Thursday, June 23, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 6/23/16
“When you can’t have what you choose, you just choose what you have.”  (Owen Wister)  The biography of Lincoln shows that his was not always a happy life.  Like for most of us, it was a mixed bag.  But his focus was more on the “ups than on the “downs.”  He wrote: “Folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”  …and that was before Peale’s, “The Power of Positive Thinking.”  The prayer, “Thy will be done” has been uplifting for me.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Actually Lincoln suffered from depression and was a very melancholy person and not really a Peale type of person at all.====JACK:  Where Peale and Lincoln seem to be on the same page...happiness or sadness is controlled by the mind.====HJ:  The proper conclusion from that would be that Lincoln had a weak mind...not sustainable by the data.   The mind seems to be a factor but it seems they are discovering that a lot of genetic factors are involved as addition to conditions supplied by the world around us.====JACK:  His words..."as they make up their minds to be."  Generally speaking, a lot of our happiness or sadness is related to how we perceive circumstances.  It's an unusual person who is happy all of the time, or sad all of the time.

FROM TARMART REV:  ...on earth as it is in heaven."====JACK:  Are you a predestinarian?

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  Inspiring thoughts on what is a gloomy day (outside and inside) here in Chicago.  Tiring of the political news and the headlines haven’t been a bowl of cherries either.  The glass is half full?====JACK:  I think that we allow our lives to be directed by the "what ifs."  Many of them turn out to be "never happeneds."  Do you remember the story of Chicken Little?====BB:    Loved Chicken Little!  Heard a comedian the other night doing a bit about the “greatest generation” where I would place you and my parents and understand the sacrifices you made both during WWII and after in the rebuilding of the US and Europe…and the funny parts were about those times being completely sexist and racist and stereotyping people into boxes.  As I talk to my children about my childhood and “those days”, I say that the modern world is a double edged sword as we now have all of these freedoms and opportunities yet people have the task of figuring out where they fit and what is “right”.  Before, your roles and the shared principles were fairly clear; you knew what was expected of you and how to get along.  I sometimes wonder if this is part of the motivation of the “Christian right’; where the letter of the law is foremost and there are no grey areas….easier for people to follow like lemmings than to think for themselves or actually feel the spirit or law of love in their hearts and make decisions in each circumstance about WWJD?  Reminds me of the message given last weekend at a  traditional Jewish wedding I attended in the redwood forest.  The Rabbi quoted another older Rabbi telling the story of a man wandering lost in the woods for days.  When he comes upon a woman, he’s so pleased that she can help him find his way out.  She greets him and says she’s sorry but she is lost too.  However, she would be glad to join him in the journey together.  They are no less lost but share the path instead of travelling alone.  When I think, “the sky is falling” i.e. our elected leaders are sitting on the floor of the congress trying to pass gun legislation after another mass shooting – I need to remember that at least they were working collectively and the frustration we experience of late with our system and our leaders is definitely shared, apparently by most of the population!
 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Lincoln did have some rough patches in life, as we all do.  But he did keep the faith and had hope.  He also was able to keep his good humor.  We need all three things also.  Faith, hope and humor!

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