Category Archives: Life in General

Miscellaneous observtions on Life

Coping With Loss of a Loved One

Many folks retire to our southern states and South Carolina is one of them.   Our demographics show that we have many seniors in our area.  Seniors can bring a wealth of ideas and  experience, as well as  time and efforts towards a community.

One thing seniors have in common that is in their future: one of them will lose their life-long partner.  It is a joy to share our golden years with someone we have been together with for decades.   Suddenly being without them makes one not function as they did at their pre-loss capacity.   But you can take steps to ensure your life doesn’t fall apart while you are in the midst of it.

Grief is a complex situation.  And when you are in the throes of it, one may find it difficult to do almost anything else.   Many people just want the pain to end but are convinced it never will.   Reaching out to others and accepting support is often difficult when you are hurting so much.  It’s best to seek those persons who will ‘walk with”, not “in front of” or ‘behind” you in your journey with grief.

There is a free grief program called Grief Share where the members will walk ‘with you’.   We have many such groups in our area – you can find one online at www.griefshare.org   Put in your zip code and you will find these wonderful programs that are mostly held in our church communities.   They are offered free to the whole community and are Biblically-based  concepts  to cope with grief ; they are nondenominational.  GriefShare addresses the loss of spouses, children, family members and close friends.  The program right now is not designed for divorces or pets.   All faiths  and atheists are invited.

The program consists of 13 sessions [one day a week for 13 weeks].  Each session consists of a video seminar featuring  grief recovery experts.   A small support group discussion follows.  There is a workbook journal & exercises for each session.  Workbooks cost $15 – the only cost to you and you don’t have to purchase it.

The atmosphere is friendly and supportive.   It is a ‘safe environment’ where confidentiality and bonds are formed.

Often,  friends and family want to help you but don’t know how.  That’s the reason Grief Share was formed.   The groups are led by caring people who have experienced grief and have successfully rebuilt their lives.    We understand how you feel because we’ve been in the same place.  We will walk with you on the long path of grief toward healing and hope for the future.   Our groups in SC are part of a network of 12,000+ churches worldwide that offer GriefShare support issues.

Many new bonds and friendships are formed at the meeting; healing results from shared experiences and ways to cope with one’s loss.

But you will have begun the process.  And the only way forward is to put one step in front of the other.   GriefShare helps to do that.   This newspaper and church notices/bulletins will announce when these sessions will take place.

Marie Coppola    October 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forgive and Forget

 

There are times in life when a good friend, a family member or even a mate can hurt your feelings by mistake, on purpose or thoughtlessness.   Sometimes their bad behavior could be spiteful, selfish, or just being in a mean mood.   On the high end, someone could have personality disorders, drug interactions or just plain retaliation or ‘place in family’.   In today’s world, it could be interactions about political issues.   You might take time off from these challenges of differences, or say you are finished with this person(s)  and even hold a grudge.

I read recently that forgiveness is important in one’s life.   Actually, it is good for you.  On a health note, forgiving someone can improve your cholesterol levels, make you sleep better, reduce your risk of heart attack, lower your blood pressure and improve your relationships.   On the dark side if you hold onto that grudge & anger, you can have heart problems, raise cholesterol, boost hypertension and even lead to depression and more stress.

A University of Michigan School of Medicine recent study showed that 2,000 middle-aged men showed that those who dealt with their anger had half as many strokes over a 7-year period as those who didn’t deal with their anger.   How did they do that?

Forgiveness helps you take control again; it doesn’t mean you aren’t expected to trust the hurtful person or even continue your relationship with them.

But you can try some ‘Forgiveness Strategies’ that help you manage your anger & hurt.

  1.  Reframe the situation in a different light:  Don’t dwell on why the hurt was done to you but rather ask yourself “Why am I letting this hurt me?”  And try to stop  going over and over the initial hurt.

2.  Give yourself time to come to grips with the hurt.   Feeling the hurt allows healing to take place.   It will feel like one step forward and one step back but take that one step forward & try not to go back.

