Insidious

Elephant in the Room Editorial

The Root of Political Correctness

Products, services and ideas sell when there is a need, or demand, for them.  A common sales technique is to help people realize that they have a need for the product, to show folks how this offer will help them.  In other words, the seller wants to ‘create a need’ for whatever they are peddling.  This happens in manufacturing, but also in politics and government.

A political candidate has to show people why they need him/her for their leader. In so doing, they can create a loyal following.  The populace will be supportive because they believe that the politician will be able to solve their pertinent, sometimes desperate problems.

This is nothing new. In fact, much of what I see on social media is  just that, politicians creating a fictitious void that needs to be filled.  It is seen in articles and posts defending the cause of breast feeders, Downs syndrome folks, bullied kids, over weight (to some) women, working woman, minorities, outsiders, fringe groups etc. Thus, giving the impression that these specialty groups and activities must be saved.  Kind of like a save the seals campaign and many are blindly falling for it.

To me, this seemingly well-meaning and compassionate movement, is self-righteous, patronizing, demeaning and judgmental, as if everyone in the nation, except the writers, are racist, prudish and ignorant.  They imply that most Americans are bigoted haters. Well, we are not.

I have lived and worked around thousands of Americans, from multiple races, for over 50 years and met less than 5 racist people.  In fact, I see mixed races working, living and worshiping together everywhere I go, even here in the south.  Everyone gets along quite well.

Most people don’t care if you breast feed in public. Come on! Just be modest about it. It is common courtesy.  Americans care for children with disabilities and needs. We welcome and embrace law abiding foreigners.

This idea of unfairness and mistreatment as a major problem that our communities and government needs to solve is false. Can we do more to love and care? Yes. Have there been gross injustices? Yes, but the generalization is way off track. And it is off track intentionally.

There are some areas of the country where people are sorely under educated and unrefined (I blame government run schools for that) and you have insensitive, uncaring, even evil, people in every populace, but this is not the majority. We are largely a group of people who care deeply and give sacrificially.

While it is honorable to trumpet the cause of the needy and weak, honor the heroes and treat each other with respect, the tone of the articles that I have seen, run off base of these cherished virtues, demanding action, laws and protection for their cause, as if there is an onslaught that needs defending against.  This is an illusion and it leads to unnecessary regulations and broad sweeps of power that confuses our justice system, rather than improving it, and hinders our cherished American generosity, lifestyle and freedoms, rather than protecting them. It is polarizing our nation, pitting us against each other. Our common enemy is not our fellow Americans.

Why is this happening? Because pharisaical, power seeking politicians are spawning, propagating, even inciting, through media and through public and private education, this blown out of proportion thinking to develop a submissive following that willingly grant them the power to solve the perceived problems, all the while letting the constituency believe that they are fulfilling some kind of altruistic purpose.  It is the same old sales game and a potentially dangerous one.

Sue Davies

October 24, 2016

 

 

Have You Noticed?

We live in a day when anyone can have their own broadcasting platform. Everyone is a star with a fan base. The armchair critic has an electronic megaphone, as does every trumpeter of a cause, every social activist, sports enthusiast and writer. Artists have online galleries. Every Christian has a pulpit. Even babies and children are at risk of infamy. It seems every aspect on earth has been brought to this one focal point: social media.

On Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the commoner, the mega star, the politician, the rich, the poor, the entrepreneur and the scammer are on level playing field. People, with something to say, or sell, are no longer at the mercy of sponsors, publishers or advertisers. A musician doesn’t have to wait for a big break to become known. One viral video makes you an overnight celebrity. And many times it is by accident. Remember the older couple who unintentionally recorded themselves as they were learning to navigate their laptop? They were cute, weren’t they? In addition, even animals can have their own stardom.

Some have abused the tool. Some with good intentions misuse it. I have. Some promote fear, hate, and control. Many have a personal agenda. Some enjoy broadcasting items that uplift, educate and inspire…me. Some just utilize for casual personal use and hobby. In fact, some think it should only be used for personal interest, “Keep your political and spiritual thoughts to yourself,”, they say.

