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The Golden Age

I open with words from the Jewish prophet Isaiah:

The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together;
and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze;
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra,
and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den.
They shall not hurt or destroy
in all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.

Isa 11:6 – 9 ESV

A vision of universal peace and justice is beautiful to think about, but the reality of the present time, and probably most times in the past is starkly different. I think whether it is the Golden Age of Suleiman and the Ottoman Empire, or the Pax Romana, or the “Leave it to Beaver” household of the early 1960’s, these prosperous or peaceful seeming times were at least in part built on slavery, exploitation and subjugation. (I consider a worker who works full time for wages that put him below the poverty level as being exploited.)

An international Gallup-Healthways Well-Being poll rated 5 quality of life measures in 165 countries:

  • Sense of purpose
  • Social relationships
  • Financial situations
  • Community involvement
  • Physical health

The responses were rated: “thriving,” “struggling” or “suffering” in each area. Only one country in the world had more than half of its population thriving in 3 or more areas; that country was Panama (see table of results). Metaphorically, the glass is a little more than half empty.

I’m with the Dalai Lama whose goal is to reduce suffering, because I think that while suffering begets suffering, kindness also begets kindness and even wolves have been bred to be man’s best friend. I do not see the situation as hopeless, but whether it is or not, I choose to try.

Here is to a hopeful future for us all.

Joy, Love, Hope, Peace Holiday Tree

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22 Responses to The Golden Age

  1. avatar
    scott e December 24, 2015 at 10:35 am #

    Merry Christmas obots !! happy new year !!

  2. avatar
    Arthur B. December 24, 2015 at 1:08 pm #

    “The lion and the calf shall lie down together but the calf won’t get much sleep.”
    — Woody Allen (http://www.quotationspage.com/quote/29879.html)

    Happy holidays to you, Doc, and to the entire Obama Conspiracy Theories community.

  3. avatar
    Dave B. December 24, 2015 at 2:37 pm #

    I don’t know nothin’ bout no Golden Ages, but the way I heard it, things ain’t what they used to be. And they never were.

  4. avatar
    Joey December 24, 2015 at 3:53 pm #

    scott e:
    Merry Christmas obots !! happy new year !!

    Same to you, Scott e, member in good standing of the Birther Cult.

  5. avatar
    Benji Franklin December 24, 2015 at 4:13 pm #

    Dave B.: things ain’t what they used to be. And they never were.

    In the Obama-wrecked Golden Age which hate driven Birthers remember, gasoline was fifty cents a gallon, cars burned crude oil, and you could get a five dollar bill for a nickel.

  6. avatar
    Kate December 24, 2015 at 6:16 pm #

    Merry Christmas Obama Conspiracy friends! Thanks for sharing those sentiments, Doc. Like you, I prefer to think that things are getting better and will continue to do so, slowly but surely although it often feels like we’re moving at a snails pace. My sons are 24 and 29 and listening to them and to their friends, seeing how inclusive and accepting they are of others, gives me great hope for the future.

    I’ve always tried to remember this whenever I begin to feel sorry for myself. It was quite the wake-up call the first time I read this.

    ===========================================

    “If you have a roof over your head, food in the fridge, clothes on your back and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of the world.

    If you have money in the bank, in your wallet and some spare change, you are among the 8% wealthy in the world.

    If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are blessed that you’re not among the million people that won’t survive the week.

    If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the agony of imprisonment or torture or suffered the pangs of starvation, you’re more fortunate than 500 million people alive and suffering.

    If you can read this message, you’re more fortunate than 3 billion people in the world who cannot read it at all.

  7. avatar
    CarlOrcas December 25, 2015 at 1:50 am #

    Kevin, with people like you among us there will always be hope.

    Merry Christmas!

  8. avatar
    Lupin December 25, 2015 at 4:53 am #

    And Merry Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Diwali, Winter solstice and Festivus as well to one and all.

  9. avatar
    Lupin December 25, 2015 at 4:53 am #

    Let the airing of grievances begin.
    🙂

  10. avatar
    ArthurWankspittle December 25, 2015 at 5:11 am #

    Lupin:
    And Merry Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Diwali, Winter solstice and Festivus as well to one and all.

    And Joyeux Noel.

  11. avatar
    Lupin December 25, 2015 at 6:08 am #

    Not all of us are so enlightened:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PRpiwa3so8U

  12. avatar
    Hermitian December 25, 2015 at 8:50 am #

    Mr. Conspiracy

    “I open with words from the Jewish prophet Isaiah:”

    Were there any non-Jewish prophets?
    by Rabbi Shlomo Chein

    ——————————————————————————–

    Library » History » Prophets | Subscribe | What is RSS?

    ——————————————————————————–

    PRINT EMAIL COMMENT

    The Torah actually tells us a story about Bilam, a non-Jewish prophet1.

    Rashi, a foremost commentator on the Torah, explains2 that it would be unfair to expect people to live by G-dly standards without giving them the opportunity of prophecy.

    The Talmud3 says there were actually seven non-Jewish prophets.

    The non-Jewish prophet, although a prophet, is nonetheless not part of Judaism. He was given prophecies meant for non-Jews, and when G-d wanted to send a message to the Jews He sent it with a Jewish prophet. Additionally, it is important to reiterate the Torah’s warning4 that if a prophet comes to change the laws of the Torah he is a false prophet.

