Archive for the ‘stories in the news’ Category

a night of Sukkoth

October 30, 2018

We sit together inside the tent

put up in your backyard,

gourds and squash, a Fall harvest,

hang, ceremoniously, from above,

a cool October night, huddled closely,

warmed by laughter shared with friends,

we pass treats around the circle,

and everyone enjoys.

O Rabbi, we are so glad

you are not alive to see this day,

when all your efforts for understanding

seem to have come undone,

the garment is frayed,

we have lost our way,

we cry desperate tears for peace,

may the One God of the universe

unite us in our grief.

cfblack 10-30-2018



Of What Value is a Life?

July 9, 2016

Eric Garner couldn’t breathe,

You didn’t notice he was dying,


Tamir Rice was a 12-year-old boy,

You didn’t notice he was playing,


Freddie Gray’s back was broken and bruised,

But you didn’t hear his screams,


Trayvon was walking home from the store,

You saw him as an intruder,


Amadou was reaching for his wallet,

You decided that he had a gun,


Anthony Baez was playing football,

You strangled him in a choke hold,


Michael Brown ran toward you in a threatening way,

You shot him, then left his body lay,


Walter Scott was running away from your car,

You shot him in the back,


Philando obeyed you at a traffic stop,

You shot him in front of a child,


Alton was tackled and unarmed,

You raised your gun and fired,


Of what value is a human life?

The most precious of all things,

Once you take it, it is gone,

Never to return,


The question is NOT “was his death legal?”

The question is, “was it preventable?”


WORK to de-escalate a situation,

Not jump in like it’s a war zone,


VALUE each life for what it is,

See the person in front of you, as one of your own.


cfblack                  7-08-2016

to be free

December 6, 2013

to be free

O Father of South Africa, We will miss you.

Brutal treatment of the Bahai’s in Iran

June 7, 2013

The Baha’i Faith started in Iran in 1844. It came out of Islam the same way Christianity came out of Judaism. It is an independent world religion that believes in the unity of humankind, the elimination of all forms of prejudice, the education and equality of women with men, free education of all children of the world, a balance of the truths of science and religion, and other such uplifting beliefs. One of the Baha’i beliefs is obedience to one’s government. They also do not deny their faith. In Iran, they have been severely persecuted since their beginning there. Since the Baha’i Faith came after Islam, they are considered a heretic religion. The same way Pontius Pilate allowed persecution and crucifixion of Christ, the Baha’is are denied justice in the court system, educational system, marriage and family institution, funeral and burial practices, and any other basic human right allowed other peoples. In the Faith’s beginning, same as the Christians were treated in the time of and immediately after Christ, they were put in prison, tortured and killed in horrible ways. Today it is becoming even worse and more barbaric than a few decades ago. When you deny education to a nation of people, they become more & more barbaric and without a sense of justice and morality. They become worse than animals, subjecting their fellow human beings to barbaric cruelty without remorse. Baha’i students are denied access to colleges just on the basis of their religion. Mothers are being put into prison with their children, and parents put into prison without their children, leaving the children at home stranded, just for saying prayers within their own home. This is the world we live in. We are one world, one human people. I long for the time when peoples of the world will rise up and collectively demand nothing less than a just and peaceful world.

“Regard man as a mine rich in gems of inestimable value. Education alone will cause it to reveal its treasures, and enable mankind to benefit therefrom.”

“The earth is one country and mankind its citizens.”

“Now is the time to cheer and refresh the downcast through the envigorating breeze of love and fellowship.” — Baha’i Writings.

