Literally

Prompt: Saintly


Hello Wednesday!

Doesn’t it sometimes feel like the really good people have gone underground, and so we have to put up with the terribles in the news all the time?

News fit for television and Internet tends to be sensational, allegedly sexy, and catering, so they say, to the lowest common denominator. Who sets that bar except the people feeding us the news?

The news media is currently under fire from the current American administration, which, if you adhere to to the belief that “the enemies of my enemies are my friends” means that the media are our great allies. And some of them are.

The media shapes our outlook and our attitudes in profound ways. We are under the impression that daily life is more perilous than ever, when the opposite is true. We are well informed on the lives of celebrities, but wallow in ignorance about relevant issues at home and abroad.

I don’t think the media reservoir that spews out trivia and hysteria and the pricks of life masquerading as trends, will change until we demand more and better. It’s hard to demand more and better when you don’t even know what the options are, however.

May I present a couple of my favourite cartoons, tenuously related to today’s prompt, saintly, and one that is completely unrelated, yet seasonal and delicious?

cartoon bibilcal writings


cartoon son cooperating


cartoon don't need a tree


Until we meet again…

~~FP

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Rich Old Bones

Prompt: Generous

monocle-cigar-442_540

A chilling— and true? –quotation by novelist G.K. Chesterton in A Miscellany of Men, on the subject of generosity:

Among the rich you will never find a really generous man even by accident. They may give their money away, but they will never give themselves away; they are egotistic, secretive, dry as old bones. To be smart enough to get all that money you must be dull enough to want it.

Today there are many almost accidental millionaires; for example, those whose modest start-up companies are purchased for massive amounts of money by the juggernauts like Google, Microsoft, and Facebook. Even an innovator like Bill Gates, one of the richest men on the planet, may not have had the goal of multi-billionaire when he first started fiddling with computers. Along with Mark Zuckerberg, Mr Gates has lofty plans to make the world a better place.

But I understand Mr Chesterton’s meaning, in a broader sense. While great suffering exists in the world, does great wealth become a shameful thing? The bible is quite clear about this:

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
King James Bible

I am a dedicated fan of hard work, and I am not against material possessions; I have several of my own. But when money and the love of money actually rule the world, when corporations are given legal “person” status in the U.S., when wealthy individuals hide behind a corporate facade to avoid the consequences of destructive greed, when the gap between the desperate poor and the obscenely wealthy widens, I have two questions:

  1. How do such heartless people sleep at night? Is wealth enough?
  2. Why doesn’t the world revolt?

Anyone?

If

Prompt: Whisper

child and book

When you are a child, you take your life for granted. You know of no other kind of life; you assume all lives are lived like your own. If you have happy parents, all your playmates do. If your father strikes you, all fathers strike their children. If your parents are white, all parents are white. If you have enough to eat, all children do.

If you are only allowed to whisper when your mother or father is in the room, all children are subject to the same rule. If you spend your Saturdays cleaning the corners of the house, where the walls meet and dust gathers, then all children must have these tasks to perform. If your home has no books, no home has books. If you spend one and a half hours at Sunday school each week, then so do your friends. If your pastor scares you so that you sometimes cry silently, inside your head, then it must be so with all pastors.

If the only book you find in your home besides a Bible is a worn paperback book in the drawer of your father’s bedside table called The Lustful Professor, then all fathers have secret reading. If this book is confusing and strange, then all books are such.

If you find a friend who is as lonely and isolated as you are, then all children find such saviours. If you come to understand that your life is not the same as other children, then all children learn to rise above the circumstances of their life.

And if you want your voice to be heard, so do all the people in all the world.

 


  • Image: “The Difficult Lesson”,1884. Bouguereau.