It has taken a while for the populous to learn about, and adapt to, this new reality of world connectedness. Every institution has been affected and must adjust to survive and thrive in the new climate. How does a higher learning facility with a large physical campus stay relevant in the wake of so many online options? Banks, industry….retail has probably been the most affected. It affects our political climate. Even churches are staining under the shift. And we all know that customer service has taken a dive.

As a practicality, I have all my news, interests, work and personal together on my FB page so that I can get it all in one shot! This works great for me; however, when posting from the same page, I often forget that I have a wider audience. After years of trying to categorize my audience, thru the precarious Facebook settings, I finally just set it all to public (there was a personal and spiritual reason for this).  Any private correspondence with my close circle can be done in a different venue. Then again, in this age, what is privacy?

This emerging frontline of social networking has created a need for new etiquette and professional ethics. News outlets, with their drive to put out as much work as possible, have resorted to posting anything that gets attention. Some have at their social media helm, a staffer who forgets that they are not on their personal page, posting unprofessional or irrelevant articles. We still expect dependable, reliable and accurate reporting, but news outlets are not operating that way anymore. It seems most are driven by their own personal agenda. Ideologies are being delineated. Lines of thought are being refined and drawn tighter. A virtual Tower of Babel is being constructed, but that is the subject of another article.  The old methods of acceptable hours to contact someone have gone by the way, as have established methods of greeting, inviting, RSVPing and thanking. Even serious business transactions take place on social media.

So what does all this mean? What is the big picture perspective and how does it apply to our everyday lives? Well, for us middle age and older Americans, life as we know it has changed forever. We forget that the younger generation has only known this version of reality. We may have failed to pass on our cherished ways and are now bemoaning our losses.

Look back at our grandparents. Mine were born at turn of 20th century. They barely had cars let alone super highways. This was the beginning, along with air flight and camera technology, of a dramatic and dynamic shift in the American panorama. A person born just after the turn of century would be around 100 years old at the time of this writing (2016). Think of what changes they have seen over their lifetime. I don’t know how the old ones are not walking around in a continuous shock and amazement at the modern technology. I know I am.

Do you think, back in that day, that some resisted that change? I know someone who wrote a thesis on the old western cowboys that failed to adapt to the advance of western settlement. How do you adjust from freely herding cattle across the continent to encountering barb wire, roads and towns? It isn’t just a job or lifestyle. It is a whole mindset, a completely different paradigm. The changes were enough to cause some to lose their minds. We sometimes forget that it is the same for us. We only see the subtle day to day changes without stopping to see how far we have come.

That is until that barbed wire slaps us in the face, as when we call our bank to get a simple, two second question answered, and instead, get a hold of a person halfway around the world that doesn’t understand or care what we need. (Why do these calls now take at least 30 minutes and end with me wanting to throw my phone through a plate glass window?!)

As with any social wave, many ignore, shun or even scoff the movement. I remember this happening when home telephone answering machines came out. To some, they were a rude insult, rather than simply a time saving tool. Even today, in the era of smart phones, some, at the frustration of family and associates who strive to connect with them, are still holding an iron grip to their flip phones, if they have them at all. The reality is that some people live for change, while some go kicking and screaming.

So much has changed just in the 20 years since my children were babies. Cell phones and email were virtually unknown. It required long distance phone charges to speak to far away family and friends. We had the heavy table top monitor and tower PC. Pictures had to be developed and mailed. Take a minute to contrast that to today’s continuous global connection. I have noticed that some of the 20-somethings are so burned out on this continuous contact that they just tune out, not responding to calls, texts or otherwise. Can you blame them? They have never known life without this. I cannot even wrap my head around that. I had corded phones and a handful of very child friendly local tv stations.

For us born in America in the 60s and earlier, these changes are exciting, but there are very dear aspects of our childhood, heritage and lifestyle that we have lost. They are gone and we are struggling with the weight of the losses. They come in the form of lost childhood innocence,safe neighborhoods, the sight and sound of children playing in the streets and yards, sense of safety, free enterprise, close family proximity, freedom of speech, customer loyalty, job security, honorable and loyal business dealings etc.

