Memorials and Monuments

Are we destroying history?

Monuments and statues symbolizing the Confederacy are being removed from public view in the United States at an increasing rate. Doesn’t this deprive our citizens of the memory of people who deserve to be remembered?

No.

Those protesting the removal of these monuments and statues have confused a monument with a memorial.

Slavery and racism is not something to be celebrated. The monuments and statues in question glorify the murders, persecution and racism committed upon blacks and other non-white, non-Christian, non-heterosexual groups. They are monuments to racism, hatred and, ironically so, un-Christian acts by those who would claim to be followers of Jesus.

There is no glory is their acts. There is no reason to celebrate they they did.

As Rashid Robinson from Color of Change wrote on August 13, 2017, “White supremacists killed someone in Charlottesville yesterday. Friday night they marched through Charlottesville and the University of Virginia grounds, carrying torches that evoked a history of violent racial terrorism intended to intimidate a community that had recently renamed Robert E. Lee Park to Emancipation Park. It is past time that we nationally stop the veneration of people who committed treason in the name of slavery!”

White supremacists want to (literally) “white-wash” our history. Educators from this camp wish to rename slaves as “servants,” pretending the horrors of the slave trade never existed. The same has been done to the Native American indigenous populations for the past two hundred years, venerating whites while vilifying the conquered peoples who resided here before the European invasion. Recent immigrants and citizens of the United States, particularly in Hispanic or Muslim communities, continue to be objects of hatred by this same type of people.

American could well look to Germany as an example of how to remember history. Yes, there are Neo-Nazi groups in that country who continue to protest the remembrance of the Holocaust. But the country uses their memorials as a teaching tool to education the new generations of their past, vowing to never again engage as a nation in such deplorable actions.

Americans should do the same.

I belong to an organization with a desire to help foster “A World That Works For Everyone.” Sadly, one of my own colleagues, who apparently doesn’t agree with the organization promoting this, publicly taunted another colleague about recent white supremacist actions. “This is what you get in ‘A World That Works For Everyone,’” he wrote.

No. It is not.

It is what you get when groups and individuals promote a testosterone-driven, “I have to be right (literally) and you have to be wrong,” attitude. A world that works for everyone means that everyone in the world would never do anything that would harm others. It would mean that we would be willing to accept the truth and the facts, not continue to harbor prejudice, bigotry and hatred because it suits our own beliefs.

We are not there yet, but we are moving closer every day! This is NOT the time to be cowering in the shadows. People throughout the world are bombarded with bad news from both reputable and non-reputable media sources. But, there are also thousands of great stories out there of hope, love, compassion and cooperation. Promote these. Post these!

Hatred, racism, prejudice and bigotry are not inherent. They are taught, usually by religions or governments, or in so many cases, a collusion of the two. Muslims and Hindus lived together in peace in many places in India, until the British Empire created modern-day India and Pakistan. The “Dark Ages” were produced by a union of State and Church – the land barons provided safety in this life; the Church in the next life – which produced a very rich State and Church, and poverty for all others.

These are exciting and amazing times in which we live. Never before have we as a species been faced globally by a life-threatening situation that we can do something about. This is the time to stand up for peace, for cooperation, for love, and for understanding. It is the time to support leaders who can move us forward into a better world.

It is NOT time to sit around bitching, moaning, and complaining about what “they” should or shouldn’t be doing. And, there is one leader we need to support without fail in this effort for world peace. Who is that?

Look in the mirror. It’s up to you.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

Copyright © 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.
This message may be re-printed, copied and/or forwarded without permission, as long as the content is not altered in any way and credit is given to the author.

Need An 18-Hour Bra?

Finding Consistent, Effective and Loving Support

Remember the Jane Russell commercials for the 18-hour bra from Playtex®? I know; it’s a totally off-the-wall question for a spiritual column, right?

By now you know who you’re dealing with here, so I doubt you’re shocked. My blog is called, “Making Sense of Life” for a reason. We can look at life from the reality of human joy and excitement, as well as from the pain and suffering we sometimes encounter.

