Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the tag “Opinion”

Casting Stones

OwlsIn these days it seems like EVERYTHING allows for the opportunity to cast judgement.  There are so many more ways that people can decide whether something is acceptable or not. And in a world where it seems everyone wants to be accepted, this can be crippling for many who are sensitive to the barrage of possible responses.

You cannot turn around without someone being critical of what you “meant” about something you may have said. Because things are forever text-ed into the www atmosphere, because we can twitter and post to our hearts content,…because the Internet allows everything to be put-out-there for all to see, and be reviewed over and over… it allows for scrutiny beyond anything I can recall in the past.

I mean, everyone has a camera in their pocket these days, and they can take still pictures or videos that can be interpreted out of context or maybe just show someone with their guard down. In turn that allows everyone to cast their judgement on it:  Is it funny, insulting, weird, profound, lewd, frightening or whatever?

Many people seem to enjoy casting judgement on things in other peoples lives. Quick to make armchair criticisms and then provide a conditional response.  There are “terms” to be settled after all… you must apologize for your behavior among friends since everyone else sees it. You must explain yourself. Make amends. Really?

In the end,  past generations seem to have been less subject to public scrutiny, allowing them the courtesy of making a mistake among friends, to say something they later regretted and have a short list to apologize to…  Like the Bible story, “casting the first stone” has taken new meaning. The speed of that “cast” is super fast and can allow hundreds, or thousands of others to virtually “pile on” in the process.

One consolation: It shows proof that as humans’ ……..NOBODY is perfect.

Be Thankful

ThankfulSo there are so many ways to say “thank you”. For some it may be a sincere hug. Are you a hugging person? Maybe not as personal for some, but perhaps a genuine handshake or some other physical way.

There are people who show their appreciation with special words of thanks, pointing out very directly how they feel. They may go out of their way to reach out and be sure someone knows what it means. There are others who send cards or notes, communication to make sure to be specific about what they felt and why they want to say thanks.

But there are some  people I have met that seem to have lost the art of saying thank you. They may nod or say “thank you” and smile, but they believe that are just trying to be polite. They really expect things to come to them, to be provided to them because they deserve it. Perhaps they think  “after all” they have struggled to get where they are, they may have even worked hard to be who they are. But really, it may not be sincere, it may be lost in the point of view.

My kids are adults now. And I hope that I have taught my kids what it means to be thankful. What it means when someone else does something for them. What it means to do things for others as well. Is it an art? Is there a science to it? Not sure that there is, it is just something that has to be recognized. It is a way of life that allows you to recall and  remember what others lives are like around you. It’s not a sign of weakness, it is not a sign of submission. It is the proof that you are in the place you need to be in humankind.

You can be the ingredient of the essence that is grace in action.

So simple and so complex at the same time. Thank you.

The Trust May Be Gone, But Keep the Faith

TrustRecalling a “time of trust” in our world, things have seemed to change.

In the old days we would believe sales people at our local stores, we would rely on news from the network TV newscaster to see a window to the world from a trusted person we let into our living room. Even more so , in the days gone by we would believe our politicians.

Were we naive in the old days? Very likely we were not worldly enough because our perspective was contained inside a smaller circle – local stores, one newspaper, 3 TV stations to choose from. Perhaps we were stronger by faith itself.

It seems like that has changed. Have we just learned our lessons over time and got smarter? Or likely we have gotten just more jaded?

We have lost faith in our politicians – ( in the US that really happened in the early 70’s with the Watergate scandal I think) I know many of us couldn’t imagine some of our past US Presidents being under the scrutiny they are today and coming out as unscathed as they had in the past. These days the news media, the social media has started with the premise of dis-trust. And in a matter of seconds the trust (or lack of it) shoots into the ether-web and becomes someone else’s  truth.

Today I couldn’t imagine taking an order to buy a high tech device or an appliance simply on the recommendation of the 20 yr old in the big-box store. That itself as led to the demise of so many of the retailers this past decade.

Today I couldn’t imagine just believing everything you read just because it was in-print  or accept the news – like back in the days when the US landed on the moon… Walter Cronkite said “that’s the way it is”. Yet it seems in some ways people still do believe way too much of what they read on Internet- listening to extremes from so many talking heads who have no perspective on facts or truth- then they even write books about it.

Then roll all of this  up this with our society’s ever decreasing attention span, and layer in the endless amount of choices we are exposed to – and throw that into the sea of anonymity. For many… top it off with the lack of spiritual faith- in-something- bigger leaves so many with no trust, faith or  foundation in the Truth. It has left way too many people as distrusting skeptics; with each other, with our leaders, with the information we are presented every day we seem to view the world as hopeless.  It is truly not,  we need to keep the faith!

Roll Call

Laughing WalrusWe do this thing from time to time in our family and with our closest friends.

It’s “roll call” time for blogger buddies. Checking in to see that everything is okay today and where your head is at.

So ROLL CALL!

Let’s have some fun.

3 Questions

  • Who is ” now playing”  on your digital music player (iPod) ?

Mine: Little Black Dress (Group from Dallas, TX) and Air Review (also from Dallas, TX) and The Album Leaf

  • What is the last movie you watched that you enjoyed and thought was worth the time it took to watch it?

Mine: Just finished watching Charade with Cary Grant/Audrey Hepburn (still holds up great for a movie from 1963)

  • Who wrote the last book you read, and what was it?

Mine: Under the Dome by Stephen King – long book but finally put aside the time to read it (1000+ pages).

YOUR TURN! Roll Call?

A Sink Full of Ducks

Sink full of Ducks

There is something happens occasionally that leaves me stunned. It is like a feast or famine thing. There seems to be those times of abundance of luck and then other times when you just can’t buy a “clue”… even if you have the money to do it.

If you think about it. When things are tough you may decide to fight for it. You work hard to get through the barriers. Your maneuver your way through adversity or criticism. There is a risk you can fail which makes things all that more sensitive along the way. And if you fail, you can question if you did all you could or you can get up and try again, knowing better if there is a next time. If you do well you appreciate the victory all that much more. And if there isn’t a next time, the best you can do is move on with the rest of your life- but you have that choice.

It may be harder with situations with an abundance of good fortune or luck.

Once you reach a situation where you have the good fortune of abundance it feels good… It may even be what some people call luck. You may start to think you don’t deserve it, and something sort of whispers in your head to watch out for the fall. But you most often you accept the path – it feels good!  But still there’s that lurking feeling  that something may by-pass your good fortune. But it can be a downfall I guess ” like a sink full of ducks“.

Everything is cute and wonderful and you got a fuzzy bunch of downy little ducklings. It makes you smile and chuckle and be happy. Friends and family “love” your brood of fortune. Then it hits you. What are you going to do with a sink full of ducklings? They are going to become needy. They are going to grow up to be a bunch of large ducks. They are not going to live in the sink. Get over it. You gotta find a place for them and your good fortune is now a problem with a dozen ways to work it out. But you have to.

Obviously ducks aren’t the issue really here.  It’s only an analogy. It seems that there are times really- when it is just wise to pay attention to your situation. When it is going well and there reasons to rejoice, enjoy it. Don’t play to your doubts. But recognize that you have something in your midst and you need to be aware… assess the possibilities, understand the pitfalls and be ready for the challenges ahead…. you know what I mean?

Hey- What would you do with a sink full of ducks?

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