Tag Archives: inspirational

I Like Ketchup!

There I said it. It may make me a pariah but I like ketchup.  I like French fries and potato chips, hot chocolate with whipped cream and full milk. I don’t like half fat soy almond substitute.  And speaking of soy… how do they milk it? Do they have teeny tiny ants bent down pulling on a soybean’s gourds? Ha ha ha

I understand the need to eat healthy. I understand it, I don’t necessarily subscribe to it. I ate salads in my 20s and 30s, I drank caffeine free tea. I exercised and was frugal with my sweets. But I never lost the desire for gastronomical pleasure. I never lost the joy of sinking my teeth into a great big, juicy steak. I love red meat! I am so tired of hearing about how bad white bread is when I ate it throughout my entire childhood. I ate fried foods, butter, whole milk . . . The list is endless of things that are now considered bad. Maybe a little bad is good.

We are so caught up with what we should do, that we sometimes forget that everything we think is bad was at one time, considered good. In the future, the things that are considered to be good for you now could end up on that bad list. We keep changing our minds as to the validity of everything around us and then somebody will have a random thought and decide to make it a ‘thing’.  They will then scream loudly across the social media about how good/bad said item is and it will be picked up by other people who believe deeply in the person that screams the loudest. And then we will have a new ‘thing’.

We make snap decisions about everything around us and then swear up and down that it’s the truth. What is the truth? What I believe to be the truth may simply be my perception. Another person may believe the truth to be something else. Yes, I know science can prove one way or the other but even then, there is a bias. Many years ago, a scientific analysis was done on city water that was considered to be the cleanest in the United States. Tests came back and said that that water caused cancer. Thank goodness this was before social media. Because it was proven, eventually, to be inaccurate.  The area that was served by the water was so large there were simply more people.  More people, more cancer. But they didn’t take that into account. The water did not cause cancer. Fortunately, hysteria did not ensue.

Social media is a wonderful tool. It can also be a dangerous platform. Remember the squeaky wheel? People tend to believe whoever is screaming the loudest for the longest period of time. The truth is not the issue.

 

Flotsam and Jetsam

 

Flotsam and Jetsam

Adrift on the sea

Some is deliberate

Others carefree.

 

Riding the currents

No motor or sail

Hoping for fair winds

And that peace will prevail.

 

We ride the waves

The seas are our world

For we are the Jetsam

And Flotsam unfurled.

 

Peace is the goal

As each wave hits its peak

Wonders appear

It is of this that we speak.

 

Together we soar

Or together we drown

Each brother and sister

Will never back down.

 

The future is bright

If we make a pact

Here in this moment

We just have to act!

 

 

A New Year

 

A brand New Year has come

And I don’t know what to think

Global warming, hate and fear

This world appears to stink!

 

But hope is here and faithfulness

A kindness in our soul

All together we are one

And that will make us whole!

 

There is time to make it right

A wondrous world to be

Change must now begin today

Let’s start with you and me!

Santa Claus is Dead?

I originally shared this story in 2013. That was the first year for my blog. I was quite shocked at the response. To date I think this remains my most popular post. It was simply me with something to say tucked inside a story. I do that a lot.  I will also admit that I think this is one of my favourite tales. I have decided to post a story every Sunday in December.  My Christmas present to you. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, then may I please offer you the blessing of my holiday to you.

                                      Santa Claus is Dead?

 

‘Santa Claus is dead.’

When Sebastian Phillips finished writing that phrase on his bulletin board he turned around to see what the reaction had been on his students. He was not disappointed.    Because this was a first-year philosophy course he expected them to be a little green when it came to abstract ideas.  After all they were just kids.  Truth be told, Professor N. Sebastian Phillips wasn’t all that much older than his students.

When he looked around the room Sebastian saw surprise, humour and perhaps disbelief, it was also very quiet.  Here he was, a college professor talking about a white haired, fat man in a red suit as if he were real.  Well real and dead.

“When you signed up for this course I am quite sure you were not expecting to talk about a symbol for a religious holiday that has come to mean the excesses of commercialism that are rampant in our society.”

Sebastian looked out at his students.  They seemed relieved, this was more like it.

“Santa Claus does exist.”

Now Sebastian heard a few giggles and was that a grunt?

“Professor, those two statements cannot both be correct. There either is a Santa Claus or there isn’t.  I mean really! ”

Sebastian grinned, “Actually they can Adam. A thing can only be dead if it first existed. “

“Come on Professor there is no Santa Claus!  That is only a marketing gimmick to get parents to buy more for their kids. Commercialism at its best:  vulgar!” These words were spoken by a young woman with an earring in her nose and one in her belly button which flashed every time she turned around.

“Well Cindy, yes and no.”

