Prayer isn’t always the answer, try Constant Mindfulness instead

Everyone needs to have a basic understanding of how the world works. We all participate in our local culture, and work to sustain ourselves.  We all interact with children, and we all need to consider that we are the causes of our own problems. Believing that there’s an invisible man in the sky that takes care of you, and has a specific plan for everything, is a cop-out so that you don’t have to think about other explanations for things [like facts or science or economy].
There’s a time and place for Prayer.
‘Prayer’ is for people who are facing situations beyond their control.  I could pray to win the lottery, but it won’t really make a difference if God has other plans for me.  I could pray for the victims of natural disasters, but not for the victims of human-caused tragedies, because humans caused those problems ourselves.   We made choices that harmed ourselves and others. Praying for relief from preventable ailments is also moot, because you have the ability to seek medical care and manage your own health.   God didn’t force you to eat junk food every day for 40 years, it’s time you owned up to the fact that you gave yourself  heart disease. Praying is a way to verbalize ‘thankfulness’ for things we already have, not to ask for petty favors. You aren’t going to get a promotion at work because you prayed for it, you have to work hard for it.
People are misusing religion, and depending on it way more than they should. They’re behaving as if caring for the wellbeing of others isn’t their responsibility, even when ‘love’ is  the basis of their faith.

Religion has always been a guide to harmoniously live with other people. Being generous and tolerant of others.  Treat others the way you would like to be treated. You may behave horribly to get the things you want, but greed is a sin, so hopefully your religious guidelines prevents you from becoming evil.
Religion is not a ‘get out of jail free’ card.  God isn’t your personal assistant.  You can’t pray yourself out of situations that you got yourself into.
Life is long, and it requires constant mindfulness;  we’re all going to have to live with the consequences of our actions for the rest of our lives.

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Americanized

Something I’ve just noticed about the war-time immigrants,  is that they don’t try to preserve their ethnic traditions.  It’s almost like leaving their homeland forces them to emotionally shed their heritage in order to better cope with the new American ways. Their children grow up with minimal ethic traditions. And within 2 generations everything is forgotten.
But peace-time immigrants maintain their ethnic traditions, because their departure wasn’t forced; they teach the language to their children, and try to retain their heritage, since the option to go back is still available to them.

My father’s mother is full German. During the war, she served as a nanny-nurse to an American military officers family, where she met my American-born grandfather, whom also worked for that officer. After the war, they married, and he brought her here to live in Pennsylvania. My father doesn’t speak German, nor does he own anything resembling a link to German culture. I asked him why grandma never taught him about his heritage, and he said that the war encouraged Americanization.  They didn’t want to be seen as foreigners, so they let everything go,  and total assimilated into American culture.  I’m not sure if my father has any regrets about it.
My mother is also foreign. She also arrived during a war, and she also didn’t try to teach her children anything cultural.  -But she has a significantly younger sibling who did the exact opposite, and did everything necessary to teach my cousins about it.  This means that I have several younger cousins that are very in-touch with our ethnic roots.  I’m envious. And annoyed that I’m constantly being compared to people who had a more comprehensive upbringing than I did. If the culture was important to my mother, she would have taught us about it. But it wasn’t,  and she didn’t, and now I’m just another Americanized adult from a family filled with immigrants, many of whom don’t ever talk about it  [just like my father].

I get it. People travel, and we’re all from somewhere else; which is good, the more diverse we are, the better. It’s important to remember that we’re all immigrants, and the everyday American-consumer-culture is only part of who we are. The Earth isn’t very big, and we are more connected to our overseas neighbors than ever before. We should all share in a variety of different cultural interests, so that we remember how things change, and how we changed along with them.

# family, immigrants, WW2, ethnic traditions, diversity, Americanization, Connected earth, assimilation, culture , forgetting heritage, war makes you forget, coming to America.

13mph toward insanity

I know there’s no truth to it. but ever since the Aug 2017 solar eclipse, it seems like I’m perceiving time moving slower. It’s been ~ 6weeks since then, but it seems like longer to me. I used to say things like, “I can’t believe it’s already June, seems like just yesterday was Christmas”, but now, every week seems to crawl, and I’m saying things like, “that happened today? seems like it happened months ago”.
I’m at a point where sleep isn’t really restful. I lay down at night, and suddenly its morning. Then I rush into endless traffic, then I’m at work for several hours.  It just seems like  such a large quantity of my waking hours are packed into a 9-to-5 work routine that I can’t get out of.
I have no idea how some people manage to go out socializing after work.
I know that other people don’t have to work the 9-to-5 schedule,  and many of the techies don’t have to work 8-straight-hours a day, which allows them to run errands any time of day.  But my current place of work doesn’t have that option. I’m basically locked in for  an enormous chunk of daylight hours.
The months of sitting under unwavering artificial light, in an artificial temperature, makes all time appear to stop. Each day starts to blend into the next, the seasons all blur together, the years. It’s almost like I’m trapped in my own personal circle of hell. On repeat. The illusion of normality, when it’s slowly causing insanity. It sounds like the plot of the show : The Good Place.
Traffic around here has been getting worse.  It takes me about an hour every day to go the 13 miles to work, and another hour to get back home. That’s averaging 13mph when you think about it. And in the autumn season when there’s only 11 hours of daylight a day. I spend nearly all of it at work & doing work-related activities.
I’m not really sure what to do with myself these days. Seems like  I’m just holding my breath and waiting for tomorrow.