3.  Ask yourself questions as you would to a friend…”Did you play a part in the hurt situation or was the other person wrong?’  Is there another side to look at?   What would or could you have done differently?  If you can’t ‘see  it’, ask a friend valued d or a fair family member for their feedback.

4.  Did the other person involved have any idea what they did and how much it hurt you?   Could it possibly have been a misunderstanding?

5.  When remembering the incident makes you feel hurt again, focus on all the good things in life that you enjoy and neutralize the bad feeling.

6.  I am adding one of my own ways to neutralize hurt.   Pray for the person who hurt you and ask God to forgive them as He forgives us.   It is somewhat difficult at first to pray for one who has hurt you but it becomes easier and the bad feelings do go away.   Prayer works.

Some thoughts to ponder:  Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years and chose to forgive his captors.

In 1981, Pope John Paul II was crossing St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City when an attempt was made on his life.  Two bullets struck the pope in his lower intestine, one in his right arm and one in his left index finger.  The Pope met and publicly forgave the would-be assassin.

Jesus, dying on the cross after mistreatment, severe scourging, beatings & whippings,  said the prayer, “Forgive them, Father; they know not what they do”.

In a book by Mark Miller, he states that the people who did best in tragic relationships were those who found “forgiving was a way to restore balance and peace in their own lives even if they did not condone the misdeeds.”

Sometimes the person who is hardest to forgive is oneself.   Forgiveness helps you to take control again of your feelings.  Give the hurt to God and don’t take it back.

Marie Coppola September 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stop Sitting and Get Up

 

 

Do you sit more than you stand or exercise?  In these technological times, many hours are spent sitting in front of a computer or tablet.   You probably sit at your desk answering emails, paying bills, or going on media news or Hollywood news to see who did what to whomever.

We order clothes and gifts online and send greeting cards online.  We even do our social life online – checking out 450 friends on Facebook or Instagram.   There’s many social aspects online;  connect with old friends, reminisce and/or get reacquainted, make new ‘friends’, catching  up on personal messages and post pictures of your mates and kids and compare your photos to others’ selfies.  People complain that Facebook has taken over their lives but  considering how popular it is, it is a choice they choose.  And we  sit and sit and take it all in.    When you are done, you may spend more time sitting  with  other PC-related video games and enough apps to keep you busy trying them all.

Add our cell phones to the above and we sit again – even if in groups or at the dinner table – with cell phones in everyone’s hands and typing away in conversations while humans are next to you typing away in conversations, too.   You could talk to those next to you, but they are busy in their own world just as you are.   You get tired of sitting so much at the computer, so you put on the TV and sit some more.

These folks’ are living what are called ‘sedentary lifestyles’.

A sedentary lifestyle is a medical term used to denote a type of lifestyle with a lack of physical exercise.  We have morphed into a society that spends many hours sitting down.   Being sedentary makes you more susceptible to diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity and other health conditions such as high blood pressure, COPD and more .   Surprisingly, all this inactivity also makes you tired, sluggish, and mentally inactive.   You need to move around, get your circulation going and rev up your metabolism.   If it’s raining, go to a mall and walk – not shop.

It’s even more important for youngsters to get fresh air and get outside – not spend hours with video games or their cells.   Get them interested in a sport program; it is an all-rounded plus.

How much time do you spend living your life sitting down ?

Do you exercise regularly?   Do you walk at least 20 minutes to a half hour every day as cardio doctors always suggest?   Why not make exercise a part-time job that you do at home?

It is habit forming and more effective if you ‘report’ to your part-time  ‘job’ the same time everyday.   Tell friends and family that you took on a part-time job every day from 11:00 pm to noon or whenever is convenient to ‘do the job’.   It may be that there is an exercise program on TV that you can work out with. If not, put on your sneakers and go for a walk or dance to your favorite music.   You may even lose some poundage.