This is the story of Farzaneh and Rouhi’s brother ( Perth) which happened recently.
“The judge promptly ordered Kashani to be beaten in the courtroom”
     One of the six Baha’is from Gorgan is Kamal Kashani. According to sources in Iran, guards entered his home and confiscated books, computers, CDs, even wall hangings. Two hours later the guards arrested him and took him in for questioning. He has been in prison ever since.
      Kashani’s wife, Parisa, went to the police station everyday asking for his whereabouts. Finally, after 4 days she received a handwritten note from her husband requesting warm clothing. She was finally granted a visit with her husband after one month of his arrest. She was shocked at how much weight he had lost. She recounts that he had been severely beaten and his fingers were so skinny that his wedding ring would no longer stay on his finger.
      Another Baha’i from Gorgan, Farhad Fahandezh, was beaten so badly that he was transferred to Tehran in an ambulance. One Baha’i prisoner remembers an Iranian official telling his torturer that he was permitted to beat Baha’is as much as he wanted, but was not permitted to kill them for fear of international media attention.
     Kashani’s first court appearance was last February, four months after his initial arrest. At this time he had not been officially charged with specific crimes.
     At the court hearing, Kashani’s lawyer explained to the judge that he had not been granted ample time with his client. The judge planned to sentence Kashani and the other Baha’is from Gorgan after 30 minutes. However, the judge agreed to postpone the trial for three months so that the lawyer could prepare a defense.
     Kashani and the other Baha’is from Gorgan had their second and apparently final court date on April 24. The judge spoke to each prisoner for about 10 minutes. He asked Kashani why he was organizing gatherings for the “service of humanity.” Kashani replied that Baha’is are not permitted to organize gatherings in Iran. The judge then asked him if he prayed at home. “Of course,” Kashani said. The judge asked whether he prayed with his family. Again, Kashani replied affirmatively. The judge then explained that these family prayers amounted to illegal Baha’i gatherings.
     The judge promptly ordered Kashani to be beaten in the courtroom. Severely injured, Kashani could hardly stand for the remainder of the hearing.
The judge announced that he would hand down a sentence the following week. However, the ruling was delayed for nearly a month because the judge reportedly went on pilgrimage to Mecca.
     As the imprisoned Gorgan Baha’is were awaiting the judge’s ruling in Gohardasht prison, Kashani’s wife Parisa was arrested in Gorgan on May 8, which meant that her four children were left home alone. Similar arrest warrants were issued for the wives of the other imprisoned Baha’is from Gorgan.
      After a week and a half, authorities in Gorgan finally confirmed to the children that their mother was in custody. On May 20, Parisa was suddenly released after her children paid a steep fee, which prison officials had demanded.
     On May 22, Kashani and most of the other Baha’is from Gorgan were sentenced to five years in prison. This is the second prison sentence for Kashani. He served a five year term after the 1979 revolution. His brother, Jamal Kashani, was also executed by the Islamic Republic in 1984.
     The experience of Kamal Kashani and the other Baha’is from the city of Gorgan is but one example of Iran’s human rights crisis. Iran’s persecution of Baha’is is one of the most “extreme manifestations of religious intolerance and persecution” in the world, according to UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief, Dr. Heiner Bielefeldt.
“Where there is love,
nothing is too much trouble,
and there is always time.”

The next 4 years

November 10, 2012

Just a quick reflection over the next 4 years. I see everyone in America having healthcare for the first time ever in our history. And no one being turned down due to a “pre-existing condition”. I think this is a remarkable thing. I also think most people against it have never been turned down by a physician who didn’t want to take you as a patient due to not having insurance, not wanting a hospital birth, or not agreeing with this physician on any number of other things that you have a right to question medical practice on. Most people complaining have never had the personal delight of living WITHOUT health insurance due to loss of a job for some reason no fault of your own. I had surgery this summer for something that came up suddenly and was unexpected. Total bill? $26,000. My cost? When we’re finished filling out forms, probably less than $2500. A person without insurance would probably not have even been offered the surgery.

I see marijuana becoming legal in more and more states, for possession of one ounce or less. This somewhat bothers me, but not as much as living in a society where the drinking of alcohol is practically mandated at every single social function and promoted relentlessly on television, in newspapers and magazines and every other advertising venue in existence for the best way to have love, a sexual partner and happiness in your life. IT AIN’T TRUE and the substance is more harmful than marijuana will ever be. So where does that leave us?

I think that same sex marriage will gradually become supported by the federal government. If there is something inherently unnatural or unwise about same sex sexual relationships or marriage among same sex partners, it certainly will be something that is not shown by not allowing this freedom of choice. All the fears about same sex marriage are usually based on that alone. They are not based in science, social or otherwise, where most studies show no difference among children raised by same sex partners and those raised by traditional male-female partners, other than their being more open-minded and more egalitarian in their abilities at various household tasks. Other realities are that same sex partners are just as loving and sometimes manage long-lasting relationships the same as cross-gender partners. We have to allow free-thinking adults to make their own choices and realize it does not define our own personal beliefs, it only allows tolerance, acceptance of difference and diversity, and makes us a more open, loving and free society.