Being spiritual beings having a spiritual experience on the human plane of existence means we get to experience the full range of human emotions and sensual understanding. We will have pain at times, often for our own protection.

However, remember this:

Pain is a given.
Suffering is optional.

One of the ways to avoid the agony that accompanies our pain is to seek support. The beauty in the teaching of Ernest Holmes philosophy, The Science of Mind®, is that our healing can come from wherever, whomever and whatever our consciousness allows.

The healing can be the pill; or the affirmative prayer, also called “spiritual mind treatment” by Holmes; or, through the chiropractor, physician, therapist, counselor, etc. We have so many possibilities. It’s up to each of us individually to find what works for us in our current circumstances.

There is an interesting support system that happens in the waters off of Mozambique. Brittle stars, normally a sea bottom dwelling creature related to starfish, attach themselves to drifting jellyfish, living safely among the stinging tentacles of their host. Does the brittle star do this for protection from predators? To glean food not consumed by the jellyfish? For transportation, just hitchin’ a ride? And, why doesn’t the jellyfish eat the brittle star? What’s in it for the jellyfish?

Marine research scientists are unsure of the answers to these questions. What we can learn from this example is that what’s happening in this interspecies support relationship is obviously working for the ones involved. We don’t have to understand it for it to work for them.

In our lives we might need more support at times than others. It’s up to us individually to determine what that support will be. And, just like the brittle star, no one has to understand what works for us.

At times we might have to call in the 18-hour bra support, while other times a sports bra, the latest from Victoria Secret® or we might just decide to run through life nipples to the wind! (To my few male readers, substitute jockstrap, cup, briefs, boxers or commando – didn’t want you to think I forgot you!)

Do you feel the need for support to move you through and beyond something you’re going through? Reach out to someone or some practice that you know works for you. Get the help you need to move through the dark tunnels to the light of Truth and beauty that awaits you!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

P.S. If you need a review of Jane’s commercial, here’s the link.

Copyright © 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.
This message may be re-printed, copied and/or forwarded without permission, as long as the content is not altered in any way and credit is given to the author.

 

Have you ever felt victimized? You may have been taken advantage of by someone you trusted, felt cheated out of an opportunity, or perhaps physically harmed in some way.

Unfortunately, at least one of these possible scenarios may seem all-too-familiar to you. Much of what happens in our lives is a direct result of our choices, though more often than not with most people the choices are unconscious ones.

There’s another area that brings up the situation of looking like a victim. Scripture tells us that “time and unforeseen circumstances befall us all.” We all know that in spite of our best plans and actions, shit happens.

Right now in the world there are events occurring to concern or infuriate us perhaps more than any time in the past. Dwelling on the tragedies may cause us to fear the unknown to such an extent that it stops us from even leaving our homes without anxiety.

In spite of the unthinkable situations we’ve seen, we’ve also repeatedly heard of communities that have been the target of a terrorist attack and have healed through their own tenacity. The people do not stop living their lives or refuse to live in fear. They continue to hold onto the ideals that define them.

It’s in group and individual situations like these that we choose being the victor over being the victim. Even if we don’t have a clue how to move forward after a community, family or personal challenge has come to us, the very fact that we are willing to get up the next morning and go about our life shows we possess the power to heal.

If you have moments of despair due to world or local conditions, immediately start to do something small to change your perception. One way is to stop the constant flow of news reports – often conflicting – that may be flowing through your mobile device.

Another way is to decide what YOU want out of life, instead of being engrossed, as it’s so easy to do on social media, with the “tragedies” of others. Seriously, compared to world peace, do you really give a rip about her broken fingernail or the fact that the barista misspelled his name on the latté cup?

Don’t let the media and the “sky is falling” mentality stop you from living. The uninformed and uneducated will continue to freak out; and, there are plenty of people who purposely attempt to mislead us for their own gain. Stand up for what you believe in. Refuse to set aside your principles, ethics, and morals. BE the type of person you say others should be.

