Today was one of those days that I appreciate the most, looking out of my kitchen window toward the wooded area, which was snow-covered and peaceful, I observed the critters moving about, silently. It was one of the reasons that we fell in love with the land in which our home is built. Solitude and peacefulness is something that comes with a cost just as those who purchase land on a lake or sea coast. I cherish the beauty of the gardens and relish the clean air we breathe. It wasn't that long ago that I recall swinging my grandsons on a beautiful sunlit morning, while we watched the birds gather seeds from the hanging feeders. My own little corner of the world, you might say.
Day in and day out I read about the controversy going on such as those wanting to foster the unity on campus, and in silence, I ponder the situation. You can't please everyone all of the time. There is such a thing as the rule of fairness. My grandfathers came from other countries with the hope of a better life for themselves and their offspring, (us). They didn't come here to change our country, but to become part of the great melting pot of ethnic people that exist here. This is after all an "All America City" we live in by choice. Freedom means having a choice to live where we want.
Years ago, growing up here, in a small town, I recall all seven of us eating at the table where a very nice chocolate pie was being served. Mom sliced it up without a measure, trying to cut seven pieces evenly. Still some objected saying "hey, your piece is bigger than mine." Nothing is perfect! We learn to deal with it. There is to be no favoritism if we expected peace and harmony. Co-existing is hard work. Nothing comes easy in this world, we all must try to do our best to get along with our brothers.
At 6 P.M. the fire whistle would blow from the station which was located near Main Street, and as a younger student, it didn't bother me. Years later as a mother, trying to put my baby to bed, it was a different story. Every time the alarm went off, it scared him so that I'd end up having to rock him to calm him down. Didn't like it one bit, but had to put up with it. After all, it announced possible quitting time at work, evening. Maybe it was the way people knew what time it was and they set their watches to it. I don't really know....It just was.
Everyone knows how annoying it is for someone to be leaning on their horn, any time of the day. It was one of my moms pet peeves. Another, annoyance would be loud music blaring from a parked car, or someones home music center. Anyone having the luxury of a practicing instrumentalist or drum player close by--gets it. Airplanes, and loud trucks, especially those cleaning up roads all hours of the night--get it.
We get used to noise that I call pollution. Noise pollution is at times unhealthy just as dirty air is unhealthy to the body. Living in the city I recall that the noise from subway trains would keep me from going to sleep. After a while, you sort of get used to it. Around here, before and after a certain time, noise can be considered "breaking the law." Most people have respect for their neighbor and wait until a decent time to run a lawn mower or chain saw.
Respecting others is a great way to keep the peace. Honestly I don't know how churches are allowed to play songs from their bell tower to be heard at great distances, without disturbing someones peace. Some go off right next door practically to other churches or, at the same time. If it's good for the goose it's good for the gander, so it is said.
A group of students petitioned Duke College to allow over a speaker system, on Friday afternoons, broadcasting from Duke Chapel Bell tower, "a call to prayer." Some view this as much a way of advertising as ringing a bell, so to speak. Church bells are rung all the time, without objection, whether it is disturbing someone's peace or not. I've heard that the call to prayer method is vocalized and can be utilized in some places sometimes five times a day, from predawn, sunset and sunrise. That is not what is being asked for here though, right now. Duke has reversed its decision, fearing that the once thought of fostering unity on campus, has met with the opposite effect.
It seems, according to WNCN -- "Franklin Graham had some harsh words for Duke." Reports of "pulling funding" and some security concerns were instrumental in the reverse decision making of Duke authority. Some fear that Christians, who are the majority there, are being pushed to the back, so to speak. I wonder if its more apathy, than anything else.
In the end, basic rules like "keep it simple, stupid" apply. Or, "when in doubt, leave it out."
What benefits all? My vote is for "peace and quiet"...
Almost A Minyan
2 months ago