Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Good Citizens

Every day I make sure I read about the current events happening around the world. Usually I get my information from the local newspaper and various news websites on the internet. But please, don’t be misled by my exclaimed diligence. I haven’t always felt the need to make this type of information gathering a part of my daily routine. I used to feel that reading the newspaper or watching the news was something that only old folks were supposed to do. I’d rather watch a ballgame or one of my favorite sitcoms on TV, or read the Sports and the Comics sections of the newspaper and ignore everything else. This lifestyle of wallowing in ‘blissful ignorance’ wasn’t confined to my adolescence. I didn’t summon the courage to take the ‘red pill’ of truth until after I became a married father. Having a beautiful wife to love and take care of and children to raise, will make even the most hard-headed man come to his senses and focus on what’s real.

There’s a common American standard formula for being a ‘good’ citizen. The common path is grade school, college/vocational training, get a job, get married, obey all the laws of the land and work hard, buy a house, have kids, retire, enjoy our grandkids and travel until our heart stops beating. Of course this is a blatantly crude assessment, but life & burial insurance salesmen always LOVE it! The funny thing about human life, is that no one comes with an expiration date stamp. There are no guarantees, because tomorrow is promised to no man. Some people freak out at the thought of their eventual inevitable death and they completely block it out from their conscience thought. Others become so obsessed with it, that they become detached from everyday life and ‘zone out’.

The good citizen is not swayed toward either of these extremes. Obviously all good citizens don’t have formal education or training, some good citizens can’t find a job, some good citizens never get married or buy a house or have kids. There’s a lot of good citizens that will never be able to retire, they will never have any grandkids to enjoy and they will never get a chance to travel outside their own neighborhood. So of course, those weren’t requirements for good citizenship. The main requirement for ALL good citizens is their desire to obeying the laws of the land.

The American media today is deluged with stories of millionaire business executives who ‘stretched’ or found a ‘loophole’ in the laws as written. A select few make off with fortunes while the ignorant hard working masses are left on the short end of the stick looking for a new job. Despite all the new media hype that’s being generated, these devious practices are not new. Snakes have been around since the beginning of man and they’re destined to be with us for awhile longer. A lot of the rules we impose as a society are based on religious beliefs. Of course this is not saying that all people in the ‘religious’ world are good citizens. There are scores of snaky and evil people masquerading under the guise of a religious cloak. No matter how slick their method of operation, its always only a matter of time until their true nature is exposed. All things done in darkness will eventually come to light.

As much as we can be overwhelmed with all the bad news going on in the world. I think its imperative for all ‘good’ citizens to stay as informed as possible to what’s going on around us. Its easy to put blinders on and go through life with tunnel vision. “If it doesn’t involve me or someone I know, then I don’t care about it. I’ve got too many things of my own to worry about.” Once we take the initiative to tear down these blinders and really pay attention to what’s going on in the world around us, then we will be better prepared toward being a ‘good’ citizen in our own community. Here is a brief summary with more in-depth info links to a few things that I’ve observed to be happening around the universe today:

Southern California is being ravaged by wildfires that are burning thousands of acres and causing thousands of people to evacuate from their homes. Firefighters have been working for the past 3 days attempting to douse the blazes, but the strong Santa Ana winds are causing the fires to spread even more. They canceled the scheduled Monday Night Football game in San Diego because the stadium was being used as a shelter relief area for evacuated families.

The sun (yeah, that big hot thing that’s in the sky all day), has erupted one of the largest solar flares ever
recorded today (Tuesday). The picture of the sun above shows the flare erupting in the center. Its fallout is predicted to hit earth sometime Wednesday afternoon. These flares aren’t flaming balls of fire, but rather a geomagnetic cloud. The last time a burst close to this magnitude hit earth, it knocked out power for millions of people in Canada in 1989.

These are just a couple of events that are going on around the world that should make all of us realize that the world does not revolve around just us. Good citizens do what we can to stay informed and thus prepared for the many curveballs that life can throw us. My prayers are for all of our world leaders and the powers controlling the strings as well as for the unfortunate who are in dire need of help. Whenever I get overwhelmed by the conditions of the world today, I’m always revived by the eternal decree from The Book who’s law is everlasting. No matter how much the world seems to be over-run by snakes and bad things, God is still in control.