In the next 4 years, I believe unrest in the European and global market will continue, and could, at some point result in a global market recession we will have trouble recovering from. People of the world are suffering. How long can this unjust division continue? How long before we decide how to all live on this planet, grow enough food for everyone and distribute it so that no child has to live in hunger every day. It simply cannot continue.

in the next 4 years, something could happen with Iran. They are just one of those places where their leaders do not care what the rest of the world says and will not ever listen to the voice of reason and educated minds. To have a President and government denying women education, denying the largest religious minority in their nation education, and saying the Holocaust never happened, then developing nuclear power is just unacceptable and they must be stopped. It is a volatile and dangerous situation.

Our President will attempt brave renovations in our transportation system, which is a joke compared to the advancements in Europe, Japan & elsewhere. He will also attempt to move forward with future-thinking environmentally sound energy developments and auto revisions. Oil drilling will not be developed as much as it would have with a different President.

Fat cats will have to pay their share of taxes just like the rest of us. Hallelujah. Do they think all of us more near the bottom would not start our own small businesses or do productive things for the economy if we had a bit more resources, and weren’t worried about our light bill vs. grocery bill next month? We can all pay our FAIR SHARE of the taxes to our government and THEN they can also do things to develop the economy and “create jobs”.

Creation of jobs is our #1 concern and it won’t be done to the extent that people in America need it. There is too much money being made by taking jobs elsewhere.

Neighborhood economies and local produce will continue to develop, mostly out of necessity.

Legitimate or forcible rape, what does it mean?

August 22, 2012

I keep thinking about the “legitimate rape” comment. What does it really mean?? Obviously it doesn’t make any sense. But I think the meaning of saying it calls into question, first of all, that rape even happens. Or if it does, many are not “legitimate”. What would they be, then? Ones in which women cooperated, brought it on themselves, or simply accused someone dishonestly. It appears that his belief is that many rapes are not really rapes– so that’s the beginning of the meaning.

Then, as you have heard, I’m sure, his next comments brought out some AMAZINGLY STUPID belief that women’s bodies somehow recognize rape semen from a lover’s semen, and this amazing woman’s body rejects the rape semen so she doesn’t get pregnant. WOW! I wonder how much he even knows about his own wife’s body.

Anyway, the MEANING of this second comment, to me, means ignorance, plus some sort of weird “set her on a pedastal” belief about the woman’s body. It’s not just a body, it is a spiritually intuned magically gifted body that can cause itself not to accept a man’s semen. What this represents is still not clear in my mind, but it almost sounds like basis for some sort of weird mysogyny. Some sort of disdain for women as a magical being of some sort. We’re not. We’re just humans, like he is. So don’t put us on a pedestal or treat us in any other way but human. That’s what we are.

THIRD, he then tries to EXPLAIN his comments by saying, what he meant was “forcible rape” instead of legitimate rape. Instead of sincerely apologizing, he stoops to a new stupid low. Now it’s forcible rape. Really? Again, read paragraph one.

Lastly, though I think he should now resign, I also think that the superior outcome would be actual education, sincere consultation, and learning on his part. He could sponsor an open forum on the subject of rape. What is it exactly? How often does it occur in society? And how often does it result in pregnancy? There are many theories about why it happens. It is definitely an act of violence. On the other hand, it is also somehow tied up with sexual excitement, because, not many older women get raped. There is some sort of preference being shown. And then a lot of it is education about alcohol, responsibility even when you or someone else is drinking, on both men’s & women’s parts. But it is NEVER okay. And it is ALWAYS rape. Don’t qualify it into divisions you made up yourself to excuse yourself, make yourself feel better, OR more easily blame those that it HAPPENS TO.

I personally find it dumbfounding that we are having THESE discussions this election. But it shows how gender bias or mysogyny is still rampant, and people spew it forth without thinking.

the symbolism of housing

December 5, 2011

I have some thoughts tonight on housing. Shelter. Something all human beings need. These are somewhat random thoughts right now but perhaps they will gel over time.

Tonight I watched police of Washington DC take Occupiers off the roof of a makeshift building they erected at their site. It was meant to be a shelter from the cold, for both Occupiers and the homeless milling about in DC. I watched, mesmerized, for over an hour, while police came in, went up in a cherry-picker, and literally “picked” students off the roof of this thing. The last one refused to budge and held a steel-like grip until police literally pried him off, one limb at a time, and he finally, finally relented.

