Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Fidget Cube

Yesterday I was at the Mall of America's Greater Good store, and I found this amazing little tidbit.  It's a cube that fidgeters can use instead of peeling or picking at nails or scabs like I do, or any other annoying only to others habits that us fidgeters do.

There are four sides, like a dice, and each side is unique to the movement of the fingers.  I found it helpful as I was waiting for my family to finish their shopping.  I don't always want to use my phone, especially when in public using an iffy wifi, or draining out the battery.  

And picking and peeling has been aggravating my old arm tendinitis, so I am hoping this this little doohickey will help.  

I  just mention this as there are lot of us out there, and even as adults, we still have bad habits that are near impossible to break.  So it is better to find a healthy alternative.

This will be available in early February, although I have seen knockoffs already on eBay and amazon.  I don't know how I got this one, and I don't have the box, I tossed it at the mall and went to work on it right away!  So maybe mine is a knock off too!

Nevertheless, I would like to make a New Years resolution to stop picking and peeling.  Maybe this will help.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Peace on Earth

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote the song, "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day," during the Civil War, when his son was wounded, and his wife died.  Even though this song was written years ago, it still resonates with us, as we celebrate Christmas in a time of war.

Today I read in my Bible, "Too long have I lived among those who hate peace.  I am for peace;
    but when I speak, they are for war." (Ps. 120: 6-7) This seemed a fitting passage to relate to this song, in that even though most of us want peace, and strive for peace, there are the few that want war and work for war.  
But in this I have hope: that God is not dead, He doesn't sleep.  The wrong shall fail, the right prevail.  With peace on earth, good will to men.  

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play
And mild and sweet their songs repeat
Of peace on earth good will to men

And the bells are ringing (Peace on Earth)
Like a choir they're singing (Peace on Earth)
In my heart I hear them
Peace on earth, good will to men

And in despair I bowed my head
There is no peace on earth I said
For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men

But the bells are ringing (Peace on Earth)
Like a choir singing (Peace on Earth)
Does anybody hear them?
Peace on earth, good will to men

Then rang the bells more loud and deep
God is not dead, nor doth He sleep (Peace on Earth, peace on Earth)
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men

Then ringing singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men

And the bells they're ringing (Peace on Earth)
Like a choir they're singing (Peace on Earth)
And with our hearts we'll hear them
Peace on earth, good will to men

Do you hear the bells they're ringing? (Peace on Earth)
The life the angels singing (Peace on Earth)
Open up your heart and hear them (Peace on Earth)
Peace on earth, good will to men
Peace on earth, Peace on earth
Peace on earth, Good will to men

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Story of the Jews

On this past Sunday, I spent some of it watching this TV series on PBS.  I found it fascinating, learning more and more about the Jews, than I ever had before.  

I know that I wrote about how Israel belonged to the Jews because of the Holocaust.  And Schama stated that as well, reminding us that the governments of the world at that time wasted so much time, of which they could have saved so many more Jewish lives, if they had not waited so long.

Which is true.  I have heard the people were tired of war, after WWI, but even so, if we had not intervened, we would be speaking German right now.  

Whole Jewish communities were obliterated during the pogroms in Eastern Europe during and after WWI.  There were times and places where the Jews had relative peace, but eventually something bad would happen and the Jews would be scapegoated again.

The first ghetto was created in Venice for the Jews.  They were enslaved in Egypt during Moses' time.  They wee kicked out of Spain during the Inquisition.  They were conquered by multiple empires in Biblical times.

So much has happened to the Jews and yet they still exist.  As God promised, they cannot be completely wiped out.  Other people groups have come and gone, but the Jews have and will exist forever.

Nevertheless, after the Roman Empire, they never had a home.  The British Empire envisioned a home for them in the turn of the century, the Victorian Age.  But they also envisioned an independent Palestine for the Arabs at the same time.  Thus, it was inevitable that there would be war in Israel.

Even so, the Jews were willing to fight for it.  After WWII, when the Jews came home, they were still shuffled around by the British military.  They found resistance from the Palestinians.

Yet, they are a resilient people, not willing, not ready to give up.  

So I still say, after all they have suffered, the least we can do is let them have their home.    

Monday, December 5, 2016

Pearl Harbor

It will be 75 years ago when Pearl Harbor was attacked, the greatest generation's 9-11.  

This past weekend I watched some documentaries on the History channel and the National Geographic channel about WWII.  

I saw again the horrendous piles of the dead Jews in concentration camps.

I have seen these photos and videos numerous times over the years. But it never fails to affect me.

I am  in shock and wonder how such an atrocity could have happened for so long to so many.

To treat the Jews as if they were nothing, to take away all that made them human.  To treat them as garbage to be thrown into a pile.

Then I think of Israel, and all that is going on over there, through the years.  

No matter how Israel became a country in this century, it seems to me that it is the least that we can do for the Jews, to give them a place that they can call home.

They have had no home, no nation, for 2,000 years.  And although it was not the Palestinians that took their home, but the Romans, it is just a little strip of land.  Land that was considered the Promised Land that God gave to His people so long ago, before Islam.

And even though the Israelites took it from the Canaanites, were the Canaanites the first people there?

I honestly don't know.  And I feel bad for the Palestinians who have lost their homes when Israel was created.

I wish that the two groups could peacefully co-exist, or that each group could have their own country.  But that doesn't seem to be an option for the few that create problems for the whole.

But I do know that no matter what, after seeing those piles of dead bodies like garbage, I am convinced that Israel belongs to the Jews.  It is the least that humanity can do.  

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Romy and Michele's High School Reunion

I don't normally like to swear but I love this movie, so I will break my rule and use this quote to introduce this week's blog post.

This is a funny yet sweet movie about going to a high school reunion, facing the bullies of yesteryear.  I have never been to any of my reunions, nor do I care to.  I hardly remember high school, much less want to face those people again.  The people who always got their way even they were terrible or mean.  The so-called actors who were always in the plays even though they couldn't act.  The athletes who always got attention because they were jocks.  I was one of the nameless masses, yearning to be recognized for any talent, instead of just my weaknesses.  

Why do people have to be so mean?  Don't they have feelings?  Don't they know the Golden Rule, to treat others as you would want to be treated?  Didn't their parents teach them any manners?  And if there was a reason to be jealous, why not appreciate what one has, instead of trying to deny what others have?  

We are all different.  We should be celebrating each other's successes that they earned, instead of trying to take it away.  No one has it all.  No one is without problems.  

Some people say it is because they are insecure.  I was insecure, yet I manged to not be a bully.  Some say they were abused.  Lots of people are abused, they are not all bullies.  There has to be more.  

There is still bullying going on today.  I hear of schools trying all these new programs to combat bullying.  Are they working?  Why is it still happening then?

And it doesn't end after school.  I was bullied in college and in the workplace.  

There was no help for me there.  Of course, by then, I had learned that no one was going to help me, that I was on my own.  So by then I stopped asking for help.  I didn't have a safe place to go to to get away from it.  Just in my own mind.  Just in my own thoughts.  

I could say this made me strong.  But it still bothers me to this day.  It is hard to forgive a bully.  It helps me to forgive if I can understand.  But I can't understand a bully.  Maybe I am too logical. Some things just make no sense to me. 

But I also realize that those bullies, whoever they are, have to answer for themselves someday.  Maybe they will feel guilty, maybe they won't.  But it is not my problem.  It is not something I can fix.

All I can do is be myself, use what talents I have, and stop wasting my time wishing for what I don't have.  Be thankful for each day.  For each day is a gift, a chance to try again.  A chance to be me.