I Can’t Imagine #48

aidan-bartos-373657-unsplashWe all know that this week marked the 17th anniversary of the terrorist attack on America which happened on Tuesday September 11, 2001. It seems strange to me to use the word anniversary when it’s a day that we remember and reflect upon the horrific act of terrorism that was committed and all the lives that ended on that day. On that Tuesday morning, in September 2001, I was 19 years old working at an elementary school as a teacher’s assistant, living confused, not knowing what I really wanted to do with my life or understanding what direction God was leading my life into. I’m sure just like me, on that morning most Americans were going about their daily routine and an act of terrorism was not on the list of things on any of our minds. Seventeen years later we probably all keep the possibility of another attack happening in America on our minds, although one has not occurred in this country. Since that morning in 2001 terrorist attacks have become a common thing in this world we live in.

Every year since September 11, 2001, I find myself watching the commemoration ceremonies when the relatives of the victims who perished when the twin towers fell read each of their names aloud. Even though so many years have gone by I imagine it doesn’t get any easier for the family members to endure that ceremony on the grounds where their beloved family and friends so tragically died. Seventeen years later just watching the ceremony on television it’s just as heartbreaking as watching the first commemoration ceremony was and it still brings tears to my eyes.24D5C3C1-541B-41CE-B070-21D1E8E11422I sit and watch the video footage of the planes flying into the twin towers and the two buildings ultimately collapsing and crumbling while all those people were still inside. All these years later I don’t think that image will ever not make me cry. I always find myself trying to imagine what all those people must have been thinking and feeling, being stuck in those buildings. Some of them probably were unaware of exactly what had happened and they didn’t know that death was imminent. Thinking about it now still makes my heart ache but I always hope that the people who met their death in those buildings did not have to suffer a painful death, I honestly hope that their deaths were instant. It always crosses my mind that there may have been even more death if it had not been for those heroic people on Flight 93 who lives ended preventing the last hijacked airplane from getting to the intended target. I can’t imagine the extreme fear the passengers on all four of the hijacked airplanes must have felt. Can you imagine realizing that you are about to die in that horrific way?

The terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001 are on my list of a million things that I ask God “why” about, because I just don’t understand. How can one group of people hate an entire country of people to the extent of actually planning an attack on that country that ended in three thousand deaths. I’m sure we all have met someone who we just don’t like at all, but to hate someone who you’ve never even met so passionately that it makes you want to kill, well, I think I’m glad I don’t know that feeling. I have never wanted to kill or wished death on anyone. I guess maybe I should’ve paid closer attention in my social studies and history classes in school so that I could better understand America’s relationship with it’s enemies.

I realize that grief is a never ending process that the relatives of the victims who perished in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks will always be dealing with, but I hope and pray that each of them has found a way to find some peace and solace when they remember their loved ones.

That’s just my perspective!💜

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What Are They Thinking? #39

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. Hebrews 13:2NIV

One of the personal goals I set when I decided to create a blog and share my feelings with the world was to try and refrain from posting anything that could get me engaged in a war of words with someone who reads what I have to say and disagrees with my perspective, because I am not an argumentative person. I realize that not everyone is going to agree with my perspective on the topics that I write about, but I would prefer to agree to disagree with anyone who has an issue with my perspective.

I promised myself that I would not devote an entire post to expressing my feelings about the current administration occupying the White House, but unfortunately I just couldn’t keep that promise to myself. I really do not understand why it is that some Americans don’t want people from other countries to migrate to America. I might be totally wrong but I think if most Americans did some genealogy research on their family history even if you have to go back decades or a century there is someone in your ancestry that was not born in the United States unless you are of Native American descent, but that’s not what today’s perspective is about.

I am sure that I will never be able to wrap my mind around how or why the so called leaders of this country felt like it was alright to take children from their parents and families simply because they’ve decided that they don’t want immigrants in the United States. How did the person(s) whose mind that policy was created by not think that thousands of Americans would be outraged by such an inhumane policy. Immigrant families make the journey to America attempting to escape the harsh, violent, impoverished conditions of their native countries, they get to the states and their children are taken from them, according to information that I read some adults were deported to their home countries without their children, obviously no one thoroughly thought about how that was going to make America look or maybe making America look like a horrible place was the goal of whoever created this heartless policy. My guess is the goal was to make America look like a horrible place to live to deter people from other countries from even contemplating bringing their families to settle here and make a better life for themselves, their children and future generations of their family.

