Who and What is the Happy Warrior

The Happy Warrior is the title of a poem... and yes, I love this poem. I do not wish to be mischaracterized, for the most part poetry is not my bag. I am not an afficionado of literature nor am I a metro-sexual (I despise that term) but a dear friend introduced me to this masterpiece of prose several years ago... it has provided no end of inspiration. The Happy Warrior by William Wordsworth outlines the qualities of a magnificent soul. I aspire to possess even one or two characteristics that "every man in arms should wish to be."

This blog is a representation, in conversational form, of my voyage to wrap my arms around the world in which Mr. Worsdworth's warrior finds happiness.

(Standing disclaimer: Luckily tests of spelling accuracy ended in 4th grade otherwise I would still be in Elementary School. Be forewarned, spelling errors ahead. I subscribe to the wisdom of a great man who said, "I have utmost disdain for a man who can only spell a word one way." -Benjamin Franklin)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Something I wish I did not have to share...

The conincidence of this entry and my previous blog  -both dealing with death, human frailty and the precarious condition of mortality- may leave some wondering about my emotional state.  I am just fine.  I am not fixated on these matters, it is just a strange coincidence to have happened upon these two accounts within days of each other.  This second blog entry is, however, much more disturbing than the first.  Death is one of two universal experiences for all humans.  Birth is the first, the inevitability of death is the second.  Rich or poor, male or female, King George or George from Milwaukee... we will all pass through this portal.  Having established these givens regarding death, suffering is a feature we do not need to promote, allow or tolerate.  Kindness and concern should be constants in our lives as is the breath that enters and exits our lungs.  Far too often it is not.  I'm sorry to bring this account to you.  It happended over a year ago.  It seems to have made big news but I did not hear about it and so I'm assuming that some of you also might have missed it.  It is essential, however sad, that we learn of such things in order that we may never allow them to happen in our own sphere of influence.  Here is the story:
This clip of surveillance-camera footage is very much worth avoiding. Trust me on the grisly essentials: a two-year-old is toddling across a market street in the southern Chinese city of Foshan when she is hit by a white minivan. The driver pauses, assesses the situation, and moves on, running over the girl again with the back right tire. In the minutes that follow, she lies on the pavement, is hit by another driver, and is ignored by more than a dozen passersby, including a woman walking with a child. Eventually, a garbage collector stops and pulls the child to safety.

Synopsis: October 13th afternoon around 5:30, a car accident occurred at the Guangfo Hardware Market in Huangqi of Foshan. A van hit a 2-year-old little girl and then fled. No passersby reached out to help and then another car ran over her. Over the span of 7 minutes, a total of 17 people passing by failed to extend a hand or call the police, up until the 19th person, a garbage scavenger ayi [older woman], who lifted her up after discovering her but the little girl in her arms was like a noodle, immediately collapsing back onto the ground. The trash scavenger ayi called for help, and the little girl’s mother, who was in the vicinity, immediately rushed over and rushed her to the hospital.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Death in America 2012

Most people have a list of books they want to read.  I have a list of books I want to write.  I'm at that disturbing age in life when I recognize the impossibility of accomplishing this task.  I have even started to consider a program where I might conscript the writing abilities of others in a sort of joint venture.  Hence, my standing offer: commissioned writers wanted!
One of these books is a fun but also serious look at death.  I call it "Ten Ways to Die".  I won't reveal more at this point other than sharing a very interesting article (from CNN) about what is killing us in 2012.  What kills us and what does not kill us (on a macro or societal level) is telling.  Enjoy:

15 top killers of Americans
The leading killers of Americans continue to be non-infectious diseases like heart disease, strokes and lung diseases.
But one of the perpetual causes of death fell off the top 15 list this year: Homicides.
“Most of the changes were positive,” said Sherry Murphy, a statistician at the National Center of Health Statistics and one of the authors of the annual mortality report. “Homicides fell from among the 15 leading causes for the first time since 1965.”

The rest of the common killers remained fairly consistent compared with 2009, according to the report released Wednesday. The death rate in the United States dropped slightly from 749.6 deaths per 100,000 in 2009 to 746.2 deaths per 100,000.
The life expectancy in the United States inched up a tiny bit from 78.6 years in 2009 to 78.7 years in 2010.
The leading causes of death in 2010 remained nearly the same as in 2009 – kidney diseases became the 8th leading cause of death –- it had been 9th in the previous year. It swapped spots with flu and pneumonia.
The 15th leading killer is pneumonitis due to solids and liquids, an illness more likely to strike the elderly. This is inflammation of the lungs due to inhaling substance inside the lung such as dust, mold or inhalants.
Here are the top 15 killers:
1. Diseases of heart
2. Malignant neoplasms (cancer)
3. Chronic lower respiratory diseases (such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma)
4. Cerebrovascular diseases (stroke)
5. Accidents (any injuries that are unintentional)
6. Alzheimer’s disease
7. Diabetes mellitus
8. Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis (kidney disease)
9. Influenza and pneumonia
10. Intentional self-harm (suicide)
11. Septicemia
12. Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis
13. Essential hypertension and hypertensive renal disease
14. Parkinson’s disease
15. Pneumonitis due to solids and liquids
Live long and prosper (and be good to your heart)!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Why values trump theology and a Mormon, Catholic, Jew, Baptist, JW or agnostic could be a great president!

I happen to be a Mormon but this excellent discussion by Dennis Prager has much wider application.  Well said Mr. Prager!

And by the way, yes, we are perfectly aware that many people think we are weird and disagree with our theology.  Many of us spend two years as full-time missionaries speaking with people who are not shy about telling us how "wrong" we are -they often use much more colorful language.  How much does it bother us?  Very little.  Some people, especially those who have given up their faith in the doctrines and practices we hold, have a marvelous way of misrepresenting, exaggerating or overstating our beliefs.  Want to judge us?  Then judge us by how we live, how we treat others, how we care for one another (not my standard, this is what Jesus encouraged). 

Oh, and do you want the core, fundamental element of our theology?  Here it is:  Jesus Christ is the Savior.  He was the promised Messiah spoken of in the Old Testament.  He lives.  Because of His atonement for our sins, mistakes and transgressions we can be redeemed.  His atonement -which he performed during his earthly, mortal ministry- is infinite.  It covers all mankind.  Yes, there are doctrines, commandments, covenants, sacraments, and responsibilities that grow from this foundation but this is the heart of "Mormonism".  If you want to understand more just ask one of us.  We even send our young men and young women to the "four corners" of the earth in order to teach of these things.  Clearly we would like to share our theology, our values and our witness with anyone who has an interest.