Besides exercising,  it’s important everyday to get up from your chair, stretch and walk around for a few minutes – even if it is to get a glass of water.   Don’t leave water by your desk; get up and get a drink.   Exercise your eyes by rolling them from side to side and look out the window at a distance since you have been working close up and in a glare.   If you have stairs inside or outside – use them – they are a good exercise.  After using your legs,   you’ll feel better and can continue  to use those legs to go outside, get the mail and take time to smell the roses.   Pick some.   Walk down the street and give them to a neighbor.  You don’t have to stop and chat – look like you are busy and going somewhere In a hurry.   You are.  You are in a hurry to improve your health.

Get up and shake your booty.  Walk or exercise – it will make you feel better and can be a life-saver.

Marie Coppola  September 2019

A Wise & Trusted Counselor

A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could. ~ Unknown

Can you remember a time when someone gave you support, or important counsel, sound advice or positive reinforcement on something you were doing?

Encouragement is an important support and guidance motivation given by a more knowledgeable person (such as a mentor) in helping a less experienced or knowledgeable person (mentee) to develop in some capacity.

Many times, parents are mentors. They have the experience and know-how in “How the World Turns”. They may have gone to college, experienced love relationships, had children, bought houses, paid taxes, and countless other things.  Hopefully, they are good mentors who encourage, support and guide their children in their everyday challenges.   Sometimes, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, or  family members are mentors.  They are the ones to go to when one needs to know what can be done about a special issue; they either give good advice or advise options on how to work at it.   We are indeed blessed if we have mentors in our lives.

What if we don’t have a mentor? There are many occasions when ‘two heads are better than one’ and additional input is needed. How does one acquire a mentor? Are there different avenues or vehicles for finding one?   Yes, there are.

There are personal mentors and organizational mentors.
How can a  personal mentor help you?    Sometime during your lifetime, someone may take a special interest in how you are accomplishing a task or trying to.  It may be in a teacher or principal in school.  It could be a leader or coach in an activity in an athletic or after-school activity. Or a girl or boy scout leader in a social club. Or perhaps a pastor or spiritual leader in a church affiliation.   It could be a family member who has the same interests or experiences in what you are trying to master – a job interview;  which courses or schools you could attend to pursue a career; what career choices would you be best suited for.

A mentor is usually someone older and more accomplished in the task you are endeavoring. He/she will give you feedback on how you are accomplishing so far;  give you advice or hints/solutions on how to continue;  or reinforce how you are progressing. This is a one-on-one relationship which lasts over the time of the task’s duration.

You might even seek someone out and ask them to be your mentor on a task.  It doesn’t hurt to ask. Most people like to help and may feel honored that you chose them.  If the person is agreeable, you could set up a schedule to go over the progress of what you are doing and the mentor can advise plusses and minuses. Depending on the personalities, this person could become a life-long mentor who can aid you in further tasks.  Sometimes it evolves into a mentoring over a variety of life’s issues. Such an arrangement can benefit both the mentor and the mentee.   And form a special, honored life-time relationship.

Marie Coppola  August 2019

School is Re-Opening

The first day of school for Horry County students is Monday, August 19.   In the past, I covered some suggestions for students returning to middle school; today I will focus on the teens.

Whatever the grade or year,  the upbeat reason to return to school is to acquire wisdom, knowledge, and skills that will allow creativity and thought-provoking processes as well as behavioral and social experiences.  These can be sometimes challenging and/or frustrating — but it can also be fun times with clubs, sports, class trips, and special activities.  Also on the plus side, there are friendships formed that can last a lifetime and even short friendship spurts that teach versatility and diversity in getting along with others.  Having a  ‘special’ teacher can be an influence or mentor in future endeavors.

Guidelines and rules for school behavior are similar to those that students’ parents may have had, but here’s some extra tips to return to school starting with a really good attitude. I offer the following – for the returning students.

1) “Rules” cover a multitude of guidelines that all schools set forth for their students. Everyone must follow them if there is to be order and learning. Rules are important because you will be asked to follow rules all your life.  And it causes stress and problems if you don’t abide by them. This is as true in school as it is in your life now or will be in your adult life.

2) You will follow rules better if you have plenty of rest.   You will succeed better in school.   Try to have at least eight hours of sleep on a school night.   This is especially true if you have after-school clubs or sports and need that extra energy.

