If You Pray

FILE PHOTO: A demonstrator holds a sign, signifying hundreds of thousands of federal employees who won’t be receiving their paychecks as a result of the partial government shutdown, during a “Rally to End the Shutdown” in Washington, U.S., Jan. 10, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

I try so hard not to be divisively political. I know there are people who are very passionate about their political beliefs, and in keeping with my life’s goal of avoiding confrontation, my attitude toward most things political is a resounding Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

But if you pray, now is seriously the time to do it. I don’t care who you voted for in the last presidential election – we have to live with it and deal with it as a country. But there are people – probably right in your very neighborhood – who need your prayers. And so much more.

Who are these people? People who were relying on the paycheck they didn’t get yesterday to pay off Christmas. Families who burned through all the holiday abundance of delicious foods and now face bare pantries and no income. Children whose parents have to pay their spring baseball dues, senior class trips, field trips, and their dance class fees – something taken for granted in many households – when suddenly, the money isn’t there to cover it.

And what’s worse – these people are working. These people are going to be scraping together change from the sofa cushions to put gas in their cars to go to a job where they put in their 40 hours a week for NOTHING.

Pray, my friends. And rally. Just like the holiday season, where you generously donated non-perishable foods to food pantries – do it now. So many government workers – those who have been furloughed and those who show up every day to do their job – are going to need a resource to get food for their families. If you know someone who is facing going without the very basics through absolutely no fault of their own, take them a meal. Better yet, invite them to dinner, and pack up the leftovers for them to take home. It’s an hour where they can talk to someone about what’s going on for them and their families, plus they can maybe get two meals out of it for their kids.

You know how it’s such an awesome feeling to pay it forward in the Starbucks drive through line? Imagine how awesome you’ll feel helping someone cover their electric bill, their phone bill, a tuition payment for their children, or even helping towards rent or a mortgage.

I love that locally, many of the museums are giving federal employees free admission for them and their families, but what about other businesses? Half price meals? Discounted school supplies? How about donations of toilet paper, cleaning supplies, personal hygiene items?

We all come together in times of tragedy. We rallied on 9/11 to support the families. We rallied when Houston flooded in Hurricane Irma. Our nation’s people come together and we lift each other up and see each other through some of the worst times.

We are in some of the worst times. Gather together, my friends. And pray.

I Hope The Russians Love Their Children, Too

“There is no monopoly of common sense on either side of the political fence.” – Sting

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The song “Russians” by Sting, with its haunting music and bone chilling lyrics echoes in my head as I consider the decision today by President Obama to ask Congress for permission to proceed with military strikes against Syria.  I’m not a political person.  I don’t declare affiliation with any particular political party, because I believe if you support an opinion instead of a person, at some point, it might encourage us all to work together for the greater good as opposed to pushing a personal agenda.  So to be honest, I had to ask why we would even want to get involved in Syria.  I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be exceedingly angry at the leaders of the Syrian government for annihilating the innocent people of Syria.  Part of me thinks the people of Syria need to rise up against their sadistic government.  But mostly I think I was wondering what impact this would have on the people of the United States.

I feel like since 9/11, we have walked around with a target on our backs, daring another country to try to do what Osama bin Laden did to our people.  We swore we would continue to live our lives, defiant in the face of attack.  We were determined not to allow a terrorist attack to influence our daily lives, as it would give the appearance of caving to terrorist threats.

But this scares me.  What if someone has a weapon that hits that target we so truculently parade around wearing?  Have we reached a point where we are walking around in a Teflon bubble, and that makes us a challenge to people like the leaders of Syria, who will retaliate and do to our children what they did to their own?

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There are weapons too horrible to even discuss in the hands of all the wrong people.  I don’t know if it’s a good time to piss those people off.  And my thoughts are, seriously, since it’s been made very obvious that the Syrians don’t, I hope and pray that the Russians love their children enough to not want them hurt.  Like I don’t want mine hurt.

“What might save us, me and you, is if the Russians love their children, too.”

One World