Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Master

Today the master woke me from a sleep, well deserved and peaceful.  
“Opportunity is slipping by,” said he, “with each tick of the clock.”
I cleansed, dressed, and groomed; my meal did not make me full.
“Quickly to the shop,” demanded the master, “It’s time to shape rock.”

A lump of material in hand, the master insists I give it meaning.
Upon the shelves sit forms and figures, successes and failures bygone,
My present task a thing new, a challenge perhaps beyond my doing.
“A skill tried, a talent gained. a basic step to progress won.”

Exhaustion, tedium, excitements, distractions beset, entice, and mount.
Perchance it is enough, I consider, this small creation mostly fashioned.
Yet the master drives me, “Halfway, partway does not, can not count.”
“The best, the most, must be given for effort as worthy to be deemed.”
The piece now complete, but not in harmony with my plan designed.
“Oh, it is well.  You gave the day your full measure, the best was done.”
Experience past employed, knowledge and skill new is obtained.
“You know now what you lack; lasting failures there need be none.”

At end of day, on my knees thanks, glory and honor given to my King
Firm is my commitment, deep and solid is my resolve for the morrow.
I, I am the master answerable for the effort and desire that I bring.
My own reason essential, my will vital; As master, those I cannot borrow.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Mass Shootings in America: Solution Out of Sync with National Culture

Another mass shooting under our belts here in America.  Somehow it happened in a gun free zone, where the only one armed was the shooter.  I've listened as the news has lauded how quickly the police department responded and saved more people from being shot.  I applaud the efforts and actions of law enforcement, but the eight minutes it took them to respond was sufficient for the shooter to kill several people and wound others.

In terms of gun control laws, unless you're in favor of banning all vehicles on the road, I'm not really going to listen to your arguments to restrict access to guns.  Vehicles kill more people than guns, and that's mostly by accident.  Get rid of the bigger threat first and then I might listen to you about the guns.  (Kind of feel the same way about those opposed to vaccinations.)

Instead let's look at some other likely causes of violence wherein a firearm is the weapon of choice.  First, mental health problems tend to be a leading factor in mass shootings in the US.  What has changed in our country in terms of mental health that leads to and allows for such public violence?  What did we do in the past that worked that we aren't doing now?  Second, the disintegration of the traditional family unit and strong neighborhoods where everyone was interested in raising responsible and well balanced children.  The destruction of the family and a cancerous sense of entitlement free of responsibility, I think, prevent people from developing into responsible citizens.  In connection with this trend, I think that more parents are hesitant to provide the help needed to children that are suffering from personality issues and mental health problems.  There seems to be a fear of reaching out for additional help, maybe because that help isn't proving effective.

Because of the second amendment, and because places like Detroit and Chicago that have strict gun laws lead the nation in gun related murders, it is unlikely that the government will succeed in removing all guns from the hands of all citizens.

Do we have the courage, or even the capability, of addressing the other issues that contribute to such events? If we don't, they will continue to happen.