The fascinating story in my mind that began to take shape is the SYMBOLIC MEANING of HOUSING or shelter that was being created, by the actions of these young adults in our nation’s capital. I find myself with very mixed feelings about the whole occupy movement. I sympathize greatly with their cause. Greed is rampant in America, and those 1% do have an ungodly and immense amout of wealth unlike any other industrialized nation on earth. In fact, most of the rest of the largely industrialized nations have taken great steps to lessen their wealth and wage gap. Not in America. Mostly because we have this thing about individual RIGHTS and freedoms that we see as, the freedom to make all the money you can, in almost any way you can, and you don’t owe anybody else a DIME. Which I think is wrong. We do owe others a dime. We owe EVERYONE, in fact, food, clean water, and shelter. Not that everyone has to have the exact same quality or amount, but a heckuva lot closer in value than we have now. Or at least the opportunity to EARN it, which doesn’t exist right now. JOBS are gone and no one in the 1% gives a HOOT about that. People’s lives are melting away before them, and those at the top continue in their exploitation and taking jobs overseas, because it’s ALL about the money, it’s all about profit alone.

In any case, the police took them off the roof, and I turned it off at that point (when I saw that they didn’t tase or mase anybody to get them off), so I assume they then dismantled the house on the Occupy grounds. I don’t really have a problem with that. And I applaud the officers in tonight’s case, who showed great restraint, even after this kid peed all over them as they stood below him towards the end. They did not act or look angry in the footage. You didn’t see it on CNN by the way, because they refused to cover it, even though I watched for nealry 2 full HOURS on someone’s own webcam and independently broadcast production! We know who’s bought out. It’s become so totally blatantly obvious in the past few weeks, I don’t even want to watch them anymore.

The symbolism of the shelter erected at the site was 1) to house our homeless population, which in America is shameful. And 2) to show solidarity and sympathy with the 1 out of 10 Americans whose homes went into foreclosure in this crisis.

People losing their HOMES is a powerful image! It is a powerful reality in today’s society. With the loss of income of my husband, we even stand one toothpick away from that, and the reason it would never happen that we would be on the street or in a shelter is that we have supportive family. What if we didn’t? What if we were totally reliant on only ourselves. We could be on the street with a PhD. That is the world we live in. And that is powerful. It is very powerful greed operating our world today.

I have enough family that I am not close to, that I can imagine this happening to people. My family is splintered, my mother, father and older brother already gone from this world, and I have 9 first cousins, none of whom ever talks to me or writes. We don’t know what’s going on in each other’s lives. Most of them also splintered years ago, and there are no family get-togethers. Those who we were closest to in my childhood completely shut me out. So, yes, I can see people ending up homeless from a foreclosure. Some families are not that close, through no fault of the kids.

How much of the world is without shelter tonight? If 2/3 of the world’s population exists on $2.00/day or less, what do you think? We live in a world out of balance, where children go hungry, earthquakes devastate already-poverty-striken places, and a year or more later, large populations are still living in tent cities, and we sit and watch our TV and eat our food at night and never think of them. What do they think of us?

Food – Clean water – Shelter from the cold, and the rain, and life’s outside problems, every child deserves. Even those homeless in America. Shame on our banks and our system that takes back homes they offered and adveretised and SOLD to people who now cannot afford their payments. SHAME on our politicians who let weeks and weeks and weeks go by and do nothing to create jobs for those in their own country ready and willing to work! Shame on the South Carolina state govt. for priding itself on how many unemployment applications it TURNS DOWN every week. Shame on us all.

Gadhafi is gone

October 20, 2011

and the world will not miss him. He appeared to be a cold-hearted, self-consumed, narcissistic dictator who had many people killed and tortured in his name. He lavished wealth upon his family while his people suffered (as so many others). People hid in fear in their homes from his murderers. So we can’t say the world will miss him.

The only thing I will say about his death and his people, is that we live in barbaric times. The men who killed him are happy for their current freedom, but people evidently descended upon him and killed him. I have not much higher hopes that these men will uplift their country and their women and daughters to higher levels of advancement, education, and future maturity and freedom of life. They have shown their true colors before. They still think of women as children, or cattle, certainly not their equals.

My hope is for the world to truly advance, to become a world of peace and security, where every child born will be able to realize his or her true potential and dreams, live in peace and freedom, never go hungry, and live their lives protected and secure from all harm, where each group will co-exist with respect for all humanity.

