An American Apology to the Queen of England ⋆ Politicrossing
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An American Apology to the Queen of England

Photo credit: Ashim D'Silva

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Your Royal Highness,
 
Though I’m no monarchist, on behalf of an American majority, I want to offer my apology for the shoddy treatment inflicted upon you by one of our own. I’m truly sorry you must endure the slings and arrows of a fellow American who, like many of her generation, chooses victimhood over responsibility.
 
I’m also sorry that your seemingly weak and inordinately facile grandson has hitched his wagon to an apparent opportunist. Truly, I pity him as he’s missed his opportunity to marry someone like Princess Kate and has repeated the mistake made by your uncle so long ago. Like Wallace, Meghan has proven to be a royal wrecker, but unlike Wallace, she did her worst in front of cameras and gal pal and faux journalist Oprah—and the entire world.
 
Your Royal Highness, please know that Meghan represents a vocal minority (not alluding to race in any way) of selfish and silly wokesters who do not represent the silent yet seething American majority. We’re on your side—and on the side of propriety and wisdom. And though we may not fully appreciate the value of your venerable monarchy, we support you as a shining example of virtually everything a sovereign should be.
 
May God give you the strength to endure the pettiness and plots of a former princess as your heart and mind is occupied by your dear husband in his time of need.
 
With respect,
An apologetic American

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Patrick is a journalist and writer with degrees in English and journalism. He served six years in the Navy where his life was changed forever by the Lord Jesus Christ. He lives in the Sierra Nevada of Northern California with his wife, dog and two cats. He enjoys hiking and cycling, taking pictures and blogging at https://luscri.com/



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Life

Human Population and Legitimate Environmental Concerns

It is time to address runaway population growth, however unpalatable that might be to some people.

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Most conservatives know that the Green New Deal misses the mark and that dire claims of global warming often fall far short. Still there are legitimate concerns about the environment, as hurricane Ian makes its way up the east coast, that merit consideration.

Decades back, a statement signed by 1,575 scientists from 69 countries was sent to 160 national leaders, as reported by the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington, D.C. Signers included 99 of the 196 Nobel Laureate scientists living at the time, as well as senior officers from prestigious scientific academies around the world.

What was in the letter? It warned that, “Human beings, in the natural world, are on a collision course.” Environmental concerns were apparent in the atmosphere, water resources, oceans, soil, topical and tempered forests, and living species. The scientists lamented that, “Much of this damage is irreversible, on a scale of centuries or permanent.” They went on to say, “We are fast approaching many of the earth’s limits.”

Vanishing Resources

Here are some long-running examples of the degree to which our planetary resources are being stretched:

* Water is at a premium: no more fresh water exist on the planet today than in Biblical times. Yet, the earth’s population is eight times greater than it was in 1840.

* In 1990, 1.2 billion of 5.4 billion people had no access to clean drinking water. Today, more than 2 billion of nearly 8 billion people lack safe drinking water at home.

* In 1990, one in 15 people lived in areas defined as water-stressed or water-scarce. This number eventually could rise to one in three people.

* Chronic fresh water shortages have occurred in Mexico, Brazil, Africa, the Middle East, Northern China, parts of India, several former Soviet republics, and the western United States.

* More people imperil many other species. The World Wildlife Federation’s endangered species over the years have included the ivory-billed woodpecker, Amur leopard, Javan rhinoceros, greater bamboo lemur, northern right whale, western lowland gorilla, leatherback sea turtle, and Siberian tiger.

Too Many People?

When 205 Nobel Prize winners were polled regarding the most compelling challenges confronting humanity, of 36 completed responses, #1 was population growth, and #2 was environmental degradation.

Increasing human populations don’t inherently equate to mismanaged resources and more dire conditions, yet that has been the continuing norm. Lester Brown, former president of the World Watch Society, once observed that without radical, scientific breakthroughs, large increases in crop yields that have allowed production to keep up with the decades of rising human consumption might no longer be possible.

