The Shade We Enjoy

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I am writing this blog today because I am writing a paper on a topic very similar to what is happening now in the states all across the country.

It is today that many people in the United States are taking time away from their jobs and busy lives to remember the American war dead. Those brave souls who have placed their lives on the line for its citizens back home, and have fallen, are honored, praised, and recognized for their selfless sacrifice.

In my paper, I speak about posterity. Posterity, if you didn’t know, is the succeeding future generations; collectively. Basically, I am writing about the quote from Edward Burke, “People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors.” I am saying that we are a product of those who have come before us, and we have a moral debt to that generation who came before us to uphold the next one.

Every road we drive on, law in place, book we read, philosophy we follow, system of government we claim loyalty to, freedom we enjoy, or breath we breathe, is due to our fore-fathers and their hard work. We now hold a moral debt, or a credit needing to be paid. It is no longer a matter of choice that we uphold future generations, but an agreement with the dead and gone. This agreement, this contract, is now ours to uphold; to foster a better future.

A man, much wiser than I, said that we modern people are but “dwarfs on the shoulders of giants, able to see farther than their ancestors only because of the great stature of those who have preceded us in time,” Impressing greater significance on history and ancestors will grant us with insight on how to better raise future generations…and we have a Generational Duty to do this.

Memorial Day is a day we remember those who have paved a way for us. Whom have died so that we can live the lives we now live. I can think of no greater way to make this point, so I will let an old Greek proverb do it for me. The proverb speaks to the brave concept of men and women doing things in this world that we may never see the fruit from, “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” This is incredible altruism. The clearest form of altruism is when you won’t be around to receive any reward, AND when people begin acting this way, generations are made stronger.

Today, honor the trees planted by our service men who have fallen in conflict, war, and battle. They planted them so that you can enjoy their shade.

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A Single Mother’s Day

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I want to tell you how much I appreciate mothers. I am not just talking about my mother, for whom I owe more than my life. She is an incredible example of Love and Godliness, for which I have never seen in another. Today, however, I am talking about single mothers. This is why single mothers deserve more.

When some mothers are waiting for their shift to end, after a long day with their kids, and hand them off to their husbands, single mothers are rolling up their sleeves for a long night. When some mothers are tapping their tag-team better halves at three in the morning because the crying becomes too much, single mothers are going on 3 weeks napping in the gaps. When the washer breaks down, the pluming is shot, and the water is filling the room, single mothers get it done. They have to get it done. Single mothers don’t have another option.

When three half-pints are pulling on her jeans, after she just made breakfast, lunch, and dinner, after cleaning up the house, after following the kids around to make sure they’re safe…they know, that this day will repeat until they are old enough to crawl, walk, talk, go to school, and finally leave when they are old enough. Single mothers are soldiers, saints, and martyrs. Daily they die to themselves in order to raise a better tomorrow. Their dedicated resolve, unfurled by life’s attempts to destroy them inspires me. They have no calvary coming to fend off a hard day. They know that they need to be strong, because no one else will. They know one of the many true meanings of “life isn’t fair.” Single mothers need a day like today, hell, they need a year. Today I recognize those women, those self-sacrificing warriors for parenting.

If you know a single mother, recognize them today and everything that they do for their children. They deserve it.

The Ever Fleeting Sun

So, It’s been a while, but it’s a new month. With that comes new and glorious things. Actually, that completely depends on where you are in the world…but I wont go into that right now.

I am writing to tell you, my readers, my family, and my friends; whether you are on wordpress, facebook, twitter or something else, that a change is coming. For some of you, this change will not matter and wont effect you in anyway. For others, it will be a welcomed change.

In the recent months that I have been in New Zealand, I have been thinking. While I know that this is a dangerous task to engage in, I have been doing it none-the-less. In the last few days, this thinking has been fed by a desire of intentionality. Why do we do what we do? Is it the best way? Is it the wise way? These thoughts have been centralized around one device. The Smartphone. Now, before I get into this, you should know that I am very tech savvy. I fixed the network for the social service agency I worked for, I taught my mom how to work around the computer, and I used to work at an Apple Store. This is no nudge on myself, but rather a product of the age I’ve been born into. Kids are just amazing at this stuff now.

STILL, in January of this year, I owned my first smartphone. I know. I know. Somehow I was living without one until now.With the integration of this new device, I promised myself that I would NOT be thr675239_4945798[1]at guy who is always on his phone, telling people he’s paying attention, when in reality how could I be?! Pretty soon I had people telling me that I was consumed with the device. It sickened me. But on I continued.

One of the few changes I will be making is the choice to stop using apps on my phone that use data. Whether that is Google search, a web browser, facebook, twitter, etc. Unless I’m in a bind, I will be checking these things on my own time, on my laptop. I have done this for my whole life, without having it literally at my fingertips, and I am wagering that this is what everyone can still do. I will go so far as to say that we don’t NEED (“need” being the key word) data for our phones (aside from using phones for text & calls)

This is a decision I normally would have made on my own, without broadcasting it to the web, making me look ‘holyer than thou.’ The reason I chose to write about this and publically tell you about what I’m doing is because I think that this is a pretty serious problem taking over. We don’t sit still anymore. Stillness/silence is feared and even seen as ridiculous. And I think that taking small steps to slow down, and remove the smartphone from my tight, unforgiving grip….is a good thing! Think about it.

Now, on a different note, with me living in New Zealand, I feel a great obligation to write about my life here as well as share photos with those back home, to give them an insight to my life. “TAKE PHOTOS” were scellphone-taking-pictures_53382_600x450[1]ome of the last words said by some of my friends before I left. And yet, I am not ignorant enough to realize that my life here can look much more incredible than what my friends and family back in the flattest state in the U.S. are living. My photos can inadvertently cause others to hate their life, or resent my happiness. Without realizing it, I can come off as someone “having it all” showing the best parts of life, rather than the flat tire I just got, or the dull monotony that occurs on most days (even in New Zealand). I run risk of deifying this land in a manner that is in no way accurate, or fair to those back home.

I have thus decided to stop subjecting my friends, on facebook or twitter, to my photos on instagram. I will still post to instagram, but those photos will only be available to those following me on the site. Those people choose to see my photos, rather than me forcing people on facebook to look at my “amazing life.” Please note that my reaction is not a response to anything that anyone voiced to me, but rather a product of my intentional thought process. We need to be considerate, and we need to know the effect we may be having on one another. What is wise?photo

Finally, I have started a side-project called “The Ever Fleeting Sun” where I post the photos that most people will now not be seeing on facebook. If you choose to go to my site, you will see the beauty that I see, as well as the moments that I personally feel like capturing in this incredible country.

Thank you for reading and hearing me out. I think that this will be a good change, and I think that I will enjoy it. Much Love from the great land of New Zealand.

Eric