It has taken me a while to finish my SHARE-YOUR-WORLD post this week. Melanie asks such interesting questions! So I am warning you now, if you are short for time, please don’t feel you have to read the whole post (or any of it) – I know how challenging it is to keep up with all the lovely bloggers out there. I just like to do Melanie’s questions justice.
Here is Melanie’s original SHARE-YOUR-WORLD post with the questions for this week:
Do you consider yourself a pessimist or an optimist?
Well…I think I am in between – can I claim that is being a realist??? Or a pragmatist? I don’t know.
I am not blindly optimistic and positive. But I am not at all pessimistic and negative. I know that some things work out well and others not so well. It’s important to be resilient. And it’s also important not to let doubts hold us back. We should live life with gusto! Usually my frame of mind – whether it is hopeful or doubtful is formed on the foundation of a solid reason. I try not to be influenced by people who, despite being sure of themselves, are not able to supply a reason for what they expect to happen.
When I was a child (I know it was before my primary school was burnt down so I must have been six or seven) I remember a comprehension exercise we had to do at school. It argued that pessimists are happier because they think that things are going to go wrong, so when things don’t turn out as badly as they imagined they feel very relieved and are happy. It claimed that optimists fancy that everything will be wonderful, so face repeated disappointments when actually things don’t work out as well as they had hoped. I remember that comprehension made quite a big impression on me, to the point where almost thirty years later I still remember it!
I do have a huge amount of confidence that the best really is yet to come. But I do also believe that we are near the brink of a great deal of turmoil in our near future. The warning signs are clear. They are like labour pains of an expectant mother – they are becoming more intense and more frequent. Deeper divisions are becoming manifest. People are becoming louder and louder in expressing their dissatisfaction. I think violence on a big scale is around the corner. But, that will not be the end of the story. The end of the story is a fresh start for mankind, united under one government that looks after the entire planet and the entire human family…I can’t see a future for borders, passports and visas. And for that matter I doubt weapons, armies, sprawling cities, skyscrapers, huge polluting factories, fracking operations, or a whole host of things that mar the world we live in, will be around.
Can war ever be just?
Oh wow! Melanie – what a question. I am going to have to think carefully about this one. As someone who loves peace, and hates violence, I would love to say an outright no. But I don’t think that would be a fair answer. So I am going to let this question stew in my mind before I attempt a proper answer. I will work on the rest of my post first and then come back to this one.
OK…I HAVE AN ANSWER TO THIS ONE…BUT IT IS VERY LONG! SO I HAVE TAGGED IT ON TO THE END OF MY POST IF YOU REALLY HAVE THE PATIENCE TO READ IT! DON’T FEEL OBLIGED.
Think about the people you love most in your life, what do you do for them?
Probably not enough! In the past I know I did more. But since my head injuries, one of my missions is just not to be a burden to my family.
After I was attacked, I stayed with my family for almost a year. I was very conscious that they were feeding me etc at their expense. So three months after I was attacked, I went down to the local Job Center and asked if they might be able to help me find a little work so I could contribute something to my family. The advisors at the Job Center did not really do as I asked. Instead, they asked me to fill out a bunch of forms so that the government would start paying me money. They also arranged for it to be backdated. Well, it brought in some cash to be sure. But now I started to feel like a burden to the government and the British tax-payer. I was frustrated with the situation.
So I kept looking for work myself. Almost all of the jobs advertised were full-time. I knew I could not attempt a full-time job. I just wanted to do maybe ten-fifteen hours a week to start with to build my strength back up and bring some money in so I was not an expense to my family. I had a major set-back when I became very ill due to the effect of the painkillers on my organs. I was in hospital for a long time during the December. When I left hospital I decided to start my search for work again from January.
Searching for work up north was demoralising I have to admit. My optimism was badly knocked! Hardly any part-time work. The only suitable jobs were some distance away from where I was staying. I looked for work in three different counties (where various family members lived) but regardless of where I looked the part-time work was usually in the city centre. Well I was not able to drive because of my head injuries, so I would have had to use public transport. One twelve hour per week job (that I applied for, was interviewed for, and was offered), would have taken me two and a half hours to reach by public transport (forty minutes to drive there, but that was not an option).
That frustrating situation added to my many reasons to feel that returning to London (with the best public transport network in the country by far) was my best option. Although that brought other challenges, some of which I have written about, it means I can support myself and my family do not have to support me financially. While I am unable to drive, it would be hard for me to support myself nearer to my family because they are all in rural areas where jobs come along infrequently.
My family feel like my best friends. We know each other so well. We are always in touch with each other about what is happening in our lives. When we are together we always have a great time, it’s really as if we were never apart. Ideally we would all be closer geographically. But thanks to modern technology, we can be a part of each lives everyday.
And then there is this blog…which is all for my family, so that if my head injuries take me away from them…they can look back at what I have written (if they want to 🙂 ).
Are you health conscious?
I am. I can’t not be! Physically, my body has a very loud way of telling me what it needs – especially my head. It bullies me with intense pain when it is not happy!!
I am careful about what I eat, but I am not pedantic. I have been vegetarian for thirty years and now eat an almost vegan diet. So beyond that I don’t worry too much about what I eat because it is a naturally healthy diet. I have to make sure treats are very occasional these days…and I have made a vow that I won’t have any cake or naughties until I am back from Australia.