Friends, we are never going back. And I am not just referring to the internet and social media. All of the above is symptomatic of a drastic shift in life in America and worldwide. There are more adjustments to come. “The face of America is about to change.”  Many are wondering, even worried, if the changes will be negative or positive.  Well, the reality is both, but much of what we experience is dependent on us.

So, how do we approach this new frontier? Will we fade to irrelevance and indifference, not wanting to bother to learn and adapt, making do with the dated dinosaurs of our past? Are we afraid? Hoping we can hide away from the fray that threatens the security of our old identity? Will we be ignorant, so burdened by the everyday demand of the changes, that we are blind to the bigger picture? May I suggest that we be willing to jump in the game with both feet? Why not engage and embrace this new era? What choice do we have?

The best we can do is to first take a step back to grasp the big picture, to seek God for personal vision as to how we fit in to this new reality, look to understand how it will affect the thinking of our children and grandchildren and formulate a plan to wisely use this voice, this global access, to best affect our families and our communities for the next few generations. Then run with it.

Sue Davies

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Paragraphs To Success

A simple metaphor

I often use leave-in conditioner on my hair.   As I comb thru the tangles, the comb gets stuck on knots, so, rather than yanking on the comb and tearing up my hair, I pull the comb out and start back at the top of my scalp. Thanks to the conditioner, each time I pull the comb thru it goes a little farther before getting stopped on a knot.  Eventually, I can run the comb all the way from the scalp to the ends of my long hair. By this ethod, I overcome the challenges and save myself a lot of pain.

Do you see where I am going with this? In life, I have an option to try to work out problems on my own which can be painful and difficult.  I can tear through problems impatiently and recklessly, causing destruction.  Other times, I can try and try again only to get stopped by seemingly unsolvable complications. However, there is another option. I can, when presented by challenges, take a step back, infuse the Precious Oil of the Holy Spirit, through prayer for wisdom and help, and continue to make attempts to solve the problem.  Each time, because of the lubricating effect of the Spirit, I progress a little closer to the solution until at last the obstacle is overcome.

Sue Clark

What do you expect?

Have you been side-swiped by reality? Blind-sided by your unrealistic expectations?  I have, but I like to think that my life’s experiences have tempered those ‘all or nothing’ characteristics that I used to retain. Being an eternal optimist, I have had to learn that reality never lines up with my perfect imagination. Does that mean I should stop trying? No.  As one pastor said, “I would rather aim high and miss than aim low and make it.”  On the way to success, we will encounter failure.  It is all part of the journey.

We live in a fallen world, after all.  Storms will come. It is simply poor thinking to expect things to be without problems or changes.  As we mature, we learn problem solving and flexibility.   I remember a friend’s mother saying, to us teens, that life is all about problem solving.  I didn’t understand her words and they gave me pause.  I have always remembered them.

We will find this to be true in all we attempt, whether school, marriage, parenting, career etc. “No relationship is free of disappointment. No institution is totally free of corruption. No location is free of difficulty. No moment in our lives exists untouched by the fall.” (http://paultrippministries.blogspot.com/2008/02/realistic-expectations_29.html)

I have learned the valuable marriage principle called the 80/20 rule, which states that many people, though getting 80% of what they want out of their marriage, spend their time focusing on the 20% that they are not happy with, thereby, missing the pleasure of a complimentary union.

This concept is not isolated to marriage and has been expressed in other idioms.  “Focus on what you do have, and not on what you don’t have.”; “Count your blessings.”; “You don’t know what you’ve got until it is gone.”; “The grass is always greener on the other side.”;  “A bird in hand is worth two in a bush.” etc., all sage reminders to keep our priorities straight.

Disappointments in the workplace may seem to be  major roadblocks to our goals and aspirations.  Do you know any bible examples?  Joseph, the great-grandson of Abraham, was a vibrant and influential person who maintained his character, and faith in God, while experiencing a lifetime of unexpected detours including family that betrayed him, unacclaimed talents and associates who lied about him.

