Why Less Is Always More

Author: siggy

Less is always more.  One of the ten commandments is, ‘Thou shall not covet.’  I did not realize for awhile I was breaking that commandment all the time or even it was one of the commandments.  Things are always distributed unequally in this world.  Some people have more.  Some less.  That is reality.  The trick is to be happy with what you have.  I do not like game shows and lotteries because both pander to greed.  God gives to each of us abundantly.  He only promises food and shelter.  Everything else is given to you by serendipity.  The poor will always exist in this world.  We are commanded to help the less fortunate.  In fact, if it is in your power to perform a good deed and you don’t it is a sin.  Thank God for all your blessings all the time and help the less fortunate.  Again, I will quote Mother Teresa:  ‘Do small things with great love.’  Never forget your blessings.  And always pray to God with thanksgiving.

I do not have to know everything.  Of course, no one can.  There are few Renaissance people any more.  Yet it is so easy to feel shame if you can not do simple things and envy the knowledge others possess.  It is so hard to know what you know and know what you do not.  This knowledge is the beginning of wisdom.  Ignorance is bliss.  You can relax in the fact this world is interdependent.  We all need one another.

Money can provide the illusion this is not so.  It is truly an illusion.  All you have to do is think of all the services provided for you.  Someone keeps the roads paved.  Someone is raising the crops that provide the food you buy in supermarkets.  The Army and the police assure your safety.  There are scientists, engineers working on solutions to improve your life further.  There are hospitals, doctors, teachers, the list is endless of people out there providing for you and your children.  Are you beginning to get the point?  We are dependent on one another.

In fact the bad economic state we are in even more so forces us to rely on each other.  That is really a good thing.  One does not have to do it alone and can relax.  Still you have to do your part.  Nevertheless, we are interdependent with one another.  We can rely on each other.  That is really the way the world is designed.  In the words of John Donne, ‘No man is an island.’  If we can hold on to that idea, the world becomes a much smaller place and we can relax further.  No one has to do it alone.  We are in this world together.  It is okay to ask for help when you need it and certainly it is okay to reach out to the needs of people around you.  All that can be very comforting.

The dawn is only an hour away.  I can not wait to see the first chickadees come to my feeders.  They never fail to delight me.  I am always thrilled by the magnificent red-bellied woodpeckers who come to feed on the suet I have put out near the trunk of the large pine tree outside my large living room window.

The downy woodpeckers come during the day.  They seem to stand at attention as they feed and go around the trunk of the tree.  The occasional cardinals who feed on the ground are very wary.  The beautiful bright red male cardinal never fails to delight me, too.

Every once in awhile I see a brown creeper.  And the many goldfinch who love the thistle I put out for them.  They will sit at the feeder for five minutes eating the thistle.  Often there will be a dozen feeding on the ground.  I can not wait for the males to turn yellow again.  Before, I rarely saw them.  Now they have become commonplace.  Maybe, now I take them for granted.  The slate covered junco come in flocks and might have gone away.

These are the more common birds I see out of my window every day but I never know when I will be surprised.  I am waiting to see if I see any flocks of indigo buntings.  They are such beautiful birds who I only see a few times a year.

There are also the piliated woodpeckers.  I usually hear them not see them.  Their wild cackle is unmistakable and when I am lucky I actually spot one with its large long red crown.  It is such an exotic looking bird over a foot long.  I never forgot the first one I spotted outside my house.  I had to run into the house to grab my binoculars to get a good look at it.  It was over a hundred feet away perched on a stump.  I absolutely love birds.  I have all my life.  I guess you got that idea.

It is so easy to view the current events occurring in the world and feel completely helpless.  You really have to back down and look at your life and your personal sphere of influence.  Every day you have contact with people.  You never know for sure how your actions will impact the world.  That is beyond your scope.

To love the people God puts in your circle is no small thing.  It might send small shock waves throughout the universe.  It is true you can not predict the impact of your daily behavior but loving each person who is in your personal sphere of influence is no small thing.  The world could be transformed.  Yes, that might not happen but don’t linger there.  It will only defeat you.

Mother Teresa said do not do big things with love but small things with much love.  It is so easy to get lost in the big picture.  Look at the lives you are intertwined with:  your wife, your kids, your relatives, your friends even the strangers you pass every day.  You never know how a kind or encouraging word can just be the right medicine for some hurting person.

You can transform the world but first learn to do small things with much love.  Life is really composed of many small things.  The big things in life only come along once in a while.  So learn to reach out to each person with love, acceptance and respect.  As Jesus said, “Lose your life and you will find it.”  That does not sound like an exact quote but nevertheless reach out to others.  You will never be disappointed.

People who you know always fulfill your expectations:  believe the best in them and often that is what you get.  It is true you can not trust every person.  And you should not — for your own protection.  Nevertheless, have low expectations of others and often people will surprise you.  That is a paradox:  expect the best yet do not demand they meet your high standards and expectations.  Every person has their own timing and of course you usually do not have a pulse on their life for you only see them most of the time for minutes.  Even your mate has to be allowed his/her own timing and their own space.  People will let you down but you certainly know in your heart how many times you have failed others so learn to have low expectations and believe the best in others.  Surprises in your life will never cease.

Do Animals Have Souls

Author: siggy

This I have no doubt of.  Anyone, who has ever had a pet also has no doubt of this.  Each cat or dog (whatever pet you have had) has a distinct personality.  I am convinced God put pets in this world to teach us to love over and over:  for a simple reason we usually outlive them and then have to get a new pet and start all over loving them.