I cannot do as much sport as I used to, but I still enjoy walking and swimming and I do what I can only describe as gentle jogging. There have been to many occasions when my brain has not told my heart to beat faster…and I end up conking out!! I had a couple of times when I was trying to jog faster and I blacked out and collapsed on the pavement – thank goodness for kind strangers. So I prefer to go with a friend, and I jog gently so that my brain has no problems with making sure my heart can keep up with my legs. (So frustrating for someone who was as active as me!)
I am also conscious of looking after my mind’s health – I don’t expose myself to entertainment that would disturb my happy way of thinking. I make sure I do things that are positive and wholesome for my mind.
I make sure I have a very healthy social life, with people who are really good for me. I make a little time for things I enjoy – a little music, lots of writing, lots of outdoors.
Gratitude, Thankfulness, Wonder, Awe and Joy!
This is the space where you share, if you’d like to, something that falls into those categories.
So many beautiful things to be in awe of, in wonder at, grateful for and moved to deep joy – amongst those that mean the most to me are: Goldfinch, my wonderful family, this beautiful planet and it’s amazing creatures, mountains, forests, lakes, oceans, sunsets, rainbows, flowers, music and a million other things!!!
Well, now it is time to come back to the question I thought I should think carefully about before I answered it:
Can war ever be just?
There have been many unjust wars. How do I define “unjust”? Well, the whole concept of an aggressive nation invading other lands and attacking people, killing them, forcing them into slavery, taking their land, and all the awful acts like rape and arson and torture and other unspeakable acts – it is all absolutely abhorrent.
So what could be defined as a “just” war? I guess only if it is highly selective, and it is targeted only at those who have been committing heinous crimes. I don’t need to define those heinous crimes do I? When the superior power warns those committing those crimes that there will be consequences to their actions, that justice will be executed for their crimes, and gives innocent people a chance to escape and separate themselves from those who ought to be punished for their abhorrent acts.
Is a human army or government qualified to go in as a judge and execute justice impartially on another nation? Are they capable of making sure that innocent people are protected and safe? Are they truly indiscriminate? Are they truly righteous in their way of judging? Who can be certain that there are no other factors driving them – monetary, political, or the notion that it would be better for another country to have a form of government closer to that of their own?
Who is qualified to judge the violent acts that governments, political and military leaders, armies and individuals are responsible for? Your answer to that question probably depends on whether you believe in a Creator.
For those who do believe in a Creator, the following words describe how He has made it clear that He will act as Judge and punish atrocities that have been committed. The scriptures also make clear that He will act decisively to end oppression, warfare and violence once for all time. He will do so in a war. A highly selective war that he has warned of for thousands of years. He has given people to opportunity to make sure they are protected throughout this war.
Return evil for evil to no one….
Do not avenge yourselves, beloved, but yield place to the wrath;
for it is written: “Vengeance is mine; I will repay,” – Romans 12:17, 19
You will not need to fight this battle.
Take your position, stand still,
and see the salvation of God in your behalf. – ” Chron 20:17
From oppression and from violence he will rescue them,
And their blood will be precious in his eyes. – Psalm 72:14
I saw heaven opened, and look! a white horse. And the one seated on it is called Faithful and True, and he judges and carries on war in righteousness. His eyes are a fiery flame, and on his head are many diadems. He has a name written that no one knows but he himself, and he is clothed with an outer garment stained with blood, and he is called by the name The Word of God. Also, the armies in heaven were following him on white horses, and they were clothed in white, clean, fine linen. And out of his mouth protrudes a sharp, long sword with which to strike the nations, and he will shepherd them with a rod of iron. Moreover, he treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his outer garment, yes, on his thigh, he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. – Revelation 19:11-16
He is bringing an end to wars throughout the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; He burns the military wagons with fire. – Psalm 46:9
So…there will be a war to end all wars. No more weapons of war. That war will mean the end of wickedness. It will mark a permanent change for the human family as we come under the rule of a loving Creator. Of vital importance is the detailed description in the scriptures of what leads up to that war, and how we must act. One thing is made very clear. Those who take up violence in the trouble ahead (and there will be unprecedented trouble ahead) will not have the approval and protection from their Creator. Anyone who is obedient to their Creator and yet suffers harm – any harm, whether it be injury or death, will be undone.
After wickedness has gone, then the wonderful promises of healing for mankind, the planet and the future resurrection of those who have died can begin. Our Creator is longing to see a happy healthy human family thriving on a beautiful planet Earth.
In the meantime, the wars that are fought now are not with the Creator’s approval, even when some may feel they have a noble cause. It is utterly futile for opposing sides in a violent conflict to be praying to their Creator – for He will not be listening to those prayers. Ultimately, those who have disobeyed Him and have been drawn into violent conflicts will be judged by Him. As the giver of life, He alone has the right to take life. He says “wait for me”. He can undo all the effects of the suffering of innocent people. And He will.
I am very optimistic that the future of mankind will be very wonderful. But I know that there will be some who will persist in what our Creator views as wicked. Before that war, during which wickedness will be eliminated once for all time, some will actually fight against our Creator and those who trust Him. Can you imagine? In fact, did you know that what actually starts the war of Armageddon is the attack on those who have been obedient to and have put their trust in Creator?
‘Whoever touches you touches the pupil of my eye.” – Zech 2:7