Saturday, June 26, 2010

Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

We frequently hear celebrities on the "bandwagon" about some cause or the other.  They typically are poorly informed about their subject but believe themselves to be experts.  The article linked below is an exception.

I appreciate the fact that Costner put up $21 million of his own money to develop the system.  I wish him well as it is deployed.  It is a worthy use of some of that box-office cash he has raked in.

Now, if we could just get a few more of them investing their money intelligently instead of putting it in the hands of a bunch of lawyers under the guise of a benevolent charity such as HSUS (which is probably the worst wolf in sheep's clothing out there in my opinion).  They play on the heartstrings of gullible people with their appeal for money using images of pitiful dogs and cats that have been mistreated.  Less than 1% of their $100 million warchest has been spent on rescue efforts.  In fact, their stated goal is to eliminate animal agriculture in the United States.  They use deceptive practices to raise that money.  It mostly goes to advertising, lobbyists and for huge salaries for a handful of individuals.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Difference in Viewpoints

"Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude." __ Alexis de Tocqueville

Therein lies the difference between Democrats and Republicans of today.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Craving Relevance

Blogging is often an expression of one's desire for relevance -- to be heard -- to believe that one's opinion has value.  It can be a record of events in one's life that says, "I was here!"  It can be an expression of views on politics, religion or other subjects that says, "Look at me, I have something to say!"

Everyone wants to have "followers" of their blog.  Otherwise, all blogs would be set to private.  That is also an indicator that bloggers want others to see their opinion.

Bloggers like to respond to comments.  Instead of meaningful dialogue with one's friends -- or, perhaps it is not meaningful dialogue with one's friends -- the commentary dialgue on a blog offers a degree of anonymity that allows the expression of opinions that might not otherwise be voiced for fear that others would look down on one's views.  Maybe that is why so few truly engage in meaningful dialogue on a face-to-face basis.  Comments also allow the freedom to be rude, mean or denigrating to other commentors -- at least within the "rules" allowed by each individual blog owner.  Venting is a therapeutic release, I suppose.

Why is there such a craving for relevance? -- to be noticed?  -- to believe that one's thoughts and opinions have value?  Is it part of the survival mechanism of our species?  Sounds a bit anti-survival to me.  After all, it is the one out front waving the flag that tends to get shot first.  For most species survival means blending into the background and not being seen -- except during courtship.

Are we courting others?  Seeking followers?  Why are so many people uncomfortable as part of the "herd"?  There is safety in the herd.  Yet, we risk exposure by allowing ourselves to become vulnerable to others through what we write in our blogs.

It reminds me of a little child who craves the attention of a parent.  "Look at me!" is the cry -- just before the bicycle crashes and the knee is skinned.  Is it a remnant of the infant's need for care because it is helpless to care for itself?

Just suppose that the craving for relevance is part of our design.  Suppose that our physical life is in fact a period of gestation for our spirit.  We crave relevance because we are made for a purpose.  If we don't know our purpose, we are programmed to seek it.

Only through God is our purpose revealed.  Until we seek Him we cannot find the purpose for which he made us.  Without Him we continually seek and strive for "success" or "recognition" that says, "I'm relevant."  What we truly need is to realize that we ARE relevant to God.  He has called us to Himself.  He justified us through His sacrifice.  He gives us purpose when we submit to Him.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life." __ John 3:16