Thursday, March 30, 2017

A few things that come to mind as I take time off to focus on what's REALLY IMPORTANT TO ME

MY FINAL TWO ARTICLES!

     I've spent two weeks alone while Linda has been in California where her 98-year-old mother died. Being alone I became absorbed in current issues as never before as I spent too much time with CNN, MSNBC and - for balance - even a bit of Fox News.
     While one had to be pleased with the defeat of the "alleged" money-saving healthcare proposal of the Republican Party, the fiasco totally exposed the paucity of Trump's leadership style. It was obvious he knew nothing about healthcare, he is only a wheeler/dealer making deals. He has no plans for anything other than building a wall.
     The further tragedy is that his bravado postings and his lies distract us from important issues regarding our nation's welfare. He is indeed THE MASTER DISTRACTOR!  Certainly one of the first of these concerns the environment: an area where we had made so much progress during the Obama administration.
     So that's one of my two articles - briefly relating to the the environment. While of course there are national and worldwide projects underway, I continue to believe there are many things that individual citizens are overlooking in their daily lives where we can both show our concern and have an impact. Thus I was quite disappointed that in my (mostly youthful) audience I received but one response to my request for practical thoughts and ideas about how we might have an impact:

WHAT ARE THE TEN MOST IMPORTANT THINGS THE AVERAGE CITIZEN CAN DO EACH DAY TO HELP PRESERVE THE ENVIRONMENT?:

That person's response included:

1) Go vegan/vegetarian.
2) Donate to organizations which work in this field (https://www.outsideonline.com/2144781/6-best-environmental-groups-donate-better-world) (as frequently as possible)
3) Buy less. Not necessarily local, because that does not necessitate the product being greener. 
4) Fix what is broken.
5) Take public transport, if feasible. Saves you money too.
5) Spread the word - as you are!

While I realized that folks are busy, I had hopes that some might be challenged to think about this and make suggestions or have access to an environmental organization that has such a list. Indeed I began mine with these simple things:

1. Turn off all lights and appliances when not needed
2, Take showers rather than baths and then limit the time and number per week
3. Don't use more than one plastic bottle a week.
4. Walk to anything less than a mile away.
6. Flush the toilet only "when really necessary".
7. Use public transportation as much as possible,
8. Use both sides of paper whenever possible
9. And my pet peeve, that EVERYONE should work on: why is it that for over 40 years not a single state has been added to the list of states that have enacted a bottle deposit bill.  Coming from Michigan, I know how well it can work.  But it only works in the ten states that have it.  Having studied it for many years I know it is defeated only through lies of bottling companies.   Here is a topic that youth (high school debate societies) could engage in for study and meaningful dialogue.  Most enlightened countries have VERY strict and effective laws.  We have had a Container Recycling Institute advocating the passage of such laws since 1991 and only one state has been added (and one dropped).  It almost makes one think that they are there only to make us THINK we are doing something about it.  Surely here is a topic we can all do more about.  My concern is that we have become so enamored with protests and demonstrations that we fail to do the sustaining work that can make a difference.

But as I discontinue weekly rantings, I'll give my attention to preparing a major write-up on a topic of lifetime concern to me personally. It relates somewhat to the insightful book of Robert Putnam, "Bowling Alone". In it he calls attention to the fact that a great many of the social organizations that have unified our country have now been lost. And for me personally this includes the continuing decline of the effectiveness of the three institutions that have had the greatest impact on my life: the family, the public school and churches. Certainly the family and schools have received a great deal of attention. Yet while religion has increasingly played a predominant role in worldwide affairs, a major development in America has been a continuing decline in church attendance – particularly by young people. Indeed I have seen it in my own family and understand fully the rationale for this phenomenon. I hope that my personal observations will be of value to others in considering this topic: i believe that religion has played a major role in creating the problems of humankind, but i believe that it can provide a way to solve the problems.  I hope to enlarge on this by showing how my religious/philosophical concepts have changed in my 91 years so that religion can be seen in a new light as a place for adding meaning and purpose to ones life and increasing the opportunity for world peace.   

I'll continue my weekly DC culture blog except when I am on vacation. I'll use it and other media to tell when my last ranting/rave is completed.




6 comments:

  1. How unfortunate it is that just as I join your readership you discontinue the blog!

    Nonetheless, I think the focus of your last post is pertinent. After having checked out Putnam's work on your recommendation a few weeks ago, one question I would like you to address is: is it not the social change you so support that has deteriorated these three key institutions?

    In my opinion, the internet, too, has been a polarizing force. Sometimes, I feel like we are creating a Tower of Babel.

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    1. What a thoughtful response! How true it is and that is one of the reasons why I want to take time to produce a more thoughtful article on the role of the church/religion in this changing milieu. Indeed I love your "Tower of Babel" analogy.

      You have no idea how much I have valued your recent communications. There's no reason we can't continue them. We can either do it this way or in a more personal way you so desire/or if my grandson when he comes back from his weekend trip can give me a better suggestion. The lack of feedback is the one thing that has disappointed in my Reddit and blogging. I so want to continue learning from others. Perhaps you had a chance to read something about who and what I am. Can you share something about yourself with me?

      Dictated but not fully proofread because of lack of time.

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    2. Thank you for your heartening response! I will respond to you on Reddit as soon as I can, within the next 48 hours.

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    3. Great, I'll look forward to it.

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  2. So, Ron, when and where should we expect to read your thoughts? I think church can be a positive force within a community but I have also heard religion used to excuse bigotry.

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  3. Those are indeed some of the topics I'll have something to say about. Thanks for your interest. I'll make sure you hear about it.

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