When the current occupant of the oval office was campaigning the slogan he used to attract supporters was “Make America Great Again” but so far in a year and a half all he and his administration have done is take America in the extreme opposite direction of being great. My heart aches for the small children who were taken away from their families and have yet to be reunited with them, because I am sure they have no understanding of what is going on and why they are no longer with familiar people who love and care for them. It is really an extremely sad situation. It is racism and xenophobia at the maximum level, but the much more awful part is that it is 2018 and although this was a new way to handle immigration, that type of behavior is nothing new in America. As I have stated before, the current occupant of the oval office has only emboldened others into thinking that displaying racism, xenophobia, sexism and many other repulsive beliefs is a way to make America great and it is absolutely horrifying to me to conclude that the words (tweets) and actions of one person could cause so much chaos.

I do believe that there is a reason that God allowed the current president and his administration to obtain their positions and a reason why we’re only half way through 2018 and its already become a year to remember for mostly negative occurrences. Everyday I am hoping that God will soon reveal that reason because right now I think many Americans are living in a state of confusion.

That’s just my perspective💜

Now Is The Time To Talk #26

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I am sure we all know by now that two days ago there was another mass shooting, this time at a church in a small town in Texas where multiple adults and children were killed by a single gunman. I hate to see such horrific acts of violence especially when children are involved and now once again I have all sorts of things running through my mind about all the violence that is occurring in this country daily. Specifically, I have been thinking about how after all the mass shootings that have occurred in the last few years everyone starts talking about gun laws and mental illness. Some say that right after such a horrible crime has been committed is not the right time to discuss gun laws, because so many families are grieving and its disrespectful, some believe that the shooters in these incidences have some sort of mental illness.

My question is when is it time to discuss these subjects? I honestly do not know what the gun laws are in the state where I live or what federal gun laws are, I guess I have never bothered to research that because I don’t think that I will ever want to purchase a gun. It seems to me that guns are far too easy to obtain, and I think that needs to change. I realize that guns are not always used for evil, but too often they are used for extremely evil acts of violence and I feel that if that can be prevented by changing some of the gun laws then why not change them. I really don’t understand what the issue is with our elected government officials who make the laws. I am also very aware of the fact that even if the gun laws are changed to make it much harder to purchase them people will still be able to obtain them illegally. I guess that gun control is a very difficult thing to even discuss because people have so many differing opinions about the subject, but something has got to change because there is entirely too much gun violence happening every day.

Mental illness is something that seems to be rarely discussed publicly, it seems to me that in some cultures and communities within this country mental health is a taboo subject, it is something that is kept secret amongst family members and maybe close friends. People suffer in silence with depression and other mental health issues because they are afraid of what others will say or because in certain cultures seeing a psychiatrist is heavily criticized. I am sure that many people will take issue with me for saying so but in some cases when awful violence such as the recent mass shootings occurs I honestly question whether the shooters really have some sort of mental illness or not. It seems like some of these people have built up anger and rage because of certain things that have happened in their lives and they lose all regard for their lives and the lives of others, it’s like they are seeking revenge for something. I mean I am no doctor and I have only read a small amount of information on mental illnesses so that’s just my opinion and something that I think about after these acts of violence have happened. I just cannot make any sense out of someone purchasing multiple guns and planning to murder people. What happens in a person’s mind that tells them that they need to kill? Its baffling to me.

I am always saying that I wish that I could be the change that I would like to see in this world, but I can’t figure out how to fix this one and it bothers me so badly that we seem to have become accustomed to the horrific violence that happens in not only this country but in the world. What I do know is that right now today is the right time to have intensive discussions about making some changes so that horrifically sad acts of violence like what occurred in Sutherland Springs, Texas two days ago can possibly be prevented or will no longer happen at all.💜

What Is Happening? Turbulent Times #21

For the last few days my spirit has been so weakened because I’ve been thinking about all that is going on in the world right now, so I decided to write about it and purge everything that I have been feeling, because that always helps me. I think that I have said in a few previous posts that I believe that everything happens for a reason, a reason that God does not always reveal to you as soon as you might like. For the majority of my years over 21, I’ve believed that there is also a lesson in everything that occurs in life, but now I’m at a point in life where it seems like I am always asking God to please reveal to me why he is allowing certain things to happen in the world, because there is so much happening that I just don’t understand. It feels to me like everything and everyone in this world has just gone awry and things have got to change for the betterment of us all.

Something else that I have stated in previous posts is that I try not to watch the news very often because of all the negativity that is happening in the world that unfortunately gets televised, but because I am interested in what’s going on in the world around me, lately I have been watching the news more often. Everyday there are numerous stories on the news about someone’s life ending due to some form of violence, most times there is a gun involved. I am truly saddened & heartbroken by the fact that we live in such chaotic times where people resort to killing one another over temporary anger, or things that are completely meaningless, things that are definitely not worth taking or losing precious life. There is so much selfishness being exhibited amongst the people who are supposed to be running this country, it seems as though they all only care about themselves and doing whats going to be beneficial to only themselves.

