Posts Tagged ‘ethics

06
Feb
17

My Response to “Teen in Ogden, Utah” (Dear Abby)

*****

You can find my response to this and other letters, now available for your viewing and opinion, on the designated page

But, while you’re here, have a read.

“Teen” is fifteen years old and entering a Crusade, a religion-fueled war, with his divided parents. How the parents even managed to get married and have a kid is a mystery, considering one believes in God and the other sounds like an atheist. What is not a mystery is why “Teen” is distancing himself from the parents and feeling uncomfortable when church-related topics arise.

I might have left this one alone had I not been bothered by Abby’s last “sage advice” from a “wise clergyman.”

———

The opposite of faith is certainty? What is that supposed to mean, Abby? And, what do you expect this young man to do with that? I’d expect him to emulate his father. I do not think such “wise” words would inspire him to remain true to any religion/faith.

“Teen,” there is only one thing I am certain of: you will learn a great deal about how impulses of your parents dwell inside you in the coming years if not decades. And, you will do battle with those facets until you can rest assured in your choices. Knowing this, you can either accept the stress you feel as part of the life you’ve been given or seek out activities and groups that relieve this stress. Hopefully, ones that don’t involve “recreational drugs” and/or violence other than martial arts practice. A club or class/group that eases your mind will be far less costly than a therapist and could result in making some valuable connections.

If I may ask a few questions…

Exactly how does your belief in God vary so greatly from your mother’s that there is this problem? And, why does it seem like your non-believing father has no interest in involving himself in this struggle of yours? I picture him hiding his face behind a newspaper or cellphone while your mother “encourages” you to participate in a religious community. Apparently, you have no concern for hurting HIS feelings because he has offered none; he simply lets you do what you like until it affects his wallet or some other non-religious aspect of his life. [Or, is it possible your parents are on the verge of divorce and you simply opt to support your mother while opposing your father? Is it possible your mother married your father with aspirations of changing his ways and making him a part of her chosen faith?]

I may be off-base. But, I hear these other voices in response to your comments.

You say: It’s really uncomfortable when people ask why I haven’t been in church.
I hear/think: Church bothers me because it’s too formal. [Or maybe] Church bothers me because I’m asked to give money. [Or] Church bothers me because it interferes with my free/fun time. [Or] Church bothers me because my parents don’t go there together; it does not hold us together as a family.

You say: Mom signs me up for church activities, and I don’t like going.
I hear/think: I struggle with socializing/participating. [Or] I’m anti-social. [Or] I suffer from social anxiety.

Abby suggests telling your mother how much you love her and hope she will continue loving you as you explore your life/religious options. I would guess none of that sounds easy or comfortable for you. Am I right?

If I was you, I’d have a hard time saying I love my mother, too. At your age, I was entering a similar battle and just starting to distance myself from my parents who seemed unable to respect my decisions and even my personal space. Pressure to change one’s ways or attend certain activities could be a sign of lacking trust in you to make your own decisions and come to your parents for advice when you need it.

I cannot tell you which faith is right or wrong. But, if you can better understand or see what motivates the feelings you have, you can answer your own questions. If your mother is so bent on getting you involved in the activities of her church community, hurting her feelings may be inevitable. Yet, if her faith and love for you is strong, she will recover from the bruises. [Just don’t cut ties with her completely unless that is what you truly want. What you want today may differ from what you decide to have in your life years from now.]

28
Jul
14

The Art of Excess

 

On a milestone birthday in the depths of space, a budding artist (with a face full of bubbling, molten craters) opened her eyes and marveled at the new tools provided by her parents. The intense, singeing light of her father and the softer, enchanting glow of her mother came together to wish their daughter well in pursuit of happy growth and enhancement. Vowing to make them proud, the young orb took a deep breath and went to work.

Her early efforts produced a multitude of lifeforms both stationary and mobile. The former consistently worshipped her parents while the latter were free to experiment, giving all who watched a source of amusement. Father and mother were indeed pleased. Their smiles burst with a brilliant energy which could be seen from galaxies away.
“Go on, my child!” said the father. “Create more! It gives your mother and I such joy to see you paint your surface with these colors! One day you shall be the crown jewel of our domain!”

So, the child continued to create and age. But, every now and then, her father and mother would drift apart, leaving her in the cold of deep space to wonder if what she created was still worthy of praise. In a fit of sadness and frustration, she struck herself with a large rock, hoping to free some promising ideas from her already cracked skull. Instead, it erased her vision temporarily, wiping a large portion of the art from her surface. When her parents returned, a new motif had taken over their daughter.

“What’s this?!” gasped the father. “Such a drastic change! What has made you tear down what you already made and replace it with something new?!”

“Father, each time I turned around, you and Mother left me alone,” said the young artist with a sigh. “I did not feel your warmth at my back. I thought you no longer approved of my work.”

“Look how they behave differently when I draw closer in your father’s absence,” said Mother with her cheeks aglow as she separated from her mate. “You honor us with your talents, daughter. Go on. Continue creating. You are just beginning to grow.”

Despite her concern and flickering confidence, the artist did as she was told. Nothing she made gave her the joy she had seen in her parents’ faces. Again and again, she changed her canvas while expending her vital energy (which, at the time of her youth, seemed infinite), each time hoping the next visit of her parents would be happier than the last.

When they did return for her birthday, she had yet another surprise waiting for them. Gazing upon the new creation, Father blew flames to the far reaches of space and withdrew. His color paled from an ardent red-orange to a weaker yellow. “What in the great cosmos are those?! And, what are they doing to each other?!”

