“The nice thing about memories is that even if we forget some…We can always make new ones.” (Ziggy) Last week I heard a talk about geriatric psychiatry. One of the topics considered was Alzheimer’s Disease. That presentation caused me to look up more about Dr A, who first diagnosed the ailment. I read that his parents taught him that “the strong look after the weak.” And…he dedicated his life to that. Is there a basic ethic you were taught as a child? ;-)
FROM FACEBOOK LIZ: tell the truth.====JACK: I learned the same lesson, but life taught me that there are sometimes gray areas. However, I still think that children should be taught to tell the truth.====LIZ: not sure about "grey areas." what are some?====JACK: When the whole truth would destroy the self-worth of a struggling individual….. ====LIZ: that is a social issue, not an honesty one.====JACK: Sometimes the "whole" truth can do more harm than good to a "fragile" person.
FROM CB IN MICHIGAN: Hi Jack, I will share something I learned from my father that stays with me. I was raised in Grand Rapids and he worked in an office building downtown. A man who was blind sold the Grand Rapids Press in the lobby of his building. He was dressed rather shabbily and looked disheveled, not clean, etc. to me as a child. When I was about 10 years old, I said something to my dad along the lines of, why can't he do more than sell newspapers just because he's blind?
What my dad said to me is something I have never forgotten and have repeated it to my children. He said, "That man is doing honest work. All honest work deserves respect. Someone selling pencils on the street corner deserves respect. People deserve our respect for the hard, honest work they do."====JACK: One of the stories in today's Detroit Free Press tells of a search for young people to enter a carpenter-apprentice program. An earlier story told of a high school program to teach children how to become fire fighters, so that when they graduate they are on their way to a new job.
Because of a variety of issues, some have to "make the best of it." Sympathy is a good lesson. The great divide between the rich and the poor today indicates that there are other lessons to be taught.
FROM TARMART REV: ...to 'love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’====JACK: That's the same lesson Jesus taught when a lawyer asked him, "What shall I do to gain eternal life."====REV: My folks pointed it out to me many years ago as a good directive for me to follow...disappointed a few neighbors I'm sure along the way as I too have disappointed myself in this regard.====JACK: You might take comfort in what the Bible says: "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." ....which reminds me of the old deacon who fervently prayed..."O Lord, forgive us our falling shorts!"
FROM MY LAWYER: Isn't that a corollary from the Golden Rule?====JACK: The Golden Rule presumes that people will treat you well, if you will treat them well. In "the strong looking after the weak," there is no presumption that you will get anything in return. Personally, I think that society is benefited more by those who practice the second lesson. But, the Golden Rule is a good one, just the same.====ML: I'm not sure of the "presumption" in your first sentence. Doing unto others as you would like to be treated is righteous conduct; but I'm not sure if that conduct presumes anything in return. Just a thought....====JACK: The presumption is that if you do good to others, they will do good to you. Maybe the Rule could read, Do unto others as you hope they will do unto you. I guess that I was presuming too much.
FROM HUNGRY HOWIE: We taught our children to do the right thing even if no one is looking.====JACK: As a child, I was also taught the song: "He's got his eye on you. He's got his eye on you. My Lord sittin' in the kingdom, he's got his eye on you."
FROM THE MAYOR: My parents taught me not to give in to fear. My father allowed me to debate any issue with him as long as I remained logical....sure came handy with my council job! I will lead my last mtg next Mon. I am term limited.====JACK: When FDR was first inaugurated during the Great Depression, he tried to reassure a "fearful" populace..."We have nothing to fear but fear itself." Sometimes the monsters that we fear are like Godzilla, imaginary. But, the, there are others that turn out to be real. The trick is, to know the difference. Your father was a wise man.
FROM GOOD DEBT JON: I like this pastor, “the strong look after the weak.” This should be a basic staple in everyone’s “ethics portfolio.” While making new memories is critical, I greatly value and still take direction from memories of friends and loved ones that have long passed. In the song A Fathers Eyes, I wrote, “Maybe Dad love is only memories, and if it is I know you’re still here with me.” I am working on a crowdfunding project right now, that in a way deals with persevering and making memories for a 4 year old girl, Lily, whose dad was killed in Afghanistan. I know what it’s like to trade your Dad for a neatly tri-folded flag. “We are the sum of our memories.” If you get a moment look at http://OperationLily.com and pass it on if you like the project. All the best. ====JACK: I've seen your crowd-funding project on Facebook, so I know of your concern for someone in need. I commend you for that, but I know that such a concern is nothing new for you. The truth is...as you have put into song...that that kind of concern was passed on to you by your father. In this computer age, the sad thing is that we get so many requests by mail and by e-mail that we tend to become immune to needs, unless they're personal. I know people afflicted by Parkinson's, ALS, Diabetes, Eye Diseases, etc, so I tend to give to those causes and ignore other worthy causes, knowing I can't solve all the world's problems. So many needs...too few resources. As a pastor, much of my job was trying to interpret needs in such a way that people would respond to them...the strong being motivated to help the weak.
FROM MSU JS: Yes, I was taught to treat all others with respect and kindness. Now, if I could just gain some...patience!!====JACK: Maybe you need more patience, but you certainly don't lack enthusiasm. "We are who we are," as my father-in-law used to say.
FROM BLAZING OAKS: Love the "Forgive us our falling shorts!" on your blog. HA! Nice to start the day with a chuckle! My mother's mantra was "It doesn't cost anything to be kind", and she urged us to be nice to everyone, even if they would never be our bosom buddies....My father occasionally said, "Even the worst of us can serve as a bad example!" :-) Which of course was not our goal in life! (But don't judge...) My beloved maternal grandfather, a staunch Methodist, often quoted his favorite Bible verse, "Be not weary in well-doing, for in due season you will reap, if you faint not." It seems that most kids do have a desire to be helpful, and feel good when they are needed!====JACK: It would be interesting to ask your children what "ethic" they learned from their parents. In fact, why don't you ask them....and report back?
FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL: we were in Germany a couple of years ago and we drove passed the university where Alzheimer's taught and did his research. it was the same university where x-ray was discovered and I think also how we learned to do blood plasma extraction. all quite interesting. (not totally sure of this last item).====JACK: Sometimes we take for granted the long hours, blind alleys and tedious work that has gone into many benefits that we take for granted today. We stand on the shoulders of giants...even in the business of theology.
FROM CHESTER THE GOOD: Nothing special. My folks taught by example.====JACK: As Edgar Guest wrote in his poem, "I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day."
FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: My parents told us the Golden Rule...Do unto others as you would have done unto you!====JACK: Without prompting, ask your grandchildren to explain the Golden Rule.