“Human demands are approaching the limits of oceanic fisheries to supply fish, grazing lands to support livestock, and, in many countries, of the hydrological cycle to produce fresh water,” Brown observed. “As a result of our population size, consumption patterns, and technology choices, we have surpassed the planet’s caring capacity.”

The Ever Critical Masses

Some people surmise that war, famine, and pestilence all reduce population. “Doesn’t nature manage things?” they ponder. Nature does not micro-manage our population. No war and no starvation – even in Somalia or Ethiopia counterbalances the human net gain of one million more people every five days.

The key to the quality of life for future generations is keeping population at a replacement level, i.e. the number of live births equaling the number of deaths. Even with fertility declining worldwide, the fertility in some developing countries still averages more than four children per family.

It is estimated that of all 14-year-old girls alive today, more than a third will be pregnant by age 20. About 35% to 40% of the population of developing countries is under the age of 15. With so many entering their reproductive years, population is destined to increase for many decades.

More than one-half billion people are unemployed or underemployed in developing countries, and multi-millions more enter the job market each year. Difficult economic conditions, exacerbated by pandemics and rapid population growth, have prompted millions of rural poor to migrate to cities and prompted millions more to cross international borders in search of a better life.

The Only Way Out

New York, which in 1950 topped the list of the ten largest cities in the world, is no longer in the top ten. Explosive human population growth is at the root of every planetary shortfall, emergency, and full-blown crisis. It is time to effectively apply the breaks to this runaway train, however unpalatable that might be to some people. Collectively, we cannot continue down this path indefinitely.

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Faith

Unleash the Spirit Within

It doesn’t take considerable effort to engage in spiritual-type behavior that will benefit everyone

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You can practice being more spiritual in little ways that add up quickly to your being a more spiritual person. For example, there are relatively minor things you can do to start the process, although nothing is minor when it comes to acting spiritually. As an example, if you smile at someone, they tend to smile back. If you go out of your way to help someone, that person might in turn help another and so on.

Spirituality certainly does not have to be restricted to the confines of organized religion. Freed from the rules, restrictions, and impediments that organized religion may impose upon you, how and where might you be more spiritual in your life?

Each little action sets in motion the potential for greater good. So, as you proceed through six items below, do not discount the value of engaging in any of these. Each has the potential to add up to more.

Spirituality While Driving

Researchers report that when people get in their cars, they think they’re in some type of invisible vehicle. No one sees them as they motor down the road. If you curse or scream, who’s to know? Obviously, you’re not invisible and the way you conduct yourself as a motorist potentially impacts other motorists, as well as pedestrians.

The next time someone cuts you off in traffic, fails to use their turn signal properly or otherwise engages in improper driving, practice maintaining your composure.

Don’t curse, scream, or honk your horn. If the other person is in view, look at them blankly, but not with disgust or anger, or a mocking smile.

Often, the other party knows what they did wrong. If not, venting your spleen is not likely to change their behavior.

If you travel frequently, say as part of your job, and often traverse high traffic arteries, chances are you’ll have an opportunity at least several times a week to practice engaging in small displays of spirituality. As a goal, why not establish for yourself one composed response per week?

Each time you can remain composed, you increase the probability that you will be more composed in other aspects of your life. Perhaps you’ll even be kinder to people in face-to-face encounters when they commit a transgression.

Comfort the Less Fortunate

As a small gesture of spirituality, what can you do for someone you see right on the street? It’s one thing to write a check to charity; it’s another to encounter someone who is in need and aid that person on the spot.

When you have shoes that you no longer wear, but are not necessarily in pieces, keep them in your trunk as you motor around town. Then, if you see a homeless person with less than sufficient footwear, and it looks like you might be roughly the same size, pull over.

Promptly get the shoes from your trunk, walk up to the person and say that you want them to accept the shoes. If he or she accepts, fine, bid them good day, and be on your way. If he or she chooses not to take them, that’s okay too.

Your goal in this area could be to give away each pair of shoes or other worthwhile item of clothing that you no longer want, perhaps on a monthly basis.