At this point the room erupted in confusion. A great many of the students were arguing about the wisdom of using symbols, some about the evils of commercialism in general and the western world’s corruption of money in particular.  Sebastian noted which students seemed to think he was demented and which students were curious.  Curious minds are open minds.

Very quietly Professor Phillips spoke.  “Amanda did you believe in Santa Claus as a child?”

The room was suddenly quiet. Everyone turned and looked at Amanda, eager to learn her answer. The professor had chosen to ask the one person in the room who appeared normal.  She was conservatively dressed with no strange piercings throughout her body.  She also preferred to observe any heated discussions without actually joining in.

“Amanda . . .” her professor coached.

“Yes.” Was the quiet response.

“And how did you feel when you learned that the jolly man in a red suit was just a marketing ploy.”

The answer was a few minutes in coming and it was not the answer everyone was expecting.  “I still believe in Santa Claus and I do not believe he is dead professor.”

For the second time that morning there was complete silence in the room, a stunned silence.

And then there was pandemonium.  Only snippets of conversations could be heard.  “I always knew that woman was nuts!”  Geez I wish I had taken a mathematics course, that would of made sense.” “It is going to be a very long day.”  “Do you want to go to the pub afterwards I think I could use a drink?”  “I don’t know who is more insane: that Amanda chick or that Professor?”

Professor Phillips let the arguments roll about the room for several minutes. During this time Amanda just sat and looked at her hands as if she was too timid to become involved in a conversation she had helped to create.

“Okay everybody pipe down, you have had your little discussions and each one of them has some sort of validity.  Problem is you’re not listening.  Does Santa Claus exist?  Yes.  Does he exist as a fat, old man in a red suit?  Yes.  That guy in the red suit is on every corner in the Western world ringing a bell and selling products. Something can exist in more than one embodiment.  We see the jolly, old fella and we equate him with shopping at Christmas.  Do you know where the idea for Santa Claus came from?  Amanda might.  Because she alone seems to understand what Santa Claus represents, and who he is.  Let me tell you a little story.”

“In a coastal town called Patra, in what is now Turkey, in the year 260AD a child was born.  His name was Nicholas.  His parents were taken from him when he was a child and yet he still grew up with a generosity of spirit and a love of children. He was a rich young man who tried to use his money to give other people happiness.  He did ‘good’ in secret. Eventually he became known as St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra and his generosity continued.”

“Over the centuries St. Nicholas has become beloved by many religions.  Our Western tradition of Santa Claus and Father Christmas originated with St. Nicholas.  His faith and his actions make remembering him more important even in our day and age. He is our Santa Claus and people need to remember him.  In essence it is his spirit of giving that is behind our traditions at Christmas.  The spirit of Santa Claus is alive and well.”

“A beautiful character is more powerful and more memorable to more people than any marketing ploy or religious dogma.  Santa Claus, even if he comes in the guise of a human being is still the loving spirit of the good Nicholas. Santa Claus does exist, and should continue to exist for as long as we remember what he stands for.”

There was total silence in the room.  Not a single student had a humorous quip, or disparaging remark to make.  In fact when Sebastian looked around the room he saw only understanding and awe. Finally, these supposedly well educated young adults had picked up on something that all children knew from a very young age: if you believe, it will endure.

“Class dismissed.”

Sebastian smiled to himself and started to gather up his books and notes. The class had gone well, better than he’d expected.  But the year was getting on and there are places he needed to be so he was going to have to tender his resignation and move on.  But at that point Sebastian realized that not every student had left the room. He looked up.

“Amanda, how can I help you?”

“Professor Phillips you haven’t been completely honest with us have you?  I know that Santa Claus exists and not as the jolly, red suited man, but rather as St. Nicholas/St. Nick.  You see my family can trace its roots back to that same town in which St. Nicholas was born.  As a matter of fact we’ve kept a very close watch throughout the years on the descendants of that family.  It has always been the responsibility of my family to ensure that yours is protected.  I’m surprised you didn’t know that.  What’s your first name Professor Phillips?”

“Yes I thought perhaps you did know,” Sebastian’s grin was even more pronounced. You know I won’t be here next week.  I have a lot of preparing to do and Christmas is not far away. And yes I am Nicholas/St. Nick. ”

 

The end

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

His House

 

When I was a child

I dutifully prayed,

And went to church

Every week.

I learned about God

His son and the Ghost

And the way I needed

To live.

In time I learned more

And questioned the past.

My relationship grew

With God.

Wherever we are

There is never just one

We are His Church

I have learned.

We all stand together,

One voice raised to the sky

Whether inside or out

He is there.

In my heart He resides

And teaches me still.

His community of love

Will live on.