3) Speaking of extra energy, eat a healthy breakfast (yes, you have the time) to last until lunchtime.  Even some fruit, cereal or a protein bar  will help.   If you don’t like the lunches, pack a sandwich or snack.

4) Using cell phones, iPods, and other electronic devices are usually strictly prohibited during the school day. Yes, that includes texting. Cell phones are distracting not only during class but in the halls.  If you can’t control yourself – then leave them home or silenced.  An extra thought on cell phones:  I’ve noticed with  my teen visitors this summer – they stay on their cell phones way into the night (undercover) and have trouble getting awake in the morning.   You can’t sleep until noon when you are going to school.   If you can’t resist – shut them off and leave them in another room.

5) Although we all get colds or sick, try to attend class regularly and be on time. It is important to ‘keep up’ with new lessons and equally important to be on time so that your tardiness does not take away from class time.  Besides, it will affect  your school record which won’t matter to you now but may in the future.

6) Do your homework and check it twice. Homework done hastily or while playing video games can affect your grade if it is incorrect. Give it your best efforts – it reflects who you are and what you know and how you express it.   Prepare a place to do your homework; prepare what you are wearing the next day; and if you are making your lunch, prepare it at night so you won’t be rushing to get the bus or that ride early in the morning.

Hint:  How you set up a schedule of what you are expected to do (when & how)  will help you when you are looking for a job after graduation.   Being prepared  will naturally assist you in your work habits and style.

7) Try to be friendly to all. Avoid ’cliques’ or being rude to other students who may be different. It can escalate to bullying or cyber bullying or discrimination which are detriments to all.   Two out of three kids who are bullied become bullies themselves.  Worse yet, a bully is 6 times more likely to be incarcerated by age 24.   Tell your parents or the school admin if you are being bullied; they will come to your aid.

If you follow the rules, you can have a pleasant learning experience that will prepare you for adult life.  If there are situations that arise that are against school rules or are questionable in safety to you or others, don’t hesitate to notify a teacher or the principal. They want everyone in their school to have a safe environment.

I added this next thought for the middle school and will here, too.  ‘Take a  slogan from the Army — Be All That You Can Be.’ It doesn’t mean living up to anyone else’s standards or trying to get a better grade than Amy, Juan or Tawanda – it’s  simply doing the best work you can to your ability and being the best kind of person you want to be.   It’s all up to you.  Have a great and successful school year.

© Marie Coppola, August 2019

Did Mother Teresa Teach Hillary a Lesson?

Being pro-life, I keep a file on its struggles to save babies from a gruesome death.

In a Vatican ceremony on September 4, 2016, Pope Francis conferred sainthood upon Mother Teresa, the Albanian-born nun who famously devoted most of her life to ministering to the poor in India until her death in 1997 at the age of 87. He described her as a “model of holiness” and “generous dispenser of divine mercy,” citing, among other qualifications, Mother Teresa’s unwavering opposition to abortion in any form. “She was committed to defending life,” the Pope said, “ceaselessly proclaiming that ‘the unborn are the weakest, the smallest, the most vulnerable.’”

For Americans, the canonization of Mother Teresa coincided with the home stretch of the 2016 presidential campaign, in which the two principal candidates delivered prepared speeches.  Their remarks were not as intriguing as pro-abortionist, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the same dais.

She appeared to have been genuinely moved by her previous meeting with Mother Teresa.  In 1994 Mother Teresa delivered a no-holds-barred pro-life speech [in quotes below] at the National Prayer Breakfast in front of Hillary Clinton, her equally pro-abortion husband, then-President Bill Clinton, and Al and Tipper Gore:

“But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself.

And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts.  Jesus gave even His life to love us.   So, the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love, that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child.  The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts.

By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems.

And, by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. That father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion.

Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.”

Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan was present.   Here’s what she later wrote:

‘Well, silence. Cool deep silence in the cool round cavern for just about 1.3 seconds. And then applause started on the right hand side of the room, and spread, and deepened, and now the room was swept with people applauding, and they would not stop for what I believe was five or six minutes. As they clapped they began to stand, in another wave from the right of the room to the center and the left.’

