Measuring Success and Failures

How do we measure success and failure? Grades A, B, C, D or F? Pass/fail. High scores on video games? The bigger number on a scoreboard at a sporting event? What about college entrance exam scores, admissions to prestigious universities. Am I successful if I have a lot of stuff?  A lot of money? The list goes on and on. How is success or failure measured in relationships? Is it as simple as good or bad? Is it based on how much contention, or how little contention? Divorce? Respect? Love? Do positive emotions have to be reciprocal to be considered a success? Does any of this resonate? How do we measure success as a parent? Successful children? What does that look like? Is there a reasonable measurement? Is it the same for everyone? Is there such a thing as religious success or failure? How would I be able to tell? Can someone measure it for me? Can I measure it for you? Can it be measured now, or do I have to wait until I die? Will “judgment day” show my success or failure?  W

A grateful heart

"Whatever our individual troubles and challenges may be, it's important to pause every now and then to appreciate all that we have, on every level." Shakti Gawain I would add to this -- whatever we may think we lack -- and then say this . . .  Everyone in the world has more than someone else, and less than someone else. In this context, every person in the world has reason to be grateful. Not everyone has shoes, or three meals a day, or running water. Some people have more food than they can eat, enough shoes they can wear 3 different pairs in a day, and running water in all 6 bathrooms under the roof over their head. Some people have a loving family, a village free from war and disease, and thatch keeping out the elements. Some people have a summer house, a winter house, and a get-away house. Some people have no family, no peace, and no roof. Notwithstanding, everyone can be grateful for what they have, and everybody should make the effort, commit the time

On symbolism

Symbolism uses one thing (or idea) to represent another thing (or idea). There is always “this” that stands in the place of “that.” The value of the symbol is in teaching about “that” by employing “this” as a teaching tool. .. In temple or religious symbolism, the “this” used has no real value, but “that” holds eternal value. If an unbelieving person obtains access to “this” temple or religious symbol, and then fails to understand its relationship to “that” which is spiritual or eternal, they have nothing of value. Likewise, when the symbol this has no meaning for those who believe in the spiritual or eternal (temple), then it fails to have any value for the believer as well. .. God frequently uses symbols to teach His highest truths. Christ used parables to teach about that by using the familiar to substitute as a representation. He explained that this was to prevent those who were unworthy of the symbol from comprehending the truths. Seeing, they "see not"

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Guess what?  It's pretty damn difficult parenting adult children.

Hillbilly Elegy

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance My rating: 4 of 5 stars All I can think about and could think about while reading this book was that I am so unbelievably ignorant of the world, and not just the world, but the good old US of A. This young man may as well live on another planet from me. His experiences have opened by eyes. May I be less judgmental, and more Godly in my associations with people. I can not possibly know their experiences, much less their hearts. Kudos J.D. Vance - you have quite a story. View all my reviews
The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O'Connor My rating: 5 of 5 stars A book full humor, horror, hopelessness and hope written in beautiful metaphorical prose. View all my reviews

A Mother's Day Letter to My Kids

Dear all of you, Last year I had a thought or impression, maybe. I felt like I wanted to send you guys a letter to tell you my thoughts about Mother's Day. Well the day, week, month and year came and went, and I never did. This year, same impression. This time I'm responding to that impression.  My path to motherhood was slightly different than most. Four kids within a few weeks of being married and then 5 of my own. Mothering is hard work. And strangely, nobody bothers to actually tell you how hard it is. Mothering is also the most rewarding thing I can think of ever doing.  I used to hate Mother's Day. It's not uncommon. Gather 20 mothers together, ask them to discuss mother's day and I would be willing to bet more than 1/2 of them hate it. The reasons vary. We are all different.  I could drone on and list the reasons I "hated" mother's day. They were all selfish and self-pitying. Therefore, not worth mentioning. Those of you who are