Friendship

God gives us some choice in the friends we make, and this is fortunate, because we can then alter the environment which influences us.  If your aim is the stock market, you can choose friends who’ll be helpful in getting you an advisor or a job on Wall Street.  You can also choose friends who’ll help you grow into a great human being.

Of course there are limitations—you don’t choose your parents, your elementary and high school, your country, your neighborhood.  These are gifts.  Appreciate them.

We accrue much from our teachers and chance meetings too.  Listen to what the still, small voice within you says.  Make the most of it.

Change

We don’t take to change kindly. We’ve been fighting this President for about three years now, and he’s taken it like it comes with the job, like a trooper. We don’t like him expressing his innermost thoughts publicly (tweets) and we don’t like his past indiscretions. They have been publicized for all to see. He’s used to the way of money, and hasn’t developed a conscience of any proportion yet. We don’t know if such a change is now taking place inside of him. He’s certainly getting enough criticism and opprobrium. One thing is certain — his critics are being seen as small-minded and petty as only two thousand years ago. Call it the rage of the righteous.

Truth

There are some things about which it is better we don’t know the truth.  You think that I’d be better off if I were certain there were a God?  If I knew him, I’d  quake in my shoes; I’d be consumed by passions like fear, shyness, uncertainty.  If I knew the truth about some of my friends I’d drop them.  Conversely, if they knew the truth about me they’d avoid me.

Ignorance is bliss, sometimes.  But being ignorant can cost you your life, so go along with the truth you know.  Glory in the truth, but be glad you can handle it.

Depression

Buck up! You think it’s all bad, the weather, the economics, the friends, everything. Well, it’s just one of those things you have to learn about — a PhD won’t help. This, my friend, is a social civilization, and we solve many of our problems socially. Just because you pay him doesn’t mean a doctor is not part of your social environment. Just because the owner of Facebook is a millionaire doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use it. We interact. Evaluate. Socialize.

Summer Jobs

A teacher usually needs a summer job to make ends meet–a married teacher definitely. One of the jobs I had was teaching swimming as a camp counselor to a class of three-year-old boys.

Nathan was afraid of the water, and he put on his bathing suit reluctantly. I started off by teaching him to float, both face down and face up. Then came the crawl strokes, and learning to turn his head up so he could breathe. It could be made fun by letting him try to catch me as I evaded him on my legs in the hip-deep water. By the end of the summer he and the others were confident and at ease in the learning waters. Then came the wondrous day when he tried the deep water.

You sometime wonder what kind of memory you form on a child that young. When he swims later on in life, will he remember “Uncle Fred” who gave him his start?

Justice

 I was derided as a believer “in Santa Claus” for my faith when I was young.  Let me now weigh the results on my critic’s scale.  Of course, neither of us will possess anything, since you can’t take it with you.  But I’ll have lived among the children of God, making mostly loyal friends who didn’t count my possessions.  My wife remained true, my friends forgiving, and I had the spiritual (mental) rewards and consolations of faith when we both faced the adversities that come to all.

He, on the other hand, if he turned down all the comforts offered to those who sometimes say yes to faith, had the stress of achieving comforts the unbeliever must have.  He had the plethora of friends who are in it for gain, the friendship of those who didn’t care one dot for his welfare except for how it affected them.  If he lived his beliefs, he died alone.

What can I say but a prayer for his soul?

Subconsciously

We lose so much of life when we do things subconsciously, that is without appreciation or gratitude.  At noon today, I was eating some baby back ribs out of the refrigerator and some barbecue sauce.  Now Loretta had boiled those back ribs for two hours, and had bought us some special Jack Daniels barbecue sauce.  Eaten separately (as I might in a subconscious manner) they’d be pallid, unimpressive, but together, what a feast!  I mean even out of the refrigerator.

But life and many things therein are given to us, free.  So are the people who make it what it is.  But I know whom to thank – there’s first of all the author of it all (everything has a cause, right?) and then there’s Loretta.  Thanks, Loretta.