Tolerance, and summer reading

Another rainy spell and then hot, hot hot. I do wish it would come in moderation. It seems to come in too much, too hot or too something. I am so looking forward to fall when temperatures will moderate a little and there will be cool evenings again. I just came back from walking Kaja, and this evening, the twenty first, is still ninety one degrees and extremely humid. I come back into the air conditioned house with great relief, and I think Kaja did too. With her black fur, she is usually panting a lot after just a half hour walk.

I actually did some deep cleaning today, moved furniture, polished floors and furniture, washed windows and tried to get  more done that I have in a long time. I find that I can only do so many hours of that kind of work and then I have to rest, so I will continue in other rooms on Thursday. Tomorrow I will be teaching my water exercise class at Landmark, and then one at the YW and then work for Home Instead in the afternoon, so that pretty well wipes out my Wednesday. I find that I have to really take advantage when I am not working to get housework done. I really don’t like doing it anyhow, so it takes some planning for me to be in the mood.

And of course I can’t get out into the yard because of all this rain and the resulting mud. I never thought I would not want it to rain, but I think we’ve had enough for a while. And how about the poor people in Oklahoma, Minnesota, Wisconsin. and Mexico? It really does create such problems for so many, and I feel very badly for those folks in the hard hit areas. I watched Nature on Sunday night and saw the rescue of animals from Katrina, and it was horrific. Out of two hundred and fifty thousand missing pets, they were able to rescue only fifteen thousand. That has changed now and during evacuations they are telling those who have pets to take them with them, where during Katrina, people were told to go themselves, but not try to take pets.

I do see a great swell in nature’s catastrophes, and I do believe in some part it is due to global warming. With all the evidence showing up everywhere, ice caps melting, change in sea levels, and so many warnings of the affect of environmental pollution on water, air and water, it is bond to happen. Underdeveloped countries seem to get more than their share of nature’s capriciousness. But then they have so little with houses that are not substantial, and often living on islands or close to a large body of water, that makes them susceptible to losing their lives and their homes. How sad the world can be.

As I grow older I am less and less tolerant of intolerance. We are all human beings, breathing the same air, and often struggling to live in this changing world. I read a recent article in Newsweek about how religions are really quite different and often have more differences than similarities. That tells me that we need to not just tolerate other people of different religions and ethnic groups, but to respect those differences and do our best to understand those differences. I am not saying we need to respect terrorists, but they represent a small segment of a religious group that has become fanatic, without the safeguard of respect for other people and  even their own beliefs. Just as Christians interpret the Bible differently so do Islams interpret the Koran differently and the Mormons the Book of Mormon.

If each religion accepted the version of the Golden Rule that exists in their own religion and accepted that each person can believe according to his or her own personal interpretations and teachings, as long as it does not advocate violence, killing or disrespect for another’s beliefs. And certainly most religions have a strong code of ethics by which to live. I simply can not accept someone else telling me what to believe. I have come to my own personal theology, by reading, discussing, going to many other churches, thinking, and trying to always keep an open mind about my own personal  theological journey as well as those of others. I started exploring other religions when I was in junior high school when I was a Baptist, but wondered if God really cared about my wearing make up or going to a show on Sunday. My beliefs have grown from exploring many philosophies, teaching yoga, studying eastern religions, respecting the earth and all its creatures and staying open to what my own truth is.

I didn’t mean to start preaching which is exactly what I said I didn’t like others to do. I do strongly believe that each of us has choices and can make our own with careful and thoughtful deliberation and  pertinent information. Anyhow, I wish for everyone the right to decide what is best for them and follow their own bliss as Joseph Campbell would say.

I’ve followed my bliss by reading several books given to me by my good friend, Pat. I am just about finished with Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, and enjoyed in immensely. It is a Pulitzer Prize winner and the New York Times Book Review sums it up well with this quote. “The book’s length feels like its author’s arms stretching farther and farther to encompass more people and more life . . . But mostly it is a colossal act of curiosity, of imagination, and of love.” READ IT!

I also enjoyed Road by Cormac Mcarthy which is a story of the love between a father and son traveling after a holocaust of mammoth proportions. Both horrible and tender, it is a difficult but essential book to understand the emotions and desperation of a small band of remaining people. French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano is a great book that is a look into another culture’s food as well as a positive look at how they eat compared to our culture with its obesity becoming an epidemic. A good one to read to see another perspective on becoming fit.

The first title I read was Jackie Collins’ Lovers and Players. I haven’t read a “trashy” (as I call them) for a long time. It took place mostly in the sex and lives of a prominent family with sons who had all the usual problems plus a dirty, old man as the father and scion who had absolutely no redeeming qualities. I enjoyed it because it read fast and I needed that when I wasn’t feeling well, but I do no recommend it. Sometimes we have to read something that takes us out of our own lives with a kind of shock and this one did that.

Joanne Fought

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