The SamuraiMarine

Thoughts, Philosophy, Life and Love

Month: September 2005

Is it Christian?

This is a article I originally posted on my yahoo account, but felt I needed to place it here as well.

Interesting thing happened to me a couple weeks ago, and it took me a while to generate a blog to it.

I made my usual act of a gentleman and opened the door for a woman and her husband. She smiled and said that that was a Christian thing for me to do for them. Without really even thinking about it, I responded with, “Well, you know how us Jews are, rude and obnoxious and all.”

Over my life, I have heard that comment more often than I like. It makes no sense. Are there really Christians (or any other religion for that matter) that honestly think that the act of being kind or polite is unique to THEM alone? If so, then that only tells me that they are sadly disillusioned.

I do things like open doors, complement people and help when I can because that is the person I was brought up to be. I have a very good mother, and I think she brought me up very well. How is this a trait that any religion feels it has a monopoly on? Do these people really categorize people this way, where somewhere in the back of the grey paste that makes up their brain, they think that only Christians are capable of acts of goodness? If so, what is in their file about Jews? Are we seen as money hoarding rats with horns? How about Islamics or Buddhists?

In closing, it is sad that we have done this to ourselves, and things, I fear, are only going to get worse. Take Islam, for example… Since 9/11 people have suddenly started grouping all Islamics in the same category… as radicals, when nothing could be further from the truth. I have known several Muslims in my life, and they are all great people. Would this woman I helped see, in the back of her mind, all Muslims as being “Ragheads with bombs taped to them”, as one of my more ‘enlightened’ acquaintances said once. Sadly, I am afraid she might.

Maybe the thing we need to do is, instead of teaching the differences between us, teach the similarities between us. Why we are all alike, not different. After all… in the dark we are all the same.

As I left the Carl’s Jr., I had the honor of holding the door open for her and her husband once again. She would not look at me, did not even ‘Thank you’, but her husband nodded at me, grinning. Wonder what the conversation was like at their table.

I will end this with two of my favorite quotes:

“Character is knowing the good,
loving the good and doing the good.”
— Thomas Lickona

“Character is what you are in the dark.”
— Rev. Dwight Moody

deEvolution of Friends and Friendship

It is funny.

You never really see it get away from you until the day you realize it is gone. The years seem like a cancer, some days. You are happily living day to day and then, suddenly you realize that somewhere, somehow, you lost twenty years… nothing to show for it, no prize awaiting you for winning the race, it just vanishes.

I recently discovered exactly what that means.

I am very picky about the friends I keep… so much so that I still have the same small, trusty group that I had in high school. I have not taken time to try and make more, and to be perfectly honest, I have not taken very good care to maintain those friends that I do have left.

People grow up, and grow away. This can be avoided most of the time, but it requires work… work that I have been remiss in doing. This leads me to an analogy of good friends being like a garden… they are something that needs to be tended to, and nurtured. If you do not, then the garden wilts and withers away. Likewise, friends, if neglected, drift away, and you lose them to time.

This I regret. MANY things I regret, but this more than others. I have, in my short life, lost friends to war, to disease and to happenstance, but the ones that hurt the most are the ones that I have lost to ignorance, to a controllable and preventable cause.

I really do not remember how I came upon the friendships I made in high school, or how those friends that are still around me have tolerated my personality for all these years. Though it has become apparent over the last year, that there are cracks and fissures forming, and they are more than likely irreparable. Unfortunately I no longer know how to repair these things.

Funny. Once I longed for times when I could waste days with friends, now I find that the longer I spend with them, the less we have in common.

If anyone is careless enough to stumble upon this meek attempt at a Blog, and reads this… then let me share one thought that you should carry with you to your dying day. Friendship is the penultimate achievement in your life. Jobs come and go, time passes, things can be replaced… but hold on to and charish friendship like your life depends on it, it should be forever. Otherwise, one day, you may not have the chance to recover it

It is certainly funny how time gets away from you.