    Footnotes

    1. Numbers 22
    2. Numbers 22:5
    3. Tractate Bava Basra 15b
    4. Deuteronomy 13:2-6

    In other words — the prophets that count …

  13. avatar
    donna December 25, 2015 at 10:53 am #

    Buon Natale a TUTTI et merci cent fois à vous!

    VOX has an interesting article: Muslims love Jesus, too: 6 things you didn’t know about Jesus in Islam

    I especially liked #3: Mary (called “Maryam” in Arabic) has an entire chapter in the Quran named for her — the only chapter in the Quran named for a female figure. In fact, Mary is the only woman to be mentioned by name in the entire Quran: As noted in the new Study Quran, “other female figures are identified only by their relation to others, such as the wife of Adam and the mother of Moses, or by their title, such as the Queen of Sheba.” Mary is mentioned more times in the Quran than in the entire New Testament.

    http://www.vox.com/2015/12/23/10660648/jesus-in-islam

  14. avatar
    Joey December 25, 2015 at 6:29 pm #

    Hermitian:
    Mr. Conspiracy

    “I open with words from the Jewish prophet Isaiah:”

    Were there any non-Jewish prophets?
    by Rabbi Shlomo Chein

    ——————————————————————————–

    Library » History » Prophets| Subscribe | What is RSS?

    ——————————————————————————–

    PRINTEMAILCOMMENT

    The Torah actually tells us a story about Bilam, a non-Jewish prophet1.

    Rashi, a foremost commentator on the Torah, explains2 that it would be unfair to expect people to live by G-dly standards without giving them the opportunity of prophecy.

    The Talmud3 says there were actually seven non-Jewish prophets.

    The non-Jewish prophet, although a prophet, is nonetheless not part of Judaism. He was given prophecies meant for non-Jews, and when G-d wanted to send a message to the Jews He sent it with a Jewish prophet. Additionally, it is important to reiterate the Torah’s warning4 that if a prophet comes to change the laws of the Torah he is a false prophet.

    Footnotes

    1. Numbers 22
    2. Numbers 22:5
    3. Tractate Bava Basra 15b
    4. Deuteronomy 13:2-6

    In other words — the prophets that count …

    Which prophets”count” are a matter of personal belief and opinion.
    “A prophet is an individual who is claimed to have been contacted by the supernatural or the divine, and to speak for them, serving as an intermediary with humanity, delivering this newfound knowledge from the supernatural entity to other people. The message that the prophet conveys is called a prophecy.

    Claims of prophethood have existed in many cultures through history, including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, in Ancient Greece, Zoroastrianism, and many others. Traditionally, prophets are regarded as having a role in society that promotes change due to their messages and actions which can convey the displeasure of God for the behavior of people.

    The English word prophet comes from the Greek word προφήτης (profétés) meaning advocate or speaker. In the late 20th century the appellation of prophet has been used to refer to individuals particularly successful at analysis in the field of economics, such as in the derogatory prophet of greed. Alternatively, social commentators who suggest escalating crisis are often called prophets of doom.”–Wikipedia

  15. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy December 26, 2015 at 8:21 am #

    I consider a prophet as someone who speaks moral truth to a people and I would include Martin Luther King Jr. as a modern prophet.

    In the Jewish scriptures a prophet is identified by saying things that come to pass.

    And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the Lord has not spoken?’— when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him. Deu 18:21-22

    Joey: Which prophets”count” are a matter of personal belief and opinion.

  16. avatar
    J.D. Sue December 26, 2015 at 12:30 pm #

    ל’מְדוּ הֵיטֵב דּ’רְשׁוּ מ’שְׁפָּט אַשְּׁרוּ חָמוֹץ שׁ’פְטוּ יָתוֹם ר’יבוּ אַלְמָנָה

    Learn to do good, seek justice, relieve the oppressed, perform justice for the orphan, plead the case of the widow.

    Isaiah 1:17

  17. avatar
    J.D. Sue December 26, 2015 at 11:34 pm #

    Learn to do good, seek justice, relieve the oppressed, perform justice for the orphan, plead the case of the widow. Isaiah 1:17

  18. avatar
    J.D. Sue December 26, 2015 at 11:49 pm #

    Hermitian: In other words — the prophets that count …

    —-

    You quote a brief statement made by one rabbi, and then misinterpret it to jump to a silly conclusion.

    I guess that’s Bible-birfing.

  19. avatar
    Greenfinches December 29, 2015 at 7:23 am #

    Merry Christmas to all, is my wish – with ‘enlightenment to the birthers’ as an extra side dish.

    Let’s try some general peace, mutual respect and tolerant understanding this year ……a novel departure for our species?

  20. avatar
    The Magic M (not logged in) December 29, 2015 at 9:51 am #

    Greenfinches: with ‘enlightenment to the birthers’ as an extra side dish

    I’m not sure even the more experienced deities could grant that.

    Deity: I grant thee one wish.
    Man: I wish for world peace.
    Deity: That is too much even for me to grant.
    Man: Then I wish for birthers to be enlightened.
    Deity: Uh… Could you repeat that first wish?

    😉

  21. avatar
    The Magic M (not logged in) December 29, 2015 at 9:55 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken […] Deu 18:21-22

    That’s circular logic, but then again the entire Bible is (“the Bible is the word of God because it says it is, and what it says is true because it’s the word of God, q.e.d.”).