Occupy Columbia

October 15, 2011

Today is Occupy Columbia. Just want to write a few words. This is a movement. No matter how you feel about it, the few who first gathered on Wall Street to voice their disatisfaction with the wage and wealth gap in the United States have had an impact. The fact that that impact is nothing concrete that we can see in some legislation does not diminish the reality of them having an impact. They have continued in force for weeks now, and the movement has spread across the nation and now, the world. It has “gone global”. It seems to speak to, give voice to, the regular folks suffering in America, the 99%. WE ARE the 99%. Meaning, 1 percent of America holds some nearly 40% of all the wealth in this country. The rest of the 99% has little wealth. More and more, we are just struggling to survive. 1 in 10 have lost their homes in the latest plunge of stocks, not because they OWNED ANYTHING, but because we are dependent on this fragile economy of greed to stay in place so that we are not kicked out of our homes. The rest of the world? One third of the world’s population is existing on what is comparable to $1.00 a day. They are all living, working, looking for decent housing, clean water, enough food, giving birth, burying their loved ones as they die, praying that at least some of their children make it to adulthood and are able to support them when they get old. If they get old.

What this movement does, is show the widespread anger, fear and discontent in a large part of the population, in the working people and the voting public. What does it matter who we vote for? WE NEED JOBS. We need people to receive their unemployment checks when they deserve it and not be CUT OFF from some LOOPHOLE B.S. law, like my husband was. The 99% want to voice their worries, their large-spread fear and discontent about their lives. They are not all young kids who don’t want to work, who have nothing better to do, who have been “coddled” like I’ve heard some say recently on facebook. They are America.

The era of US veterans returning from WWII and getting a home loan to build something for their children is gone. No one cares anymore if you can’t ever buy a home. No one cares if your credit is ruined. No one cares if you cannot afford health care, if you are released from the hospital too early and you die. No one cares. The more popular ideology now is to get “tough on crime” and “tough on lazy poachers and make them go to work”. Congress certainly doesn’t care. They are so out of touch with the reality of their constituents, they’d rather spend 100% of their time and energy into stopping anything our President puts forth, than work together for a solution. One of them gets on the news and tells how he needs $200,000 a year to feed his family and lives off of the “other $400,000” that is left? What planet do you live on, Sir?

It is this GAP that is being expressed in Occupy Columbia, Occupy Indianapolis, Occupy Wall Street the money center of America. People are releasing some of their long-term frustration, their realities, their pent up suffering. They also are creating BONDS, creating a sense of belonging, of coming together, which Durkheim would say has its purpose. He would see it as a disruption in the societal system, but in itself, perhaps a positive uniting effect among those involved. Perhaps it will better our society. Marx would see it as the movement of the proletariat calling for a revolution of change, but I think Marx underestimated the ability of society to stabilize itself and continue on. Weber would be watching for a charismatic leader within the group, I suppose. 🙂 

In any case, it is clear and evident that we need a more just society, one founded upon principles of liberty and justice for all, one with a system of checks and balances where power cannot rise too large, where monopolies cannot grow. Seems like I’ve heard this somewhere before….  ? Hmm…

How long will injustice continue? How long is chaos and confusion to reign amongst men? How long will discord agitate the face of society?… The winds of despair are, alas, blowing from every direction, and the strife that divideth and afflicteth the human race is daily increasing. The signs of impending convulsions and chaos can now be discerned, inasmuch as the prevailing order appeareth to be lamentably defective. I beseech God, exalted be His glory, that He may graciously awaken the peoples of the earth, may grant that the end of their conduct may be profitable unto them, and aid them to accomplish that which beseemeth their station.

 Behold the disturbances which, for many a long year, have afflicted the earth, and the perturbation that hath seized its peoples. It hath either been ravaged by war, or tormented by sudden and unforeseen calamities. Though the world is encompassed with misery and distress, yet no man hath paused to reflect what the cause or source of that may be. . . How bewildering, how confusing is such behavior! No two men can be found who may be said to be outwardly and inwardly united. The evidences of discord and malice are apparent everywhere, though all were made for harmony and union. The Great Being saith: O well-beloved ones! The tabernacle of unity hath been raised; regard ye not one another as strangers. Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch. We cherish the hope that the light of justice may shine upon the world and sanctify it from tyranny. If the rulers and kings of the earth, the symbols of the power of God, exalted be His glory, arise and resolve to dedicate themselves to whatever will promote the highest interests of the whole of humanity, the reign of justice will assuredly be established  amongst the children of men, and the effulgence of its light will envelop the whole earth. . .