But not everyone applauded. The president and first lady, seated within a few feet of Mother Teresa on the dais, were not applauding. Nor were the vice president and Mrs. Gore. They looked like seated statues at Madame Tussaud’s. They glistened in the lights and moved not a muscle, looking at the speaker in a determinedly semi-pleasant way.

Secretary Clinton quipped, “That’s a tall order,” followed by (alas), “And of course, one of the interpretive problems with it is, who defines good?”

July 17, 2019

 

Easter in the 1950’s

 

Looking back and reminiscing about Easter times,  it is remembered as a different holiday culture than it is today.   Sometimes there was the arrival of a real rabbit or baby chicks.   They were pampered and soon argued over who would take care of them.   They were never cooked and eaten  – but were found new homes as they grew older.

On Easter Sunday, the ladies would don their Easter bonnets – straw hats, felt hats, big hats, mantillas or any head covering.   Even the men & boys wore fedoras to go along with their suits and ties.   The ladies dressed in pastels or navy blue dresses or suits.   New spring outfits were purchased for the newness of spring .  The only other time we all got new attire  was for the first day of school.   New outfit, new shoes – the works – along with some hand-me-downs.   If you lived not far from the ocean, and the weather was warm and spring-like, jaunts were taken to the beach (also known as – the shore) to walk the boardwalk with other Easter bonnet and fedora dress-ups.

The only ones who may not have been fully dressed in newness were the youngest of the family – they wore the past-Easter outfits of their older sisters or brothers and it was not unusal for some Easter picture remembrances showing a new navy coat covering a slightly longer dress underneath – an almost fitting  Easter dress passed down.

The parents were dressed up, too – suits, hat and ties – and don’t forget the white gloves and black patent leather shoes.   Some of these were passed down through the family, too.

When we woke up that morning, we all ran to the table where there would be Easter baskets with bright green plastic grass holding  treats which we were not allowed to eat until we came back from church.

The dressed-up family went to church as a unit.  For other families – the only time they did that was attending church  for Christmas.

After church, we would go home and seek out the hidden colored Easter eggs the Easter Bunny (our Mom & Dad)  left for us –  some of which we had ‘eyed’ before we left for church.   After they were all collected – Mom always knew exactly how many there would be.   For breakfast, we cut and ate  the Italian Easter Egg Pie – my favorite.

Traditional Easter treats were also consumed during the day: They were eaten at ‘dinner’ around 3:00 pm which included  artichokes, roasted lamb, a special sweet bread called “Colomba” (which means dove, and it’s made in the shape of a dove) and chocolate eggs, which almost always are hollow and have a special prize inside.   Of course, there was also the ‘prima piastra’  or ‘first plate’ which was a pasta of some sort – lasagna or ravioli.   Red wine was offered to all – even sips to the youngest.   That may seem strange, but when teen classmates made a big deal about getting wine or beer to drink. we weren’t interested – we had sampled it at home.  None of us became ‘drinkers’.

Easter became a favorite holiday along with Christmas.   Christmas was a vehicle for getting presents from Santa Claus and when we were older-  we focused on the celebration of Jesus’ birth.

Easter was getting new clothes and Easter baskets from the Easter Bunny;  when we were older,  it was a vehicle for the love and gift of Christ’s gift  of Himself to us for our sake.

Marie Coppola April 13, 2019

 

 

Settling into Your New Job

                 

A mind that is stretched by new experiences can  never go back  to its old dimensions.     Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

You finally landed that job you were praying you would get!   Monday is here and it’s your first day.  Here are some tips to help you ‘settle in’ your new surroundings with confidence and a positive attitude, along with some precautions.

1) Try to arrive at least  10 or 15 minutes before the normal starting hours. This not only gives you time to settle in, turn your computer on, or listen to voice mail messages.  It also gives you a relaxed frame of mind for friendly good mornings instead of rushing in at the last minute or a few minutes late and get a reputation for ‘always being late’.

