Posts Tagged ‘nature’

Pulling Together

June 30, 2010


Pulling Together

Are we in for a year of discontent and strikes? I hope not. “Not fair. Not playing. Go play with your own busted ball, this one is mine.”
No matter who caused it, or why the country’s financial deficit came into being, it is here and will stay, getting ever larger unless something is done about it. If someone owed thousands on one credit card, it seems ridiculous to keep getting more credit cards to pay the interest that continually forms month by month on each one until the whole pay packet is spoken for.
Oh yes, it is annoying if you never get into debt yourself, if you live on a modest income, look after what you have and never throw anything away, but we are in this mess together. It is even harder on those whose jobs are threatened, or who have not been able to get work since leaving full time education. And not all are blessed with the knowledge that they have a public sector pension to look forward to. As disclosed, many people are actually better off when they retire and quite a few can retire early and live in comfort.
Inevitably, we have a financially unequal society. But, the “Spend, now, pay later (with interest)” culture is what got us all into this mess.
So how is the debt to be paid? Hard decisions have to be made. We CAN live on less to preserve jobs. We don’t have to go abroad for holidays, throw out clothes, wear the latest fashion, eat nothing but ready meals, drink till we’re silly, spoil our children, turn Christmas into a squalid episode of indulgence.
Personal responsibility has eroded over the years. Time to think what WE can do for the Community, rather than sit back and grumble. Helping others brings great rewards. So does living simply. “Money isn’t everything.” “Enough is as good as a feast.” “The best things in life are free.” So I was brought up to believe.
Years ago, when some of my family worked in Africa with Mercy Ships, one of the boys asked his mum why the children there seemed to be happy — smiling and laughing. After all, they hadn’t got toys or anything else. Their food was simple and (in our eyes) monotonous.
Looking back to my childhood, everything was wonderfully simple. Sure life was hard at times, food was plain and only just enough, but we never went without. Simple toys and games like whip and top, marbles, skipping, balls, and hop-scotch, kept us fit and happy for hours. Would TV have made a difference? Yes, likely we would have been less fit and less sociable. No money needed for electronic games or mobile phones — they had not been invented. Perhaps it is time to rediscover simple pleasures?
I pity the rich who get everything they want.
Jesus said, “Consider the lilies of the field, they spin not neither do they weave. Yet Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”
Looking to the beauty around us and within people, doing our best for those in real need might just enrich us beyond our wildest dreams.

Beautiful women?

January 26, 2009

What Is Beauty?

Since learning about the work of Mercy Ships, especially the surgery they carry out to help victims of facial deformities (often life-threatening or seriously stigmatising) I find it even more difficult to accept the media and society’s view of what, or who, is beautiful. It is distressing that unnecessary and extravagant surgery is carried out in the West, indeed even encouraged, to make people more beautiful, according to the standards of society’s celebrity status, while millions starve or are denied the most basic of medical care.

Who decides what makes a woman beautiful? Why should anyone be made to feel ugly or unacceptable? Society has a lot to answer for. Media celebrities are no more than false gods unless their ‘beauty’ is of an inner nature. If the body is truly the Temple of God, then it must be beautiful in His sight, for it houses the fruit of the Spirit… love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. This quotation from Galatians, is surely THE definition of what makes any person beautiful.

 

Nature’s Sculpture – poem by Gladys Hobson:

Like a twisted log tossed on the beach

Each groove and knot forming nature’s sculpture.

If mind is open it can reach

A story true

Of life and death —

Crafted in lines bold and free

In hollows and grooves and swirls and knots:

A distorted body —

A soul tormented?

 

Or is the story nature tells

Far from what my eyes do see?

For beauty lies within the heart

And sings a different melody,

Those crafted grooves

That make me shudder

Were earned by life’s experience.

Each tells a story of its own

Yet builds into a perfect whole.

 

Again I look into the mirror

Unafraid of what I see;

For nature’s sculpture so defined

Is beauty of a different kind.

I am who I am —

Yes, this is me.