The fault lies not in our “stars” but in ourselves.
While Trump and his White House dramatics suck up all the news oxygen, it has become fashionable in some quarters to blame President Trump for our failures and shortcomings.
I, believe it or not, am not one of them.
The destiny and purpose in any man's life ultimately rests in the hands of that man. With the exception of his own household, any individual man cannot be held responsible for his race, his culture, his country of origin or his political party.
No one can ride your back or make you do anything unless you let him. In other words, no one can force you or tempt you to do anything without your permission.
As I explain to my charges in the faith-based ministry at the Bartow County Jail on a weekly basis, being a minority or being poor are not valid excuses for their present condition.
Yes, we are responsible for our behavior and attitude.
And so, with keen interest and increasing alarm, I observed three instances of the coarsening of our concern for each other.
It is becoming abundantly clear that we do not grasp the meaning of the Biblical declaration, or perhaps we never knew what it really meant in the first place.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life, for God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved."
While 80-year-old Senator John McCain is undergoing the battle of his life, the following are some responses to his condition.
"I’m pretty sure that God is punishing him,” wrote a 4chan user. “God made it pretty clear that he supports New Right now.”
"I have no empathy for my enemies. John McCain is my enemy. I hope it's painful."
“Any death of a genuine eternal cuck should be celebrated. John McCain's passing, assuming he passes, will do our race a lot of good and that's what matters,” wrote a user on Reddit.
Meanwhile, in Arizona, a young boy with a deformed face and a missing ear, sat, arms folded across his knees, whimpering,"it hurts, it hurts," while children mocked and ridiculed him.
His helpless mother could only hug him and gently whisper, “it's going to be all right.”
This woman and her husband have education degrees and have worked as teachers for many years. “Children stare, but that doesn’t mean that it’s okay,” she says. “Teaching empathy is not a curriculum; it’s a way of life. I must share with my children about others and what they might be feeling. I have to teach them to value others, especially those that are different. That value is found from the inside, not the outside.”
Earlier this month, a group of Florida teens filmed and mocked a disabled man while he was drowning in a retention pond, police said.
Jamel Dunn, 32, drowned in a retention pond off Plaza Parkway in Cocoa, Florida, on July 9 — his body was found July 12, Florida Today reported. There were no calls to 911 from the teens, police said.
Video released by the state attorney’s office Thursday showed the man’s head bobbing up and down in the water as five boys between the ages of 14 and 16 recorded the incident with a cell phone on a nearby bank.
“F—ing junkie, get out the water, you gonna die!” one yelled.
“Ain’t nobody gonna help you, you dumb b—!,” another said. “You should’ve never got in there!”
There is something horribly wrong and broken with many of us.
We have become cold, heartless, inhumane, devoid of empathy and unsympathetic to the plight of others. Grace has been cast out into the streets and mercy and compassion have been trampled over. Every imagination of our stony heart is only evil continually.
The second is no longer like unto the first, for we do not love our fellow man. We use him, abuse him and then discard him when he is no longer useful for our amusement.
Poor, loyal, Jeff Sessions, twisting in the wind of an unpredictable man, is becoming thoroughly familiar with that unfortunate circumstance.
God and his standards have become passe and inconvenient. No one seeks after him to do good. We find pleasure and agreement in being as nasty as we want to be.
Shortsighted and foolish, we forget that we have yet to learn some looming, ominous, imminent hard lessons.
Vitality, vim, vigor and that stupid, arrogant independent spirit do not last forever.
The flower fades. It withers and dies and is eventually consigned to the trash heap of life.
We are not omnipotent and one day we will need a helping hand, and some consideration from the other guy.
The passage of time will cruelly remind all of us--nobody stays youthful, beautiful, whole and well forever.
Trouble, hardship and the unfeeling vise-like grip of life await all of us around the next, unknown bend in the road.
Life, it is said, comes at you fast and hard and does not wait for you to prepare and to brace yourself for the resulting, earth-shattering jolt.
All have sinned and fallen short of the ideal of God. Just think about the following.
Why does God love you or me? We all are or were stupid, malformed, ungrateful, unholy sinners.
Why should he continue to shower love and affection upon such people?
Why should the missionaries around the world risk their lives for people who do not look like them?
Why do I bother to try to persuade stubborn inmates to turn their lives around, week after week?
What's in it for me?
Lakewood Church in Houston, the absolute largest congregation in America, a place where one is taught how to treat our fellow man, averages 52,000 attendees on a Sunday morning. The football stadium of the Houston Texans, where one revels in the spectacle of men abusing their fellow man, sees no less than 70,000 people on any given Sunday.
We will never reach our full potential until we realize and allow the other guy to survive and achieve his or hers. If we do not, then, may God help us all.
V. Knowles is a husband, father and prison minister with an interest in penning issues that serve to uplift mankind. He melds his love for Classic literature, The Bible and pop culture - as sordid as it may be - into highly relatable columns of truth, faith and justice. Hence the name: Just Thinking. If he's not buried in a book or penning his next column, you may find him pinned to his sectional watching a good old Country and Western flick.