This week there were many stories in the papers that caught my attention. I saved a few of them in hopes that I would have the time to blog about them before they went out to the recycle bin. So, here I sit typing furiously in hopes of getting these thoughts out into cyber space before 2008 begins. Although I seriously doubt that there will be much different happening in the way of news, politics and the like.
One of the first that got my ire up was an article, in a local paper, about Ohio getting tougher on social drinkers. This is really beginning to piss me off! Now, let me say that in no way do I condone going out and getting sloppy assed drunk and driving, but how can a few adults go out for dinner, have a couple glasses of wine and then get stopped at a sobriety check point and get nabbed for a DUI because Ohio keeps lowering the limit! All the while repeat offenders stay on the roads. Due to these check points they do not have to even witness any erratic driving and just because you may have had a few drinks with dinner, in a 4 hour or more time period, you will still blow, then you get popped. It is very unfair. The repeat offenders keep driving and the good citizens that just are out for dinner with friends are paying the price. It is making it difficult to even go to a restaurant or pub any longer. I for one am sick and tired of it. It has become an issue in the news recently because an older couple were out for dinner and he ended up getting popped, in a check point, and it cost him thousands of dollars and they took it too the papers are and are making a case out of it because they think that it is unfair. Good for them. MADD has great sway in our state, and much influence over politicians. I feel for those who have lost someone in a drunk driving incident, but why make it so hard for the average citizen who is just going to a local Applebees?
The next two articles were very good and came to us courtesy of; William McKenzie of the Dallas Morning News and David Ignatius of the Washington Post. Both of these articles were about religion and the presidency and politicians playing the Jesus card. The Post article, by Ignatius was a fascinating look at the letters of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson and their thoughts about religion. "Their letters", says Ignatius, " are a reminder that the founders were men of the Enlightenment-supreme rationalists who would have found the religiosity of much of our modern political life quite abhorrent." He goes on to say," It's not that these men did not have religious beliefs: They were, to their deaths, passionate seekers of truth. It's that their beliefs didn't fit into pious cubbyholes". He talks about how Jefferson, a deist, took a pair of scissors to the New Testament to create his Jefferson Bible, or The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth, which cut out the parts he regarded as supernatural or misinterpreted by the Gospel writers.
On November 4, 1816 Adams wrote; "We now have, it seems, a national Bible Society, to propagate King James's Bible through all nations. Would it not be better to apply these pious subscriptions to purify Christendom from the corruptions of Christianity than to propagate those corruptions in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America?" He concludes the article by saying that the Founders certainly believed in God, but for most, their faith was a deeply private matter as Jefferson put it in Jan. 11, 1817 letter about a subject "known to my God and myself alone." They found loud, public displays of religiosity a profanation of this inner and spiritual practice of religion. I think that after reading this article I am going to try and find this entire collection of letters to read. They sound absolutely fascinating!
If you can get a copy of the Dallas Morning News article it is also a good one. Here Mr. McKenzie talks about the current candidates trying to "out Jesus" one another!He states that each side tries to shape Jesus into the character that they most like; the The religious left morphs Jesus into a Democratic Liberal; the right shapes him into a Republican conservative.Says McKenzie, " At some level I don't fault them. They are trying to reassure the voters they share some of their values". Personally I wish that they were focus more on the things that are issues ,and that make a larger impact on the U.S. and world ,rather than who attends which church and can sing a few hymns.
Now, after many weeks of 12 hour days, aching knees and a slight shoulder injury, I have decided to leave EMS work. I took a small promotion at the coffee mega-giant and am taking more hours there, that will secure my health benefits, and mean more money. I loved and enjoyed the EMS work, but have to admit, after 8 months, that it really is for the very young and makes some serious demands on your body. I am okay with this. It has taken me several years, and much thought, pondering and reading, to realize that it is okay to re-invent yourself. To become something or someone new every so often. It is amazing how much better I have slept in the last few nights since I made me decision and sent in my resignation letter. The knowledge I have gained will benefit my family for the rest of my life, not tom mention those that I work with. My certification from the state is good through 2010, so who knows what I may do in these years.
I am looking forward to the things that may come my way in 2008. Mentally I believe that I am prepared. I know that growth will always be an active part and I look towards this with great anticipation. I made a small card and carry it in my pocket daily. It came from an excellent article on the Living Life Fully web site. It is just 4 little statements:
1. Focus on today only
2. I get to choose how today will go.
3. Positive attitude No matter what happens.
4. Live out & act on my priorities.
I take control. I don't leave it to anyone else or outside forces. I may live with a family, but ultimately it is all up to me how my life is affected and how I affect the lives of others. I wish you all a very happy & healthy & productive 2008. I hope that you can focus on your life, priorities and the changes that you wish to and need to make in the coming year.