“How to talk to little girls”: A Variation

I recently skimmed over an article similar to this and though I think the basic premise is good, I disagree with a basic sentiment. So here’s my version.

Children are individuals. They are people. Little people, yes, but people. We need to begin treating them as such. Here’s how: Continue reading

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I’m not Ashamed

and other lessons learned from the Newsboys.

I had a discussion with my husband today about the direction of our country’s government, specifically when juxtaposed to other large governments. We specifically discussed our country’s unique protection of rights, and how that is slowly disintegrating into a red tape bureaucracy. He mentioned an advertisement he’d seen: a dark scene in which a law enforcement official searches a man’s car and finds a bundle of newspapers to be distributed hidden under a seat cover. The man is hastily arrested without being read his rights and the newspapers are confiscated. The message of the advertisement being, “Don’t take your rights for granted.”

It reminded me of many experiences recounted to me by missionaries who have ventured into China. How very poor the majority of the people living there are, in both material and immaterial goods. Restrictions on what you may say, how you may say it, and whom you may say it around. That the majority of students have only two outfits of clothing, so that they may wash one while wearing the other. That people disappear without warning or word as to where they have gone. They simply vanish and are quickly forgotten in word, though perhaps not in mind. It has become routine.

After sharing this conversation, I drove home listening to the Christian band, the Newsboys. I don’t like many Christian artists or bands. I feel that they’re redundant and mainstream to a point that makes me want to hurl. But I grew up on the Newsboys and I find more depth in their music every time I take a listen than I did in my early faith. And listening to their music, I was reminded of a particular song: I’m not ashamed.

The song is very simple with a clear cut, straightforward message: I will not compromise my proclamation of the gospel for what is pleasant for you, nor for what may earn me more finite wealth. As I listened to another song, Believe, I recognized a statement of objectivism: “There is black. There is white. There is wrong and there is right.” Further, a clear statement held within the chorus: faith is not just a feeling. It is grounded on reason. Even in such light hearted songs such as Tuning In there are such nuggets as the idea that no one controls your own faith but you.

Now I know, I know, these are simple messages. They’re roots that run deep into the most basic ideas of Christian faith. But perhaps it’s good for us all to maintain open senses to listen to God in the most distant areas of our lives, as well as those closest to us.

Friendship done Right

I have a handful of “best” friends. They are people I consider family, and whom I treat as such. I love them with every fiber of my being and am confident that they hold similar opinions of me. But one of my best friends stands out from the others in a very unique way. We’ll call him Bob.

Bob and I have known each other for at least 8 years. We became friends slowly, and to this day if you ask either of us how we became friends, neither of us knows how. Oh, we have our theories to be sure, but we’re not really positive just how it happened. It’s not that we don’t remember interactions with each other from that long ago, though the memories are distant. It’s that, by all accounts, it just doesn’t make sense. Our interests are pretty different, though the overlap here and there and for some time our practical moral stances were quite different. We lived at literally opposite ends of the country soon after becoming “friends” and now we only see each other in person about twice a year; and that’s a good year.

Yet he is closer than a brother to me. We have been there for each other during the 4am phone calls, the family problems, the relationship disasters, likewise through the jokes, the drunk dials, and some of the best times of our lives. As rare as face-to-face interactions are, we keep in touch and both benefit from a very healthy friendship, one uniquely unlike my others.

And for some time I’ve been trying to figure out why. Why is it that in my friendship with Bob we manage to be such good friends, even though so many factors seem to work counter to that result.

And then it hit me: the reason we maintain such a functional friendship is because we do not base our friendship upon obligation. From very early on we both understood, without needing to formally establish, that being friends does not automatically make us obligated to one another. Over the years, we watched other friendships come and go, at times losing most close friends. But our friendship maintained a healthy, functional growing rate. “How does it work?” you may ask. It works by not getting angry because you haven’t gotten a phone call in three months. It works by not maintaining an obligation based mindset that claims that your friendship is conditional. We shared experience when we decided to do so of our own volition. I chose to answer my phone at 4am. He chose if and when to call me back. And both of us have lost dear friendships because other people did not understand the functionality of such an arrangement.

This past evening my husband and I visited with this dear friend of mine, and he is doing exceptionally well. We have truly watched each other learn and mature through the years. Speaking with him is still as easy as it was so long ago, and interactions in person are just as comfortable and entertaining. And we still hold a friendship on self-volition. He did not get angry when I did not contact him for almost a year due to an abusive relationship. I did not get angry when he did not contact me for months while deployed. We missed each other, but there was no hostility due to a lack of communication.

Thus I give you readers an example of how very functional relationships can be when they are not formed around obligation. Most relationships are like this. Relationships with family and friends. The only relationship that merits any obligation is that of a husband and wife, for they have sworn obligation to each other.

Perhaps Women’s Fatal Flaw

Through a string of conversations yesterday, I came to a conclusion about women, how they think, and how they make some of their decisions. It is irrational, without merit, and no man in his right mind would ever come up with the solution. So I share with you today: so that men, you may better understand the female psyche, and women, so that you can verify or deny my claims. Continue reading

Never Forget

Not because you were there.
Not because you were moved.
Not because you were scared.
Nor because you were speechless.
But because this country,
The United States of America,
Is a country where we uphold our neighbors,
Coworkers, friends, and enemies
To a higher set of standards
When things such as this happen.