Any animal you spent any time around has a personality.  I am not an animal activist.  The Bible clearly says (in Genesis) we are to be good stewards of the resources He has given us.  We raise crops and beef and chickens and pigs and that is a short list to consume them.  I believe we should respect the animals we raise to eat.  That means they should be treated humanely and with respect.  And I did not mean to digress to this extent but I felt I had to say this so others reading would understand my position as much as I could in this small space.

Anyway each animal has a soul (and spirit).  The American Indian understood this well.  The buffalo was very important to them.  It supplied them with many things:  food, hide for their tents and that is just an incomplete list.  They treated the buffalo with respect as well as the rest of the environment.  They wanted to co-exist not conquer their environment as the American settler often did, chopping down whole tracts of trees with no regard how this practice would impact the rest of the environment.  The passenger pigeon, which at times were so numerous they actually blocked out the sun, have been extinct in the United States for many decades.  They were killed indiscriminately by the millions for food.  That is just two examples of not respecting your environment and the impact of unwise practices.

But to get back to animals.  Yes, each one has a soul and all you have to do is to love one dog to find that out (or another animal).  Then you would have no doubt of this.

The title of my “blurb” pretty much sums it up:  I need to flow with the moments I deem important.  The Greek language has a word for this and it presently escapes me.  ?Kronos.  Anyway, a whole day can escape from you or even greater chunks of time and the time simply dissolves in your memory banks.  The importance of the events that occur are far more important.  That is what you remember.  Time, on one level, is just a physical thing.  What impacts us in the moment is what we remember.  The greater the impact and importance of that moment the more it sticks in your mind.  And sometimes you have to review that moment in retrospect; for it was a turning point in your life but you were not aware of it right away.  The more centered your life the more likely you flow with the moments you deem important.  Just some observations on time.

Knowledge Is A Circle

Author: siggy

Everything is connected in this universe.  All you have to do is read the newspaper.  You will learn some history, current events, science–just about anything.  Read a story or an novel you certainly learn some sociology, psychology.  Coursework in school artificially defines the subject matter.  Read long enough everything comes together–every subject.  The world is interconnected and you really can’t isolate one little part of it.  Schools try.  You really can’t.  Everything is connected.  Knowledge is really a circle.

Time Is So Fleeting

Author: siggy

Spring is now four weeks minus one day away.  Now it is cold and snow still lingers on the ground.  Before we know it the first daffodils and primrose will come up and then the warm weather will start.  This cold will be a distant memory.  I am looking forward to picking the raspberries on my property and then my blackberries in July.  And before we know it autumn will come again and the cycle will start all over again.  Time seems to have two cycles at the same time.  One turns very slowly and the others speeds all the time.  Time is a vapor as the Bible says.

Our sex life is private although sometimes a couple may discuss it however obliquely, but one thing that will never be done is for one person to allow another to view their checkbook.  Why are our finances more sacred than our sex lives?  It is simple.  Our check registers reveal exactly how we are spending our money.  It reveals exactly where our values lie.  We don’t necessarily want to reveal to others how we are spending our money.  Every expenditure indicates what is really important to us.  That is why we might make passing references to our sex lives but never let another see our checkbooks.  As I said, our checkbooks are more sacred than our sex lives.

booksoldI have more than enough unread books and that does not include the steady stream of daily newspapers and magazines that come to my household.  Do I feel guilty I can not keep up with my reading, that I never read the complete newspaper from cover to cover?  Certainly not.  I am reminded of King Solomon’s words in the Bible and I am not sure I can quote that verbatim:  he says we can become weary of too much study.  I read what I most want to read.  I scan newspapers and magazines reading what most interests me.  I do not feel compelled to read every word.  That would be a trap and make reading onerous instead of the joy it is.  The words of Solomon written over 2,000 years ago have not changed.  In an era of instant communication one thing has not changed through the ages–the saturation point.  Each person can absorb so much information and then becomes sated.

Life is always a balancing act.  Reading is only one part of my life.  I need time to absorb and reflect on the significance of what I read and for that matter I need time to simply reflect periodically where I am going or have been.  That takes time and often quiet.  Reading is only one thing I do and is punctuated by empty spaces.  I never feel guilty I have not read enough or thoroughly enough.  It is all relative.  One has to live his life.  Ideas are only one thing.  Then one has to put into practice what he/she learns.  That is only possible if reflection takes place.  And that, of course, takes time.

Church is composed of people–other very flawed human beings.  The only thing a church can do is to demonstrate the love of God although it is not the church who does that.  It is really individuals who demonstrate love.  It is always done one on one.  Jesus taught his disciples one on one.  In fact He did more than that:  He transmitted love.  Your talk does not matter if love is not demonstrated in your life.  Truth is not enough.  Ultimately each person wants to be loved.  That is the only way one truly can find out about the all encompassing love of Jesus–not from the church but through individuals who chose to love the people God puts in front of them.  Thus, I hate religions who over and over claim to know the only way.  There is only one way you can find about the love of God–through contact with an individual who lets the love of God flow through his/her spirit and chooses to love the very flawed people who He puts in his way.  Love is the only thing that matters.  Forgiveness is embodied in love.  He died for you.  Only you.  And only another individual can transmit that to you.