It is always important to take time out of our busy schedules and reflect. This gives us a chance to see the reality that we live in, not just what it feels like at any given moment. It also gives us an opportunity to make changes when necessary so as better fit into society’s needs as a whole.
The “reflection meaning” is a word that can be used to describe the process of taking time to think about your life and what you have accomplished. The word has been used in many different contexts, but most notably by Al Fonzi for his new book A Season For Reflection And Change.
Al Fonzi is an [email protected] independent opinion writer for The and Paso Robles Press.
Holidays may be a happy time with lasting memories, or they can be a sad time with lasting recollections. For far too many, the latter best fits their memories, whether it’s a personal tragedy, disappointment, or an external occurrence that just takes the fun out of the season. That has occurred far too frequently recently, as the approach of a big holiday, with its elevated expectations or visions of a “perfect Thanksgiving or Christmas,” has resulted in disappointment.
This year, we watched yet another terrible crime by a career criminal as he careened through a Christmas procession, murdering and wounding more than 50 people. Other than the fact that evil exists and never sleeps, I have no answers. As a Christian, I’m as perplexed as anybody as to why a loving God would allow such horrors to occur, but I’m reminded that we live in a fallen world where the God I worship offers redemption and hope, but not immunity from life’s trials, at least not in this life. It also teaches me to be thankful for what I have and puts my little issues into correct perspective when contrasted to the huge loss suffered by others.
Mirrors tell us as we become older that there is more life behind us than ahead of us, and that deferring significant choices is no longer an option. My wife and I made the choice to leave California for the “country of the free,” Tennessee in particular, with that concept in mind. Living in California is a lot like being a frog in a pot that is slowly boiling away. The expense of living isn’t the only thing that’s rising, but the state of California’s government is becoming more repressive.
Politicians love to offer the world a better world, a perfect world, if only they had a bit more power and your money to dominate your life. Given that mankind thrives at imperfection, civilizations that embrace Shangri La’s “paper promise” nearly invariably end up with despotism and persecution of any who disagree. Official assertions that the State has authority over your children, not parents, and that the State will determine what moral principles are appropriate for your children to learn, for example, are portents of worse to come. As in all totalitarian systems, such as Nazi Germany or communist states, the state always pushes children against their parents. Western socialist governments are gentler on families than hard-tyranny regimes, but they are just as invasive.
We’re going to get through this together, Atascadero
What makes America unique, and why so many people aspire to come here despite personal suffering, is that it is the only country in the world that has enshrined the rights of its citizens in a written constitution, as well as the government’s subordination to the power and will of the people. Unfortunately, as courts accept greater government jurisdiction over every part of our life, that authority is being eroded. California is leading the way in this direction, and the state’s future is grim unless citizens rise up and reject one-party control.
California’s political environment used to be reasonably balanced, but for a variety of reasons, Democrats now control supermajorities at all levels of government. Political change is almost hard to achieve now that that political party has been captured by its most extreme leftist components, except via federal courts, which have so far proved unfriendly to individuals who lawfully fight increased government interference into their life.
As Roberta and I have become older, we’ve come to the conclusion that California isn’t a place to grow old unless you’re quite affluent. A trip to the local gas station, in contrast to California, confirms this on a regular basis: I spent less than $3.00 per gallon of petrol this week, and the cost of practically everything in Tennessee is half or less what it was in California. I’ve also observed that the locals are quite kind and friendly. They freely express their patriotism and affection for their nation, and they show true respect for veterans.
Tennessee is known as “the volunteer state” for a reason: during the Mexican War, they were requested to furnish 2800 militiamen, but instead gave 30,000. They also like Christmas and family/community traditions; living here is like being on the set of a Hallmark Channel Christmas movie, with the towns beautifully decked for the season and a genuine Christmas atmosphere. Yesterday, we were at a shop when Christmas carolers arrived, singing classic holiday tunes. I haven’t seen a single transient sleeping on the streets or in public areas because the various churches have stood up to the plate, and law enforcement is backed when necessary.
There is a disadvantage; nonetheless, Roberta and I shall miss all of you, our long-time friends and acquaintances. I’ll keep writing as long as I’m allowed; we still have strong relationships and familial ties to the town. We wish everyone a merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
As an example:
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