 

U.S. Shuns Cuba’s offer of aid.

First off, let me start by saying: Yes, I understand the reason behind the Cuban embargo. I have family that is Cuban, and lived there during the events that led up to the embargo. But I think it is time we moved on.

Cuba extended an olive branch, of sorts, this last week, offering to ship doctors, medics, and medical supplies to help out in the states affected by Katrina. Our response??? None… We have, at the time of this rant, ignored their offer, while accepting offers from several other countries, including France.

Listen… This should not be about politcs, this is about need. They offered to help, and in an area that really needs it. At this point most of those affected by Katrina do not care if the personal offering them a hand is Democrat, Republican, Liberal or even Communist. This was a genuinely gracious offer on the part of the Cuban goverment.

The U.S. has stated that we are basing who we accept side from based on the need. These doctors that are being offered to us are trained in disaster conditions, they were the doctors that Cuba sent after last years Tsunami that killed so many and destroyed so much. They do know what they are doing.

Seriously… after almost half a century embargo, what would it hurt to open trade and eliminate the embargo? I understand that Cuba and Fidel are one of the last holdouts of Communism in the world, but has 45 years of closing them out changed anything? Does rejecting their help do anything more than hurt the people in need after the devistation that Katrina wrought?

Lets look at it another way. I do not care how much you hate your neighbors, if your house burns down, and they offer to help, you are probably not going to refuse.

Tragedy brings people together, and, in many cases, erases the lines of race and religion. That is the way this should be, and I am VERY disapoint for the way this admisitration has handled this… they had a chance to have a golden moment that would help break down this invisible wall that exists between the US and Cuba, but they flushed it right down the toilet.

To read more on this, please see these articles”
MSN Report
Reuters Report

Katrina’s other victims

While we are all coming together to help the victims of Katrina, lets not forget some of the smaller victims of this horrific storm.

They are important in the sense that they, unlike most of their human counterparts, are unable to adjust to the problems they are facing. They also do not understand what has happened, unlike humans. All they know is that their people are gone and they have no one to be with them.

There are the countless dogs, cats and various other animals that are being forced to remain behind because the rescue agencies are not able or not willing to help these extended family members stay with their people.

Here is a list of agencies that are there to help save, reunite or adopt out animals that have been left behind. PLEASE, if you can spare a few dollars, please do so. These organizations are every bit as important as the Red Cross and others that are doing such a wonderful job of helping not only the New Orleans victims, but all those affected by Katrina.

Also… If you have room in your heart and house, then you might consider the idea of adopting one of the many dogs or cats that no longer have people to return to… there are many of them, and they need someplace to call home.

It does not take much, just an open heart and whatever you can afford to spare.

Having two dogs and two cats, my heart goes out to the animals and their people that had to leave them behind.

ASPCA Disaster Relief
Hearts United for Animals
Noah’s Wish
The United States Humane Society
D.E.L.T.A. Rescue
Best Friends Animal Society
American Veterinary Medical Foundation
American Kennel Club
American Humane

Thank you, in advance for anything and everything you can do to help.

9/11 Anniversary

As we approach another anniversary of the attacks on the US, I would like you to give me some input.

Do you think that the United States is better today than it was on September 10th, 2001?

Have the attacks and the resulting “War Against Terror” made us a better Nation, or made the people within it better people?

Do you think that the “War Against Terror” is doing what it was supposed to, or do you thing that in the course of the last couple years we have lost our direction or purpose?

What are the feelings towards Muslims and Islam today, and how are they different than that of September 10th, 2001?

I am not trying to create arguments or fuel a fire, but I would like to get the opinion of others on this.

Welcome

Hi there…

This is my second attempt at a blog… I hope that you find some interesting reading here, though I want to warn you. When I go off on an issue, I do not make any attempt to hide my frustration or gloss things.

If you read something and I offend you, then you are offended… no apologies, that is just something you have to live with. Comment all you want… that is your right, but I reserve my right to tell it how I see it.

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