Saturday, 7 October 2017

One Day at the White House ...

One day toward the end of Barack Obama's second presidential term, he invited would-be presidential hopeful's, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, to the White House for an afternoon social. While entertaining his guests, they all took a stroll through the White House's beautiful gardens and discussed their visions for the future of America.

Suddenly, as they rounded the south-east corner of the presidential estate, they were all startled to see one of the beautiful shrubs all aflame. A burning bush? on the grounds of the White House of the United States of America? What could this mean?

As the three of them drew closer, they heard a voice which said, "Do not come any closer … Take off your shoes, for the place you are standing s holy ground" (Exodus 3: 5). Obama, Clinton, and Trump quickly removed their shoes and stood barefoot before the Lord God.

Suddenly there was heard a voice from the bush, and God said the each of them, "Before I can grant you each a place at my side, I must ask you about what you have learned and about what you believe in."

God first asks Barack Obama, "What do you believe?"

Obama thinks long and hard, looks God in the eye, and says, "I believe in hard work and in staying true to family and friends. I've been fortunate and blessed, and therefore believe in giving. I always look for ways to try and do right by my countrymen.

God can't help but see the essential goodness of Obama, and offers him a seat to his left.

The God turns to Hillary Clinton and asks her, "What do you believe?"

Hillary replies, " I believe passion, discipline, courage and honor are the fundamentals of life. Like Obama, I believe in hard work. I too have been fortunate and blessed, but win or lose, I've always tried to be a true patriot and loyal American."

God is greatly moved by Hillary's high-pitched eloquence, and he offers her a seat to his right.

Finally God turns to Donald Trump and says, "And you, Donald, what do you believe?"

Trump replies, "I believe you're in my seat."

Photo Credit: Spencer Means; Flickr Creative Commons
Story Source: Unknown

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Is the Life We Mock A Mirror of Our Own?

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Maybe both emotions would have been strangely appropriate.

Needing a grandson fix, my wife and I went over to our daughter and son-in-law's place the other day. While there our daughter shared how she went out on an errand earlier in the day and for some reason, needed to turn around. I don't remember exactly why; perhaps she forgot something. Regardless, that's not important.

They live on a narrow street that really allows only for one-way traffic due to parked cars on both sides of the street. U-turns are impossible without first pulling into someone else's driveway, which is what she did. As fast as she did that, and barely before she had the car in reverse, the homeowner of that property came flying out of the house, waving her arms and yelling something about my daughter being on their driveway. My daughter wasn't there for 30-seconds, but that was apparently long enough for this homeowner to become unglued. Later the same day, and once again driving by the same house, two new signs suddenly appeared on the garage doors: "Private Driveway KEEP OFF." I'm sure the neighbours loved the sight of that!

Now I mentioned that I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

Part of me wanted to laugh at the ridiculousness of the whole situation. Oh no, someone turned around on her driveway! The world must certainly be coming to an end! Heaven forbid that someone should get their dirty car tires on the otherwise clean concrete of someone else's driveway. Call the police! Call out the National Guard! Declare a state of emergency! My property has been trespassed! Oh, the horrors!

Another part of me wanted to cry. Why? Because some people clearly have no life! Oh, the things we sometimes fuss over! Oh, the pet peeves that so often annoy the h*ll out of many of us! A stranger's car comes a little too close to our little kingdoms! Someone's lack of grammar skills irks us to no end (their, they're, there; learn the difference!) Note to self. I get it when stress comes with the big things in life, but when we lose our sh*t over little insignificant events, well, that's just sad.

As I reflected on this further, I found myself looking deep within my own little idiosyncrasies. Are there relatively minor things that cause me to become easily unglued? Do I have my own little pet peeves? Unfortunately, if I'm honest with myself, the answer has to be, "Yes, there are." Maybe you can relate. Though you and I may not have erected big red-lettered signs on our properties to warn off would-be trespassers, maybe we too have little things that irk the h*ll out of us just the same.

I have a little mat at my back door which really says it all. It simply says: "Go Away." True story; it's actually there. I haven't yelled at anyone lately who came too close (I hope), but maybe I'm no better than the neighbour my daughter encountered that day. Maybe my social skills are also enough to make someone want to both laugh and cry.

The door mat was initially purchased as a joke. But just maybe, there is a measure of truth there somewhere as well. Hmm, I wonder.