More troubling, many times, than the weaknesses of our spouses, family and associates are the inconsistencies we see in ourselves.  We are imperfect. We let ourselves and others down. “In reality, we’re all in need of daily rescuing, forgiving, and empowering grace. We need that grace because none of us is free from the presence and power of sin. This means that, moment by moment, we need to be rescued from us!” (http://paultrippministries.blogspot.com/2008/02/realistic-expectations_29.html)

So what we are really talking about here is living free from the disappointment of unrealistic expectations.  We should foresee, and even embrace, problems and challenges.  The abundant life that God promises, to those who put their trust in him, is not about living a story book perfect life.   It is to love, and do, the best we can with what is in front of us.   The truth is we need to keep the right perspective.  Sue Clark 11/20/13

 

I was reminded about this lesson, recently, as I watched someone undergo extreme frustration due to repeated set backs to their day’s goal. It seems they did not take into consideration that obstacles may arise. As unforeseen detours occurred and time ran short, rather than making the necessary adjustment to their expectations, they allowed anger to build. This is a common trap that we all have fallen into, allowing our peace and joy to be dissipated for no good reason.
Sue Clark 8/27/14

 

 

 

 

 

My Old House

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBgM5ZRzzjI

The House That Built Me- Miranda Lambert

(listen while you read)

This music video describes some  of how I felt, in 2012, when the Lord took me back to my two childhood homes in Ohio, and to my teenage home in New Jersey.  I had long wanted to bring my children to get a glimpse of their heritage, but the Lord let me know that this trip would be just him and I.  I had not been back to Ohio for almost 40 years. Wow. There is just something about connecting with your past self. There is a sense of mourning,  and a renewed sense of beginning. #Inspiration.

I lived in this first home until  I was three.  I have a surprising amount of memories from this home, considering I was less than three years old.  I remember our silver CHRISTmas tree with the red ornaments and color wheel.  I laugh when I think of our cat Linda (my first pet that I picked out for my 3rd birthday) climbing out of the station wagon window and walking around the outside of the car as we were driving out of the drive way, on moving day. Our Aunt and Uncle purchased the home so we were able to go back.

We lived in this second home until I was 10 years old. So many memories here.  Hide and seek in the back yard at night with flashlights, riding bikes, glow in the dark super ball fights in the basement in the dark, so much great food by mom, brothers working on vehicles in the  garage. So many family, friends and neighbors.

I lived in the last home, in Middletown, New Jersey until I was 19, then moved to Texas.  Most notable  from this era is our dog, Pepper.  All who were  around then remember Pepper and still reminisce about her to this day.

*These are recent pictures. I did not feel like digging for the ones from back in the day.  The first one has seen better days, but, hey, it has been 40 years. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for an amazing childhood. <3

 

1369 (8)1333 (3)28 borden rd

 

11-12-13 Hmmm…just noticed this, today.

So, this morning, I noticed that it was the numerically interesting  date of 11-12-13.  Then,  my daily reading happened to be in  Mathew 27 and 28 where Judas’ 30 pieces of silver were thrown to the ‘Potter’s Field’.  Later on, as I went to check my email, I noticed that Yahoo had today’s date  as trending.  When I clicked that link it took me to:

Zechariah 11:12-13 w

13New International Version (NIV)

12 I told them, “If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.” So they paid me thirty pieces of silver.

13 And the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the handsome price at which they valued me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them to the potter at the house of the Lord.

My simple point is that I have never noticed that these two scriptures were connected. I am sure there is plenty of significant  material on this subject, I just had not seen it before.   I will pursue the subject. I love that I can learn new stuff daily, even though I have read my bible for decades.

Also, gonna go see what else I can discover about 11-12-13!

“Keep seeking Truth”

Why the name SAO?

Why SAO (pronounced by saying the name of the letters)?

Well, several reasons…

For one, I tried a few others, but Hostgator did not have the other choices available.

SAO (pronounced ‘sow’, as in the English word pig) means ‘Saint’ in Portuguese.

More importantly, the letters S, A and O are the first letters of my children’s names, Samuel, Abigail and Olivia.

Aren’t they cute? That is an old picture.  They are grown, now, and I am very proud of them. ♥

And there you have it!