Employees who arrive before the workday begins are usually the ones who get good reviews and/or promotions. Likewise advice on leaving at the end of the day. Plan on staying 15 minutes or so after work if possible; never leave early – someone always loves to make an issue about that and the reputation will stick.   Those who usually get ahead in a workplace arrive a little earlier and leave a little later.

2) Start the new job with a To Do List. This List itemizes tasks that may have been sent to you via email, voicemail or verbally.   Jot it down so it is not forgotten and when you have a few minutes, prioritize the List by importance. If you don’t get to it all that day, start the next day’s List with the undone items so they can have first attention. Keep a file folder with the checked-off ‘Done’ items, date they were completed, with any information that may be needed in the future for follow-up.

Not only do ‘To Do’ Lists give you a reputation for getting things done, they also give you a feeling of accomplishment as you go over the list and view the things you did that day. On a hectic and busy day, those accomplishments will help neutralize the feeling that you ‘got nothing done today’.

3) Go slow getting to know your new co-workers.   In your ‘being new’ nervousness, you may reveal more about yourself than you really want to. You may be telling your life history to the office gossiper.  If you are asked to lunch with the group, be neutral to everyone, polite and friendly. The work environment is revealed at lunchtime, and you will hear inside scoops of what is going on with work, projects and people.

Don’t make judgments or remarks. Wait until you get to know the people and the issues and not even then.   And don’t repeat what you hear at lunch or in the halls to your co-workers. Gossip spreads through offices faster than forest fires. And your name will be attached to it.

4) Go to lunch at your appointed lunch time and take the one-half hour or whatever the rule is. Some companies allot 45 minutes or one hour for lunch. Long-time employees may stretch their lunch times from the one-half hour lunch to a 45 minute or one hour lunch. That’s their choice, but as a new employee, you don’t want to get a reputation that you ‘take long lunches’.  It’s a title that you may earn quickly and it will stick with you. Your supervisor will know about it sooner than you think.    Co-workers usually stagger lunch times so that someone is always available, and you will get off on the wrong foot in  if someone is waiting for you to come back from lunch and you’re late and taking time away from their own lunch.

5) Start off your new job with a team attitude. There are different ways to help someone out even if it is picking up their mail or copy order at office services. Your helpfulness will reflect back from your co-workers who will do the same for you. This becomes invaluable on a really busy day when you need an extra set of hands; kindness goes a long way and people react positively to it.
When someone turns their back on being a team player with the rest of the group, the group usually reacts in the same manner.

A first good impression of a newcomer usually casts a lasting reflection of him or her them for future work experience.  By the way, these tips can also be adapted to those first days of college.   Good luck in your new surroundings!

Marie Coppola © Revised  March 2019

What is Socialism?

images (6)

 

Socialism is repeated often from our 2020 Democratic  presidential candidates.   Socialist centrally-planned economics invariably fail due to their inherent and integral failure to encourage, develop and nurture the essential potential of its people by lack of ‘incentivation’ which is the practice of building incentives in order to motivate the people within it.   

Socialism is a failure because it suppresses the human spirit and has caused the collapse of many countries.

Saul David Alinsky (January 30, 1909 – June 12, 1972) was a Jewish American community organizer and writer. He is generally considered to be the founder of modern community organizing. He is often noted for his 1971 book Rules for Radicals.  The following is based on Alinsky’s eight steps from democracy to socialist society.  Barack Obama quotes him often in his book and Hillary Clinton did her thesis on Alinsky.   Here is Alinsky’s  list on how to achieve socialism.  The words in parentheses show where the USA is leaning that way.

There are 8 levels of control that must be obtained before a country is  able to create a socialist/communist State.  The first is the most important.

1. Healthcare:  “Control Healthcare and you control the People”.

[DONE!!!]

2. Poverty:  Increase the Poverty level as high as possible.”  Poor People are easier to control and will not fight back if the government is providing everything for them to live.

[DONE!!!]

3.  Debt: Increase the National Debt to an unsustainable level.”  That way you are able to increase Taxes, and this will produce more Poverty.