There can be no doubt whatever that if the day star of justice, which the clouds of tyranny have obscured, were to shed its light upon men, the face of the earth would be completely transformed.

 (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 216)

fewer will get mortgages this year

October 12, 2011

Really? Big news story in the Wall St journal today, fewer will get mortgages over the next year. Yes, this is something we know. Too many people got mortgages based on no finances. Those bad, irresponsible folks taking a nice house for their family offered to them by the mortgage lenders at the banks who were doing the offering, telling them they could afford it, that everything would be fine, selling them a house with a flexible rate. When the market fell, they lost their home. They should have known better. They should have worked hard, saved their pennies and offered a sizeable down payment at the time of purchase, with their solid credit rating, and not taken a deal unless it had a fixed rate and decent interest rate.

Well, news flash, most people live paycheck to paycheck, even at the higher middle class levels with 2 incomes in the family. Partly this is due to our credit culture where we all have to have our “things” to be happy. But let’s pass around the responsibility a bit.

Most Americans watch 4-7 hours of television per day, where commercials blast “things” at us every 10 minutes of programming. What are the constant messages blasted at us by the media circuit, on television, Internet, radio (if anyone still listens to that, perhaps in their car), on bill boards as we drive? — It’s all about “things” we need to be happy, to have a girlfriend/boyfriend. To go against this constant barrage of needed “things”, we have to go against the norms of society, which means we have to swim upstream. It gets tiring. Somewhere along the way, we cave in and just “go with the flow”. President Bush sends out a check to families, telling them to SPEND IT to help the economy! The economy was tanking, if they spent it, they paid an electic bill with it!

Those people getting loans based on nothing are now losing their homes. But the banks, the mortgage lenders? No sweat, they got bailed out. We all heard in the news how they took the bail out money and continued to pay their CEOs millions in BONUSES. So we all know who cares not a whit about the people losing their homes. We all know who suffers and who goes on as they have been since the end of the Great Depression.

So my actual focus of this blog is this: Where do we go from here? Where we are going is back to BEFORE WWII, when 30-year mortgages without needing a huge down payment were INVENTED, mostly for the GIs returning to get out of the shanty towns that were set up in quonset houses, barracks, and get them and their families into nice, individual homes. Of course, these home loans were denied to black GIs, but oh well. The public wasn’t ready for integration of suburbs.

Bankers and lenders have always done whatever they want, while the people working those jobs take the hand outs and imagine they are independently deciding these things.

People losing their homes, losing their jobs, are now unable to pay those home loans and credit cards at the high interest rates, and their CREDIT RATING is going DOWN THE TUBES. And it is not their fault. Companies offered these things to them and convinced them they could afford it, and their neighbors were getting them, so they also “needed” them. Now we know that was a sham. But the people of America, those hard working people now seeing the loss of those promised “things” are losing out. Their credit rating is going down and there is nothing they can do about it. They will not be able to get a home loan, they will be denied credit cards, and increasingly, employers are checking CREDIT RATINGS before they hire someone. It is a black hole, there is no escape. So the middle class is disappearing. Those at the higher ends can still afford their payments. Those in the middle are moving to the bottom, are losing their homes, now forced to rent a place, and see their wealth disappear. When they lose those jobs, they also lose their health care. So they will die sooner. But we know from watching the Republican debate on television, the Tea Partiers think that laughable. “Let him die! (erupted laughter)”.   We are fast returning to an era of haves and have nots. Was Marx more prophetic than we give him credit for? He did not foresee a middle class, minimum wage laws, easy credit. Are we returning to his predictions? Interesting thought. Time will tell. In the meantime, we all search for a way to survive present conditions. Students take to the streets to protest their thousands in student loans and lack of jobs and opportunity.

There is a certain amount of survival skills due to life experience that comes with 57 years of life. This too shall pass. What the next stage will be, no one knows. Change is certain. Each of us is responsible for what change occurs. Each of us has a brain. Study, learn and contribute. Always contribute. Prepare the best you can. For the immediate future, try to keep costs down, live simply, have any sort of “savings” if you are able. Find a way to survive. Build your skill levels, add things to your resume, promote yourself, network.

It is certain that some will survive, and some will not. Makes me want to gather my children and grandchildren close around me. Know who you can trust and depend upon each other. We are not in this world alone and none of us can survive alone. Human beings are social creatures. Trust and love.