An open letter to Jimmy Carter

I wish a falling star
would light that perfect candle.
Its wick would consume the darkness
and its fragrance perfume the night.

Faith does not regret its weakness
because its firm foundation is hope.
Our horizons are lighted by its joy
and its love glows all around us.

Each war must end one day
despite their evil power.
If rulers bare their steely eyes,
let our light blind their stare.

The swords of love and faith
can cut them from the story.
They should have no page to find
when history’s book is seen.

We have the tools to light that candle.
We have the pens to write the story.
We have love.
We have faith.
We have joy.
We have hope.

Dear Jimmy Carter,

Although the world loves its money and power, I believe the prayers of a child are a better guide. When they sing, they have no fear. When they hope, how can we explain the hate?

The boy from Cyprus can love a girl from Bogota. The child in Zanzibar could kiss the elders of Harbin.

To find a new world is all they ask: A world where children cry out of love and compassion and not sorrow or fear. It is a world that we can give them. Let no one take it away.

May God bless you this day!

Curiosity Smashes Hate

Just as Trust can cover Fear, in the spiritual game of rock paper scissors, Curiosity smashes Hate.

I was thinking about the cliche of love being the opposite of hate, and that seems silly. Why is there the expression of a love-hate relationship if they can destroy each other?A boy looking at a rock through a magnifying glass

If you hate someone, you want them to be out of your life. You don’t want to think about them, you don’t want to know how they’re feeling. It doesn’t bother you in the least that they had a bad day at work or a good game of golf.

If you are curious about someone, you want to know more. You may disagree, like I disagree with my friends that are pro 2nd amendment. But, if I’m curious I can ask to understand what that actually means to them. I can find the reason that it’s important. I can’t hate them for anything if I’m willing to ask them what the 2nd amendment means to them on a personal level.

Another way Curiosity smashes Hate is that it is respectful which builds trust. The triad that starts with Trust and Curiosity support each other.

Someone you hate, you’re likely to fear. Someone you are curious about, you can accept when they’re honest and it becomes a trust building exercise. With that trust, building curiosity is more successful.

Curiosity is different than inquisitiveness. Inquisitive wants to figure something out. It is limited and only has certain goals. Inquisitiveness can be mocking or insincere. If you’re curious, you truly want to learn something about the person.

I talked to a friend last night and learned a lot of interesting things. She shared with me some stuff and as our trust built, I shared some stuff that she was curious about and I was fearful of sharing with anyone for it being misused. But, as our trust built, the curiosity was rewarded and we talked about things I’d never shared before.

Hate is destructive and black. Curiosity is like shining a flashlight in cave: there’s always more to see. There’s always the next surprise to find. Children are curious, children don’t hate until they are corrupted by others.

Curiosity can become a game and lead to all sorts of joy… a sort of communion between two people so that they can see each other’s humanity and be refreshed by the life spirit within each of them.

Original image: rock hound. By woodleywonderworks [Image license]

*The* candidate litmus test

People talk about litmus tests for candidates. Do they vote the right way on abortion? The right way on the LGBTQ rights? The right way on immigration?

An example of a litmus test showing both blue and red reactions In chemistry, a litmus test is a chemical reaction on a strip of paper that turns red in an acid and and blue in a alkali.

I guess the use of litmus tests is unexpectedly appropriate to American politics. States are marked as red and blue, just like the litmus test.

The litmus tests that ask questions about abortion, LBGTQ rights, and immigration are emotionally charged. People get passionate about them. They can violently disagree and not be willing to listen to the other side. Heaven help us if you bring them up at Thanksgiving dinner.

I have a much simpler litmus test. It’s not complicated. It isn’t based on emotion and passion. It’s something you can discuss at the dinner table without getting indigestion.

Test to ask a candidate: Would I hire you as a crossing guard in my neighborhood?

Very simple, very to the point and something that gets right to the heart of life… what is best for our kids? The kids are the ones who have no say in the matter and are the most affected by who we vote for in November.

Can you trust a candidate with your kids when you’re not around? Choose well!

Original image: Kitchen Science 27. By Lenore Edman [Image license]
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