Posts tagged: future

The Gift of Memory

By , November 26, 2013 5:31 am

While most of us are hurrying around to get ready for the great feast of thanksgiving, I would like to raise a few points for your consideration that really call for serious, in depth gratitude. I’ll mention two today- the gift of memory and the gift of imagination.

Think about it. Did you see your husband or son or daughter come home from Iraq or Afganistan? You were at the airport, and you saw him several hundred yards away. What an explosive, joyful experience! You had it then, but if you direct your memory toward that event, you can relive it again. Memory enables us to reach back to all that is beautiful and enjoyable, and in a very real sense, relive it. Recreate it. Celebrate it! What a gift!

Memory, of course, can have its down side. We have all experienced pain and no one wants to “recreate” pain. but the downside of memory is minor compared to this gift’s ability to extend joy and pleasure in our lives.

Another comparable gift, and I’ll refer to it later on, is the gift of imagination. Our brain and our mind work together in harmony, giving us the power to look into the future, and to plan on what we are going to do, how we are going to do it, and project the ramifications of this awesome faculty.

Lets take both gifts together. You’re seated at the Thanksgiving table, and without moving from your chair, you can go back to the time when your first grandchild was born beautiful and healthy. At the same time, you can look into the future, and prepare for it so that as the events unfold in your life, you can handle it as effectively as possible. These two gifts together give us a capacity for living that extraordinarily expands the moment. The moment is awesomely important, but it has meaning only in the context of yesterday and tomorrow.

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A Tragic Lack of Vision

By , February 13, 2012 5:27 am

Like any responsible citizen, I try to follow developments in both Austin and Washington, D.C. Our elected officials have tremendous power over our lives. We don’t always see it on a day-by-day basis but if you watch the situation long enough, you can see that the decisions made at the state and national levels have important effects on all of us.

Shouldn’t we be grateful about the fact that in both capitals the majority of those who control the purse strings are terribly worried about the future of our children and our grandchildren? “We must protect them from debt. We must guarantee their future. We must make sure that they will have a better life than we did.” All commendable goals.

The key to achieving those goals is employment and employment is tied in with education, education, education. While those lawmakers fret constantly and rightly about indebtedness, all over this country they have taken an axe to the education budgets with a vengeance. The majority of American school kids have not been competing effectively against their counterparts in other developed countries. That current fact is regrettable but will worsen yet more if our educational standards continue to slide in the wrong direction.

According to the Project on Student Debt, 2010 college graduates – 9.1% of whom are unemployed – owe an average of $25,250. The unemployment rate of those who end their education at high school is twice that of college graduates. Shouldn’t these facts frighten us as a nation?

Who is thinking?

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Acknowledging God’s Gifts

By , January 12, 2012 4:18 am

What a wonderful thing it is to be a human being. Some of us live in very difficult circumstances. All of us suffer to one degree or another in this life. Every one of us has a degree of hope that things will get better and that ultimately we will achieve happiness. That is an innate desire and it is placed within us by our Creator.

As we journey towards our goals, we need to endeavor to be conscious of the wonderful gifts that we have today, each one of us in our own individual lives. They vary from person to person but the gifts are there. Those gifts do not blot out or eliminate the suffering we experience, especially unjust suffering. They do point the way forward and upward. One of the greatest gifts that each human being has is the gift of imagination. With our minds, we can probe the future. Based on past experiences, we can surmise what might happen and what we have to do to make it happen or if it is a negative reality, to avoid it happening. It is our imagination, functioning through our intellect, that enables us to, in a very real sense, move ourselves into the future. No one has complete control over the future but to the extent that we are conscious of this gift, this special power that is in each one of us, to that extent we move forward into the future with confidence, hope and endurance.

Keep thinking, keep hoping, keep moving and, of course, let’s keep praying.

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Looking Back

By , December 29, 2011 5:23 am

As January 1st approaches, all of us will hear a great deal about New Year’s resolutions. Regretfully, most New Year’s resolutions are sincere failures (is that an oxymoron?). People know that they ought to look ahead and endeavor to live better lives, solve problems more easily, avoid unnecessary problems, etc., etc.

I think, however, that we would do a better job at making New Year’s resolutions if we would take great care in looking back over the year just past. Let’s look back before we look ahead.

Was it a successful year? Were we blessed with good health? Were we able to avoid financial loss? Are these things for which we ought to be very thankful and to ask God to allow them to continue in the future? The average person doesn’t have complete control over his or her finances and we don’t have complete control over our health. However, we can control how we share life with the people around us, in our families, in our neighborhoods and on the job. Did I hurt Uncle Bill’s feelings last year? Did I do enough for my neighbor, Mrs. McClendan, when she was sick? We should examine our conscience for the year, not in terms of sin but in terms of positive, good acts. We should ask ourselves: Are we generous people? Do we make decisions on the basis of what is good for the people with whom we are sharing life? Are we cursed by the vice of selfishness? Whether we are or not is up to us.

Let’s plan for the New Year but let’s don’t do it until we really take a good look back. Onward through the fog.

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