Tilting her head ever so slightly, his daughter said, “I have not decided what to call them, yet, as they keep changing on me. I am leaning toward naming them Humanity. What do you think, Mother?”

Though her mate was dismayed, mildly cross and tempted to scorch the young artist’s hide, Mother, impressed with the new lifeforms (which could adapt themselves more readily than any other), showed enthusiasm. “They are certainly unique and interactive.” She paused to look away when one fierce band of the fleshy rebels destroyed another, leaving a gruesome stain on the daughter’s cheek. Refraining from preaching about cleanliness, Mother added, “Keep at it, my child. But, do not be so hasty to destroy what you have made. Let it mature with you. You continue to grow in wisdom though experience. Some day, you will shine as bright as your mother or–maybe–your father.”

With those encouraging words, the still youthful artist returned to her labors, working with her latest creation to “enhance” her appearance. [Meanwhile, her parents ventured off in mounting disagreement.] As the years rolled by, the ever-mutable clay of “Humanity” grew in quantity and violence, gradually wiping away portions of her previous work. Just when it seemed like the restless, pale and balding creatures might destroy themselves and everything remaining with them, a new crop would appear to start a revolution. But, the lifeless remnants of the previous batch never seemed to fully disappear. The cosmic strength to absorb injury and clear away the messes made diminished. Eventually, after several expansive conflicts, the bewildering competition amassed heaps of debris on the heavenly creator’s face.

At the dawn of her next birthday, her parents displayed looks of horror. Lakes of toxic sludge and smoking mountains of heavy filth nearly covered every inch of their daughter’s skin. They could barely see her worrisome expression and hear her trailing voice as she pleaded, “Father! Mother! Help me! I have lost control! I am falling apart from within! Help me!”

But, they could do nothing short of wiping her from the cosmos. Reflecting upon her own potentially misguided wisdom, Mother wept. Father slapped himself for being so hasty and persistent in the pursuit of pride. In search of other worlds to litter and ravage, some of the daughter’s tiny parasites ventured deep into space with the ships she provided. Following the errant paths of the wasteful machines over their shoulders, the parents retraced the eons of their previous attempts at raising children and wondered how their neighbors, the Andromeda family, fared so well. [What did they truly know about their neighbors? And, did they need to snoop?]

                                                                           *******

“Surprise!” cheered her parents, stirring the young artist from her slumber. The latter rubbed her eyes and followed the visual cues of the former along the curves of her weathered frame. Though she had found herself drowning in darkness and despair only a moment ago, she was now glowing with a renewed sense of peace and a vigor. Gone were the mounds of death and destruction. Those tiny pests she had created were now working together as one happy community, no longer fighting over materials or each other. And, the older forms once thought doomed to extinction were now given their fair share of space to live as Humanity did.

“Happy birthday, my daughter,” said Mother with an earnest smile. “Just look at you, now. So grown-up. So mature. And, to think, a few eons ago, you were ready to throw yourself into the black hole because of some hideous eruption on your face.”

Her father, showing his age with the faintest tint of red in his thinning cheeks and forehead, added, “You have never looked lovelier than you do today, my child. You honor us both. And, look, our neighbors have brought you presents.”

The woozy artist squinted over her parents’ shoulders to see the handful of colorful visitors in the distance, each with tiny surprises headed her way. Neglecting to mention the former identity of the rock chosen as a meeting place, Mother and Father cleared the asteroid field to welcome the guests. Everyone had such a joyous time at the birthday party…

…Except for one tiny solar-powered ship carrying a lone green explorer who steered clear of all the commotion. He didn’t dare venture closer to those he could not yet understand. Instead, he continued his journey through space, watching the universe drift by as he decided what to do with the rest of his life.

 

 

~Writingbolt, 7-26-2014

14
Jul
14

Whatever god created sexual intercourse…

…probably didn’t intend on it being bought and sold like chicken feed.

 

 

Tweet!

14
Jul
14

Does a Stinky Message Smell as Sweet?

 

 

Well, how could it? I mean…I just said it’s a stinky message. Right?

But, what if you don’t see or smell the stench because others convince

you it’s worth the price of their resources? Suddenly, you’re more

interested in experiencing something with your own senses than

weighing the pros and cons. If all of your neighbors are jumping at the

chance–even if it robs them of their privacy, wealth and/or dignity–why

let the seemingly obvious warning signs stand in your way of joining

them?

 

 

When you join a club or website, do you give the name or any policy details any thought? Or, do you just join because others have, the meeting room/home page looks pretty or it’s the first place you found in a search for space to write out/share your thoughts?

 

Would an unpleasant name or rule insisting you humiliate/hurt yourself in some way stop you from joining? Or, do these not stop you?

 

When you see a commercial for a product involving real people sharing their enthusiasm, do you believe the person really supports, likes and/or uses the product? Or, do you dismiss this as (bad) acting and learn more about the product another way?

 

Do you listen to music for its beat while ignoring the lyrics? Have you ever heard a song that sounded good until you learned the lyrics upset your moral code? Do you pledge loyalty to a band/musician even if you don’t like all of their songs? Have you ever given up interest in a musician/band after hearing an awful song?

 

 

Is “trending” so vital to social interaction and acceptance that we forget

or ignore what is defined as negative, immoral and/or harmful? Maybe

you’ve heard some version of the expression: “If all of your friends

jump off a bridge, do you have to join them?” This isn’t revolutionary

news here, people. This has been going around since Eve sold herself

into evil’s service and gave a bad apple to her boy toy, Adam.

 

 

[In future posts, I will discuss two categories/examples, Music and Websites. Look for them if interested in reading more.]




Archives