Participate in Group Action

If this is not for you, volunteer once a month to serve a meal at a local shelter for the homeless. If you’re a busy career type, perhaps serving dinner will work best for you. Whatever your preconceived notions about this may be, once you actually serve dinner to real live people, you’ll see that reality is different than you thought.

Perhaps you think that people would be reluctant to speak up for what they wanted. Or worse, they’d be groveling, and you would have to do your best to remain humble. Perhaps you feel like you’ll seem to be some kind of “goody-two-shoes,” dispensing dinners with an overly pleasant, “And how are you this evening? Here’s a nice dinner for you.”

Actually, none of the above usually happens. Person to person, you simply serve another, as if you were in partnership. More peas? Fewer carrots? It’s much more matter-of-fact than you might imagine. They’re appreciative but not groveling.

Note: Some people who show up at a shelter are well dressed. Perhaps they’re temporarily unemployed, or they had a financial emergency they were unprepared to handle.

The more often you serve others in this way, the easier it becomes to do it again. You start to get the notion that there are a lot more similarities between human beings than differences. The old axiom, “There but for the grace of God, go I,” is much more true than we all often acknowledge.

Look for the Good in Others

Is there a co-worker with whom you have had a nasty relationship? Is there something good about this co-worker that you can draw upon, so that you can get yourself to  say something nice to him/her at your next encounter?

Will Rogers, a political satirist, entertainer, and beloved figure in the first half of the twentieth century allegedly said, “I never met a man I didn’t like.” Many people have interpreted Will Rogers to have meant that he could find something admirable in everyone he met. So, too, can we all.

Is there a neighbor with whom you have had a continuing squabble? What would it do to your relationship if you sent your neighbor a card or a brief note that said something along the lines of, “I noticed how lovely your garden was the other day, and wanted to let you know that I appreciate the work you’ve done in maintaining it.”? Too syrupy, or, pardon the expression, too flowery? Guess again.

List five people at work or elsewhere in your life with whom you may not have a good relationship, but whom you can acknowledge. Next to each person’s name, write a dash and then what is good about them.

You’re going to be on Earth for a finite amount of time. Do you want to go through your life trading hostilities with people, never having the where-with-all to restore some semblance of civility to the relationship?

Listen More Closely

Human beings have a profound need to be heard. When you give others your full and complete attention, in essence, you’re telling them that you value them as a people. All activity and concerns in your life stop as the words and emotions of another person take on paramount importance.

Listening is one of people’s most underrated skills. Your ability to listen to another person, giving him or her your full and undivided attention, can be an act of spirituality, particularly if the other person needs someone to listen to him/her. In this rush-rush world, too often we want people to summarize everything they say.

Consider the people in your life who have mattered the most to you and, chances are, they were the people that listened to you best. Whether it was your parents, a brother or sister, a good friend, a relative, a teacher, a coach, a coworker, a mentor, or just somebody down the street, you tend to value those who value you by listening.

In Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse, the young Siddhartha speaks about his most well-developed skills. He can listen, he can fast, and he can wait.

These talents don’t seem like much to the Western mind, but they’re handy if you want to increase the spirituality of your life. As a goal, why not to listen in earnest to one person per week in the workplace whom you would not have otherwise given such time and attention?

At home, give your significant other one good listening to per day, and I promise things will go better. Do the same with each child.

Judge Deeds, Not People

Judgment is a necessary and practical skill. It’s likely that you judge things, including others, all day long. After all, if you want to choose the colleges appropriate for you, friends that share similar values, and the professional, social, and civic groups that you will enjoy being a part of, you need to make some judgments.

We all judge one another, however, sometimes harshly. Everyone can learn from each other. It is so easy to fall into that game, as psychologist Carl Rogers articulated, of “mine is better than yours.” It is too convenient to conclude that people who walk, talk, or look differently than we do, must be vastly different, and by extension, inferior.

As you might have already concluded, it doesn’t take considerable effort to be spiritual and to engage in spiritual-type behavior that will benefit yourself, and benefit others. The opportunities are all around each of us, every day. All we have to do is be aware.

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