Brokenness and Strength
Jan 17 & 18
The past ten days have found the United States experiencing weather that has adversely affected many. From freezing conditions on the Gulf Coast to ice in Florida and deadly mud slides in California, the weather has reminded us that life is fragile and nothing can be taken for granted. Discussions about global warming have offered up evidence of the debate as, in the midst of this bitter deep freeze spreading across over two-thirds of the USA, scientists reveal the planet has experienced some of its warmest temperatures ever.
We like to think of science as the art form that explains life. Since science is rational and proven, then life itself must be rational, right? Life is full of incongruences. There is seldom anything completely rational about mankind. With all of our technology and creature comforts and the ability to expand our horizons into outer space, many of still live in fear, creating our own defeats instead of living successfully. We seek someone to blame instead of answers.
What would you do if you knew you could not fail? It is a question asked by several different organizations in their efforts to help those for whom life has been most difficult. Many believe that it takes being born into money or at least an industrialize nation to become successful. Many often use their upbringing as an excuse rather than a stepping stone.
Masiela Lusha was born in Albania and also lived in Hungary and Austria where she studied ballet in Vienna. At age twelve her parents moved to the United States, settling in Michigan. Child experts would tell you that is a great deal of moving around in a short time frame, as well as changing cultures, and that it would be expected for there to be some problems for the child trying to assimilate.
Lusha was determined and by age twenty she had acted for five years on a national produced television program called “The George Lopez Show”, acting as a Hispanic. Since the television program stopped production, she started her own production company, wrote eight books and translated several volumes of poetry from Albanian into English. Masiela Lusha is a humanitarian in her own right. She has served as the ambassador for a major children’s literature publishing house, Scholastic, and made multiple public service announcements encouraging children to read. Additionally, she started her own foundation to assist homeless families.
While most of us will never get a major acting contract with a major network, we can all help the homeless and encourage children to read. We can also support agencies, government programs, and nonprofit foundations that do similar work. American Indian Chief Seattle once said: “This we know; the earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood, which unites one family. All things are connected.” Just in case you think “These are not my problems so why should I bother, think again.” We are all connected so “their” problem is your problem.
Aoi Miyazaki is a Japanese actress with over forty films and sixteen television programs to her credit. Considered one of Japan’s most beautiful women, she is only thirty years old. One of her films, “Children of the Dark”, led her to the tragic problem of child exploitation. Her photobook “Tarinai Peace”, published with her brother, portrayed the true nature of poverty in India. She has also supported programs to assist with raising awareness and funds for childhood cancer.
Aoi Miyazaki is a perfect example of how one person can make a difference. Another book with her brother focused on the world wide problem of global warming and was entitled “Love, Peace, and Green Tarinai, Peace2”. She doesn’t just see a problem or talk about it over coffee. She does what she can to bring it into sight of all people.
Too many try to blame what is wrong with their environment on those who have moved into it. They feel that immigrants are responsible for any “brokenness”. We will always have problems. The really tragic thing is when no one does anything to address these problems. These two actresses began acting in the early teens. They are not experts in their field. They are, however, able to see and hear through the “noise” of life.
We tend to think of noise as a musical or audio term. Actually it is a mathematical one and means errors in measurements. In 1722 a man named Roget Coates put forth a theory that perhaps a combination of different observations might be better in determining truth than simply taking one approach. That led to the development of standards which are then used to determine an answer with the least possible problems. In other words, procedures were developed to give a way to provide the best estimate with the least amount of errors.
Today a program called “Squish Squash” is sometimes used to find what seems to not be present. The program takes what is known and then eliminates it and draws logical conclusions about what is thought to be present but cannot be proven to be. For instance, if you think you heard a robin’s song but only see and hear ducks and geese at the pond while making a video, then you might assume you were wrong. However, once near a computer, you could upload and work such audio magic to take out the sound of the ducks and geese until the robin’s soft melodic song could indeed be heard.
In order to help children and families with their brokenness, in dealing with whatever hurdles they are encountering in life, we first need to eliminate the loud mouths that already have enough to live. We need to admit there are errors or difficulties with everyone having a fair chance and then do what we can to hear them and help them thrive.
In 2016 on Super Bowl Sunday I did a post and gave an equation about how the offertory plates of one church could feed all the hungry children in the state. It was quite an eye opening experience for me to realize how one group of people, when working together, could eliminate such a grave problem that exists.
Last year in one week I spent about $40 (USD) purchasing some items for a program that provides food for children during non-school periods. These children do not have a guarantee of eating meals at home due to their poverty. A local business donates money to purchase meal packages but other items are needed and my mere $40 purchased over two hundred and forty supplemental items. That breaks down to each item I purchased costing approximately sixteen cents each. So for less than half a dollar, I provided a child with some fruit, some dairy (on a cracker), and a sweet, in addition to their meal pack. I consider myself a rather thrifty shopper but I think anyone would say I got a great return for my money, Not only did I get a good value for the items purchased, I invested in someone’s future, their life. Just imagine what we all could accomplish for less than fifty cents if we decided to mend the brokenness around us.
The answers to the world’s problems are often found in our own mirrors. We and we alone are the solution to the brokenness around us. When we think of others and come together to affect real-time solutions, then we become strong. The best way to help ourselves is to help others.