This little post will not be well received. So be it. Down through the eons of time, empires, dynasties and eminent civilizations, have achieved great heights, and then come down like the salmon leaves of autumn, brought low by the same troublesome human nature that has hobbled mankind since Cain cudgeled Abel. Learned philosophers and renowned historians have devoted their lives to the study of these events, producing ponderous, voluminous anthologies, which grace the shelves of celebrated centers of higher learning all over the world. And today, when similar behavior threatens our own aspiring metropolis, we scratch our heads and wring our hands and wonder what the hell happened. I feel tremendous empathy for people as individuals. As a species, I think we’re highly overrated. Some of you are aware of the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, and all variety of other revolutions, huge revolutions, small revolutions and tiny little revolutions which were never even recorded, because nobody survived to tell the tale. What caused all these catastrophes? The answer is simple: greed. It’s a common and too often repeated cycle. A small percentage of people accumulate unimaginable wealth, and this allows them to make the rules. Not surprisingly, they make more rules which allow them to accumulate more wealth. Eventually these people have accumulated most of the wealth and as a result they make most of the rules. This cycle reaches a point where these people are so embarrassed by their wealth that they support social programs in order to keep other less fortunate people from starving. This downward spiral continues and eventually the wealthy and privileged classes reconcile themselves to their inexcusable wealth, and begin doing away with social programs in order to reduce their own taxes. This cycle continues to spiral out of control until eventually the impoverished masses take desperate steps in order to feed their starving children, heads roll and rivers of blood run through the streets. In our society today, we hold elections. During these elections people have a choice. They can vote for people who are aware of these devastating cycles and thus strive to prevent them, or they can vote for others whose campaigns are funded by the privileged class, who sit behind their mahogany desks, on their ever expanding posteriors, and lay others off, in order to cushion their own luxurious retirement. Soon you will have your opportunity to vote. Give this cycle some thought and vote accordingly. SC
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
October passes quietly in a flourish of pastels.
Its brightest days are as special as they are brief.
Its touch is deep and long-lasting,
And its passing leaves us, as it does all of nature,
Grey, exposed and vulnerable.
When November comes the trees have dropped their leaves;
The sun is sluggish with the cold and rides atop a sullen mist,
Just above the oak tops, to the south.
The breezes, like rowdy children, toss the leaves in each other’s faces.
The rustling and the rattling is their laughter,
And the memory of their laughter is our joy.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
This is almost certain to get me in trouble. So be it. In a few months, Lord willing, I’m going to turn 63. I’m going to share with you one of the most important things I’ve learned over the last 63 years. If you love someone, tell them. I’m not talking about being promiscuous, and I’m not suggesting you be unfaithful to your spouse. I’m just talking about good, wholesome, Christian compassion. I’m talking about being demonstratively compassionate, just like Christ suggests. In JOHN, chapter 15, Christ says, “9“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” I suggest you highlight this scripture and practice it always, regardless of the consequences. And if you love someone, tell them. They deserve to know. SC
Monday, September 15, 2014
Once again the dogwoods are the early harbingers of approaching autumn. Soon the sassafras and sumac will contribute their pastel hues of orange and scarlet. Once again we anticipate the taste of ripe persimmons, the appearance of the ubiquitous pumpkin, the plaintive calls of southbound geese, and all the traditional trappings of harvest. Despite all these pleasant expectations, the close of summer and approach of fall invariably result in a feeling of melancholy for me. As a young man I tended to envision time as a vast, unlimited resource; time it seemed was an inexhaustible sea. Now in the autumn of my life, each hour is increasingly precious, and I thirst for each minute as it drips away from an alarmingly finite pool. It seems now a natural tendency to weigh the substantial pile of spent autumns which I find behind me, against the increasingly dwindling weight of those that I might reasonably expect to find ahead. Still, fall is traditionally and unquestionably a time of thanksgiving and celebration. We take stock of a year rapidly waning; brace ourselves against winter’s icy chill, thank God for our many blessings during the innocuous months now behind, and pray with some trepidation that our careful preparations thus far will prove sufficient to see us through to spring. In the meantime, prepare the table, cherish friends, and enjoy the incomprehensible feast of life. SC