Monday, June 29, 2009

Of Politics, Philosophy and Foxglove

I am not a political major nor have I ever held any kind of office except President of a Quilt Guild for one year. So, that I would venture to have anything to say politically is risky. But here goes!!
We hear those in power in one political system talk of 'winning the hearts and minds' of the people in another political system. At the same time the second political system blames the first political system for 'meddling' and in so doing is the cause of a failed election. I visited Englend many years ago and rode on a boat down the Thames and witnessed a billboard which read, ###### Unemployed. Will England Ever Work Again. A few years ago I visited Germany and witnessed the difference in the landscape, the difference in the number of delapidated buildings and so on from East to West. At the same time, I sat in with a group of prior East German teachers who had lived under the Communist rule for most of their lives. They were quick to talk of the good life they experienced under Communism. They had jobs, were guaranteed vacations, didn't have to think about who to insure their automobile with etc. This morning the man who 'madeoff' with the life savings of so many was to be sentenced for his greed but that will never bring back what his victims have lost. I watched one day as the politicians in the country that I live in yelled and screamaed at each other in an attempt to bring the government down but at the same time not quite bring it down because the opposition party wasn't in the right financial position to win a new election. I listened the other day to a medical expert give advice to the forty or so million people who live with no medical insurance and their access to medical care is in an emergency room after hours of waiting. To shorten that wait the advice was if one knew anyone who worked in that hospital be sure to drop their name. That would shorten the wait!! There was no suggestion to the people who had already waited for hours, who watched as their position in line was shoved further back by the namedropper.
Here's the philosophy. I have concluded from the little spot where I sit on this spinning globe that no political system will work without a myriad of flaws and failures unless the Golden Rule is practised. Likewise, there is no political system that would not work if the Golden Rule was practised That sounds easy, doesn't it? And it only took me a second or so to type it. The only problem is that the concept stretches far beyond the halls of Parliament or Congress or........
Saturday was a beautiful day on the shores of Georgian Bay. The man I live with deems that a very necessary part of our physical possessions, in order to live successfully on this part of the Great Lakes, is a fishing boat. Since the fish always seem to be sparse, I have found another good reason for this monster to take up most of our garage. In a little town about eight miles by water, there is the best ice cream parlour you can imagine. So on Saturday, with son, daugher-in-law and two grandchildren along that is just what we did. This particular ice cream store has no inside seating but two picnic talbes outside which gives a nice place to sit and lick before the half mile or so walk back to the boat. But on Saturday the tables were full. I felt irritation if not anger when I saw this. After all, we had come a full eight miles!! I was the one elected to stay with the dog outside. A minute or so into my wait the one table emptied. What I went through to try to position myself so that I could save this whole table must of been funny to watch!! The ice cream came after a while, we all had a place to sit so life was good!
It was on the ride back home that I became aware of just how far my actions and reactions were from the Golden Rule. What I had proposed as a solution to the failures of the governments of the world I was not able to put into practise with my own family at an ice cream parlour.
I think I hear someone suggesting, 'Yes, but that is only human nature' or 'God's grace covers those kinds of lapses.' The latter is true and I am so thankful for it but let me share what my phlox is telling me.
I have a phlox blooming beautifully in my garden just now standing tall at about seven feet. It is hard to form an accurate judgment as to the height of a phlox when from my five foot frame I drop my head back as far as it will go and the top of the phlox looks wa-a-ay up there. Why it is so tall I know not for sure. But I suspect, that from Phil Phlox's shady spot in the garden, he stands just as tall as he can to be nearer to the SUN. In the simple segments of a life's journey, like going to an ice cream store, I wonder how much happier we would be if we stood just as tall as we could in order to be as close as we could to the Son who, without failure, practised the Golden Rule.

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