “Cooperation without compromise.”  Put simply – support people of belief or none, but never at the expense of your own belief.  This is a good starting point.

Militantly opposing others’ beliefs, and definitely imposing one’s own on others is truly a problem.  If a monotheistic people violently impose their views, in the name of defending God, we have a problem.  Jesus never called for forced conversion, and Muhammad initially called for respect to be shown “to people of the Book.”

A person’s lack of belief is not an attack on Me.  It is an attack or at least slight on God. Let’s stop there for a moment.  An omnipotent God, does not need us to “defend” him.  So we must evaluate our actions and motives.  Are we showing the love and compassion the scriptures call for?  Are we teaching, not fighting?  Are we loving, not imposing?

For me then:  Love all.  Teach those who will listen.  Live as an example.  Fight none.

So in the final analysis was Jefferson right?  Socially – Maybe.  Philosophically – Probably. Physically – Yes.  Emotionally – No.  Spiritually and theologically – he had a lot to learn.

 

Padre

Under Canvas

Photo Credit: Susan Spaulding

“Well it’s not exactly the wilderness now, is it?” Melanie questioned in frustration.

“But you said camping would be fun,” thirteen-year-old Angela responded.  “When Sophie went camping with her Nan they had a RV with television and everything.”

“Yeah,” twelve-year-old Amie agreed. “And when Millie went camping with her parents they had a cabin at Centre Parcs and they had all kinds of activities to do.  This is just a field.”

“You girls are getting spoiled,” Mum observed.  “It’s the only holiday I could afford this year, and even this wasn’t cheap.  Sleeping bags might as well be made out of gold.”

“Okay, sorry,” Angela said unconvincingly. “We will try to have fun.

The girls finished putting up their tents, and then unpacked their supplies.

Suddenly there was a blood-curdling screech from one of the tents.

Melanie rushed to see what was the matter. “What’s wrong Amie,” she said with anxious concern.  “Was there a snake or something?”

“No,” Amie said with tears still welling in her eyes. “There’s no signal.”

Padre

 

Sunday Photo Fiction

Shops: All in a Row

imageedit__7729369625 (1).jpg

Shops and Molly Malone – Dublin

What is it about retail outlets?  Do they have some sort of identity crisis?  I was reflecting on this when I was last at a shopping mall.

Have you ever noticed that Bakers in Cambridge sells Jewellery, while Joules sells clothing and shoes?   But they are not alone in this misnomer game.  “Boots” sells drugs and “Super Drug” seems to primarily sell cosmetics.

Okay, I have been a little facetious, but the point is there.

 

I wanted a wristwatch,

It was the point of the trip,

I wandered the concourse,

With a “Costa” to sip

 

I tried at the “Joules,”

None there was to be had,

So I tried the “Next” shop,

But its selection was sad.

 

I was confused and deflated,

Out of breath from wandering round,

So I sought “Information,”

Only “Clues” and “Quiz” could be found

 

I went to the car park

And then I drove home,

I ordered from “e bay,”

Never again to roam

 

Padre

2019 Photography Challenge: All in a Row