I have a simple yet hopelessly optimistic plan for Northern Ireland and Israel: Catholics -- stop calling yourself Catholics, Protestants -- no longer refer to yourselves as Protestants. Palestinians and Jews -- consider yourselves middle-easterners. Turn your places of worship into art galleries or laundromats or something else useful.
To paraphrase Krishnamurti: The moment you call yourself a Christian or Muslim or liberal or conservative, you are committing an act of aggression. You are separating yourself from the rest of humankind. When you separate yourself by belief, nationality, or tradition it breeds violence.
If trees could talk
A couple of articles have appeared recently in your paper, lamenting the cutting down of two large pine trees to improve County Road 19 near Merrifield. One was written to the trees. This might be a reply -- if trees could talk:
"Your concern for my future is appreciated. I've spent many years shading this area, I've had branches cut to help the power company maintain electricity to your homes so that my back side really isn't that lovely anymore. I've had a good life, I've even spread some pine cones and started new trees over the years, some still seedlings, some becoming adults in their own right, so in a way, I'll live on.
"All nature is beautiful; our Creator made it that way, but He made Man to have dominion over it. The road that meanders beneath my branches is old, curvy and dangerous for those who need to use it daily. It is far more travelled than when it was first built and needs to be upgraded to meet the demand of today's traffic.
"I'm a tree and don't have a soul. I can't talk, but if I could, I'd say, 'Don't weep for me, rather, weep for my little ones across the road that were cut and bulldozed for the new house you live in.'"
All things must be kept in perspective.
Loss of freedom
In June the residents on County Road 45 had to contend with a tornado. Now we're contending with a thief or thieves.
Thanks be to God our home was not destroyed in the tornado. We had a lot of tree damage and a wet basement. Our hearts and prayers are with those who lost their homes. It's great to see the houses go up.
In August while we were out West helping my sister celebrate their 50th Anniversary someone stole our generator and an old antique pump. Two miles beyond us a neighbor just off Highway 45 had lawn ornaments and gas stolen. Just beyond their place a neighbor lost their beautiful chainsaw carved bear. I'm wondering if others in the neighborhood have lost items. We worked long, hard hours to clean up all the trees and debris, replace our carpet and get our basement back in order, so we could leave on our trip. The generator was used to keep our sump pump operating when the power went off. We had a wet carpet but without the generator we would have lost everything in the basement.
Thanks to our family and friends we finished most of it, and could leave, only to return to find someone had invaded the privacy of our yard and stole our property.
I can remember leaving our home with doors and windows open without a problem. But now some people believe if they see something they want, they steal it.
If a friend or someone in your family just acquired a like new, red Honda generator 2200, with serial 1095441 and a tall black antique pump with a long handle, please contact us or the sheriff's office. The pump had been in our front flower bed for 30 plus years.
Something like this makes one very distrustful of others. Very few people knew the generator was there. Does the person or persons know us? Do they live in our neighborhood? Did they scout our place? Will they return? Do we dare leave again?
People complain of the freedoms lost because of government regulations and laws -- our most important freedoms are lost because of people's actions toward one another.
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