I’m committed to stop blaming my problems on the actions or inactions of others. Will you join me in being a victor? Together, we CAN have a world that works for everyone.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#IAN1
@TerryDKaranen

Copyright © 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.
This message may be re-printed, copied and/or forwarded without permission, as long as the content is not altered in any way and credit is given to the author.

So MUCH To Complain About!

Have you got complaints? “Have I got complaints? You should only HAVE the problems I have!” It’s not enough that we have our own issues to deal with. On top of everything else there’s the constant stream of bad news coming to us from social media. What can we do?

First of all, we can stop complaining. I realize, quite acutely, that you may have someone in your life that has made bitching about everything into an art form. It’s not healthy. What we focus on increases in our life. Do we really want all these personal and global issues to get worse? Hardly.

There’s a balance, of course. We don’t turn a blind eye to what’s happening around us or in our personal lives. The balance comes from the discernment we exercise in what to handle ourselves, what to allow others to handle with our help, and what to let go of. Michael Michalko put it this way, “Change the way you speak, and change the way you think.”

That’s a form of the famous Ernest Holmes phrase, “Change your thinking, change your life.” Michalko, however, brings a excellent point to our attention. It’s one thing to think about some issue or desire. It’s a completely different thing to speak those thoughts. Not only are we thinking them, but we are hearing what we say; in doing so we’re reinforcing the thought. Additionally we are putting those thoughts out so that others hear us, and thereby take those thoughts into their consciousness as well.

Unity minister, Will Bowen, created the “Complaint Free World” several years ago. The challenge is to be complaint free in our speech for a full 30 days. The first time I took the challenge I was doing good to get through 30 minutes. But, with intense practice, patience and determination, I finally made it to 30 days.

During the last few weeks I have found myself doing a little complaining here and there. Okay. I’ll fess up. I’ve been bitching my fool head off, as my Grandma Esther would have said. I decided last week to once again stop complaining about things over which I have no control. That encompasses about 98.9 percent of what I see on social media.

Would you be willing to do what you can for your personal, family, community and global effort toward peace this week? Start by being a citizen of action, instead of reacting through the bitchy cycle so many have found themselves wrapped up in. It’s a nasty little hamster wheel you don’t need to be on.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#IAN1
@TerryDKaranen

Copyright © 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.

#Resist

Have you seen the hashtag, #Resist? I’ve been using it, but today a colleague of mine brought up an interesting question.

We are both part of a group of individuals who believe in being for something, as opposed to being against anything. How, he queried, can we “resist” if our focus is on being a positive force for good by acting, not reacting?

It was an interesting question, one that I contemplated for a moment or two. I found it most jarring at first, because I felt like my use up until now was suddenly suspect to criticism I thought just might be warranted. (That’s a great place to be, BTW, no matter how uncomfortable!)

Here’s what #Resist means for me:

I’m not resisting a person, place, ideology or thing. I don’t believe in being a doormat. But I’m not going to waste time trying to teach a pig to sing; it doesn’t work and annoys the pig. Here’s what I’m resisting:

  • I resist thinking I’m clueless. I’m dedicated to challenging myself to lead, instead of being led all the time, and frequently by persons, organizations and ideologies which are far less qualified to determine my good than I am.
  • I resist being afraid. I will not succumb to worrying about what could happen. I will be focused upon what is happening and what I can do about it.
  • I resist thinking that I don’t make a difference. Even if I never know how my actions affect others I know that by acting instead of reacting I move from victim consciousness to empowerment.
  • I resist the temptation to take on more than I can handle, and acknowledge with joy the things I can do.
  • I resist blaming others instead of taking responsibility for being the force of change.

It’s a growing list for me. I’m glad I got challenged because it’s helped me to re-enforce my commitment to excellence and in my purpose. We all have a choice to make about how to respond to adversity and conflict. How we choose to do so will make all the difference in our lives and health … and for our planet.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#IAN1
@TerryDKaranen

Copyright © 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.