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Life’s Lunacies

Thought I’d share with you all three all-too-real follies I’ve witnessed lately displaying the length we humans will go to impress one another:

– The sedentary administrator who gives her Fit Bit to her son working on the floor of a large warehouse, so she can impress her coworkers with her 25,000 steps a day, after he returns it to her.

– The young brokerage firm trader who brings his family finances to work and labors on them after hours in his office so he can appear to be always staying and working late.

– The CPA who photoshopped her face over that of a skier who was plunging down Winter Park’s toughest black diamond slope.  She then hung this action shot casually in her office – ironically, beneath her framed diploma.

Ah, vanity.

– Bart

Guatamala Visit to CETNA School

                                        

Hope happiness and song rise from the students of the CETNA School, Parramos Guatemala. Lorraine and I joined our Nassau Presbyterian Church mission team to visit the school to which we’ve been contributing – where students and faculty exuberantly welcomed us with a parade of home made flags and dances.   While outside these walls lies a reality of harsh relentless labor and subsistence economics, within springs an oasis of joy and aspiration.  We painted the building & repaired with the parents; worked and played with the students, while our three doctors set up a clinic.  The takeaway: delight in each day and happiness of spirit do not require a land of plenty.

Antigua Guatemala.  Mauela planted, grew, and picked the cotton, spun it into theads, grew and harvested the herbal dyes, colored each of the bright strands you see, then on her backstrap loom she weaves a magnificent and highly artistic cloth.  Imagine the pride. Her products are sold at the local women’s cooperative which we visited on our Nassau Church mission trip to the CETNA school with whom we partner.  Are our own lives to

Lorraine’s camera takes a bead on a shy parrot in the forest surrounding the Fuego Volcano, while Bart runs off to swim in the nearby lake.

 

My Pride is Showing

Americans are not a resigned people.  We have never gone sheepishly into that dark pit of oppression – be it monarchy, corptocracy, or any other thug.  Those brave individuals who took that dangerous step of cutting ties with the empire of England, were, I believe, very much like the best of us today.

On July 4th, as they set pen to Thomas Jefferson’s masterful declaration of Independence, each one was painfully aware of his signature’s significance.  Yes, they were proclaiming their beliefs in their compatriots in this land – and the people of all lands.  Yet they also realized the personal sacrifice involved.  This paper proclaimed their willingness to immerse themselves in an undeniable declaration of war.  Their families, their lands, their holdings would all come under attack, and life as they knew it would never be the same.  And they signed it boldly all the same.  And the war did come.   It was a war that marked this people’s – this new nation’s – zero tolerance of oppression.  It demonstrated to a weary world their instant willingness to gather and kick back against those who would trample their freedoms for the benefit of English merchant princes.

This day, as in every age, oppressors rise up among us.  There seems to be never any shortage of conniving people who place personal enrichment over the common good.  And once more, my fellows in this America take aim at the oppressors and fight the injustices as they see them arise.  So on this July 4, 2018, I am grateful to be an American, grateful for the freedoms that were won for me by our nation’s founders, and ever after.

But much more, I cannot but help feel a powerful surge of pride to be part of those Americans of today who, as we speak, are continuing to set their pens to Mr. Jefferson’s Declaration.  No, not all Americans join this fight.  Even during the American Revolution, nearly two thirds of colonials remained loyal to the British monarch.

Yet by the millions Americans continue to set their muscle, time and resources in the fight to sustain a just society.  Their methods and causes are numerous.  You can find them everywhere.  Our zero tolerance for oppressors continues.  And that, my compatriots, makes my heart soar with hope on this Independence Day. 

– Bart Jackson

 

 

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