[DONE!!!]

4.  Gun Control:  Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government.  That way you are able to create a Police State – total local control.

ALMOST THERE!!!

5.  Welfare:  Take control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Livestock, Housing, and Income).

[ALMOST THERE!!!]

6.  Education:  Take control of what people read & listen to, take control of what children learn in School.

[ALMOST THERE!!!]

7.  Religion: Remove faith in God from the Government and Schools.

[ALMOST THERE!!!]

8.  Class Warfare:  Divide the People into the Wealthy against the Poor.  Racially divide. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to Tax the Wealthy with full support of the voting Poor.

[ALMOST THERE!!!]

The bases are all covered!  We are ripe!  Fundamental Transformation is happening to our Great Country.

In the course of nearly four decades of political organizing, Alinsky received much criticism, but also gained praise from many public figures. His organizing skills were focused on improving the living conditions of poor communities across North America.

Time magazine wrote in 1970 that “It is not too much to argue that American democracy is being altered by Alinsky’s ideas. Conservative author William F. Buckley, Jr. said in 1966 that Alinsky was “very close to being an organizational genius.  (Ref: Wikipedia & Internet Email).

Stop Murmuring and Disputing

 

Do you habitually complain, whine, argue and grumble? Do you know anyone who does not?  It seems to have become a habit for many of us.  You may know murmurings as being critical of others, bitterness, bickering, protesting or being unsociable.  Pessimism.  Negativity.   In the New Testament, Paul said: “Do you do all things without murmuring  and disputing?”

By the way, the word “murmurings” Paul refers to the complaints of the Israelites during their wanderings.

Have you noticed that people get caught up in heated and unending political discussions? — lots of murmurings going on there. Our government’s administration has caused new policies and procedures being enacted or offered – big time murmurings at home and the office.   Our culture is changing and we have continuous big time murmurings and complaints.

What do we do in answer to Apostle Paul’s instruction – not to complain in all things. Sometimes it’s hard not to vent.   Sometimes it feels good to get it off your chest.  It’s hard to comply with the old adage, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” How can we tweak that?  It seems niceness, politeness and respect are slowly moving down the tubes.

We could say, “If you can only say something negative, don’t say anything at all”.   Negative begets negative.   Positive begets positive. It’s difficult to be positive when things are looking bleak and/or scary, but does it help to heap more negativity onto the pile?

It can become a habit to view everything with a sour outlook which becomes a bitterness and creates more murmurings. There’s little worse than facing each day with doom and gloom. Becoming embittered won’t change the political problem of the day or create a new healthcare plan.

Listen to yourself and see how you approach these subjects. Do you always say things like, “I’m afraid that….” or “I know that things are going to get worse before they get better”…..or “I hate this or I hate that or I hate them or I hate him ….” or “That’s BS” or “they’re stupid” or “they are such a bunch of #&%$’s.  And the beat goes on and the words become more heated and your murmurings may keep you from sleeping well at night. Your fear and hate will become self-fulfilling. You become what you think.

We can offset these complaints by offering words of hope and compassion. Change your heart and you will change your attitude.  Kind thoughts and acts will replace your habits of negative thoughts. Negative and Positive thoughts cannot share the same space in your mind. Crowd out those negative ones. God is still in control and local, national and world events are not as hopeless as we make them.  Many others before us have lived through challenging times.  Bad times seem to be cyclical and eventually change from bad to better.

Be an agent for change. They say if you force yourself to smile, you will feel uplifted. ‘A smile is the lighting system of the face’…it sure beats the frowns and growls.  Smiles beget smiles.   Maybe your co-worker or spouse or friend is tired of ‘murmuring’ or listening to yours, too, and you can make the difference to change that.

Don’t get bogged down by the signs of the times. If you are spiritual, try to maintain a cheerful, willing mind, as we do what God has instructed. “Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life…” (Phil. 2:14-16a).

Fill your spirit with Paul’s teaching:  It can work and all you have to lose are your frown lines.

Marie Coppola (C) Revised February 2019