All of these things make me wonder what is happening in this world that I’m living in, this world that my three year old nephew is growing up in, the world where he’ll become a man. I grew up being taught not to question God, but honestly I do question God & pray he’ll give me clarity. I don’t understand why it is that God is allowing us to live in such turbulent times, times when one can’t watch the news without hearing about young people killing one another, times when it seems as though the world is completely lacking positivity, love, kindness, and compassion. We are living in times where it seems as though we don’t value one another, times where too much selfishness is exhibited, a time when babies’ lives end due to unnecessary violence. We’re living in a time where young children make the decision to end their own lives because of being bullied by other children who I am sure learn that behavior from someone older. I don’t understand right now what the reason is and definitely not what the lesson will be in the future, but I will try to continue to follow the advice of my grandmother and Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding.💜

A Materialistic World #17

4E714ECA-49AB-47DF-8AC9-39721C924DEAI don’t watch television a lot these days, but this is the second time since starting this blog that something I watched on television inspired my feelings and thoughts giving me a subject to write about. A few days ago I watched a portion of an episode of 60 Minutes, the topic of discussion was how the living conditions in the South Sudan are affecting the children that live in that area of the world, causing them to become severely ill. I have a very special place in my heart for children and seeing how ill the children who were featured in the story have become simply because of the conditions in the part of the world that they were born in extremely saddened me and I could not continue to watch.

I did a little research on the South Sudan and the conditions in that part of the world. According to the Living Water, Community Transformation Organization’s website more than two million people have been displaced due to civil war. Four million people face food insecurity and do not know if or when they will eat on a daily basis. More than 90 percent of the population in the area live on less than $1 per day and 80 percent of the population has no access to any toilet facility. I realize that there are many more places in the world where people are dealing with third world conditions and being a person who truly cares about the welfare of others I wish that I had an efficient solution to the problems in those areas of the world as well as in the United States.

00B076DA-1710-476D-BA16-E5755CD0C8E4Seeing and reading about all that the people in the South Sudan are experiencing made me think about how we live in the United States and the many things that some Americans take for granted. I know that there are hundreds of people who live in poverty in this country but there are so many who do not and I believe that we take the way we are able to live in this country for granted. In this country we base so much about others on their material possessions such as houses, cars and clothes which are things that yes, we do work to earn the money to obtain and are things that we may place sentimental value on but they have nothing at all to do with what’s on the inside of a person, what’s in your heart & soul. It isn’t my intention to be judgemental and I hope that no one takes my words in that way, but I feel that there are too many materialistic people in this part of the world. If you really know me personally then you know I like to always have a nice handbag on my shoulder but I realize that having a nice handbag or other nice material things has nothing to do with who I am on the inside.

I know right now our health care system and how health care is paid for is something that is a big issue amongst the government officials who were elected to run the country, but we are so blessed and fortunate to have the health care system that we do in the United States, unlike some places in the world, we have great hospitals that we can be treated at when we are sick, we don’t live in an area of the world where people constantly die because of conditions that are ultimately simple to treat, but don’t have the resources for treatment. We stand in long lives at stores to spend money purchasing material things on days like Black Friday or the first day that the newest Jordans are being sold in stores whereas people in places like the South Sudan stand in lines to receive necessities like food and clean water.

As I said previously I am in no way trying to be judgemental and I really hope that I am not considered to be but I have personally been working on teaching myself that the type of person that I am is so much more important than the material things that I possess and I sincerely hope that this blog post will inspire others to reflect upon the person that you are and know that the things that you have been blessed with that are not material things like family, friends, love & compassion for others and the ability to make a difference all over the world just by being you are what’s most important in this life.💜

Race Relations: A Senseless Problem #14

436F4633-86F7-4C77-8DC3-56AD52BBDE4A I have never truly understood exactly why so much emphasis is placed on race in the United States. Genesis 1:26-28 & 31 says, Then God said,Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. My interpretation of that scripture is that God created every person on earth uniquely, as he wanted them. All people are individually unique and we must be willing to accept one another’s similarities and differences in order to live with one another peacefully.

We have to accept that there is nothing that makes anyone superior over another. Romans 2:11 says, God does not show favoritism. I believe that God accepts us all just as he made us and wants us to accept each other, but we do not. I don’t understand why it is that some people seem to feel that they are better than others simply based upon their racial background. The race relations problem in this country and throughout the world is senseless to me and I believe that if we placed more emphasis on what’s on the inside of people instead of judging by what’s on the outside the problem would not exist.💜