Violent Ideology

When ideology supersedes the common good

the cause becomes a righteous one;

Rhetoric gets substituted for truth

and action replaces common sense.

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Trying to guard our constitutional rights

while neglecting our social contract…

that all men are created equal”…

is a failure of moral responsibility.

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If we are to survive as a country

we must show one another

respect and dignity

in the face of disagreement.

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Without cooperation and compromise

our dreams get squelched by violence

as we implode on ourselves…

knowing WE are right!

Painting: Dwight L. Roth

My poem today was inspired by thoughts from John Paul Lederach’s Saturday news letter , The Pause.

John Paul Lederach 
Senior Fellow at Humanity United and Professor Emeritus at the University of Notre Dame University.

Bridge Over Troubled Water

One of the most iconic songs of my lifetime is Bridge Over Troubled Water. It spoke to the turbulent times of the 1960s Civil Rights/Viet Nam War Era and it speaks to our situation today. As we wait for the final vote count in US Presidential election, we wonder what the reaction will be. The days ahead may be just as turbulent as the 60s, or we can choose to build bridges that bring the nation back together again. This song, I believe, speaks to the choice we make. Our future as a nation depends on it.

Angry words divide

Time to build bridges of peace

Winter’s discontent

This is a very interesting back story telling how the song came to be!

Videos fromYou Tube

The Humble Servant

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What do you think would happen if Trump and Biden washed each other’s feet?

Today is World Communion Sunday, remembering the suffering and death of Jesus. It is celebrated by many Christian churches. When I was young, our church celebrated communion twice a year. Along with the bread and the cup representing the body and blood of Christ, we also practiced foot washing. This also was a part of the original story where Jesus washed his disciples feet, and told them to do the same for each other.

In the time of sandaled feet walking dusty roads, it was common for a servant to wash the feet of guests who arrive. It was probably one of the lowliest jobs in the household. This was the humble act of service his followers needed to do for each other to remind them that in God’s eyes we are all the same. We are all humble servants of one another. This concept seems to be lost in today’s society.

I had this flash of a thought in relation of the upcoming election and the debates scheduled. Wouldn’t it be interesting if, instead of castigating each other, Trump and Biden would simply come on stage and with a basin and a towel and wash each other’s feet! And in this act of humble service say to the American public, whomever you choose, we will be the humble servant to the other! Wow my imagination really did run wild today!!

Let me wash your feet

Humility and service

heal division’s wounds

To read the story click the link below:

Finding Common Ground

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The death of Congressman John Lewis, bring a reflection of the intense turmoil  he lived through during the Civil Rights era. The struggle for respect and equality still goes on sixty years later.  As I look at the division that still remains, I realize it will not be resolved  without God’s love changing our hearts allowing us to live together in peace.

Some views are shotguns blasting away

Others sling shots pelting against the gate.

Let’s have a conversation they say…

Come together // find common ground

Solve our differences together.

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How does that happen with shotgun politics

and sling shot twitter, that couldn’t hit a brick wall.

When our view is the only right view,

Each conversation become one of persuasion or condemnation…

A ticket to ride our train non stop to our destination.

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Legislated change without heart change, brings little hope.

History keeps repeating with every rotation.

Change comes with give and take // listening and hearing

Appreciating uniqueness // instead of condemning it.

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Only a revolution of the heart will bring peace from division.

Perhaps, “love your neighbor as yourself”

are words that could make our world a better place…

Opening the door to finding common ground…

Bringing the “Hope and Change” we really need.

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Here is a favorite song from the Folk era by the Youngbloods called Let’s Get Together

Perhaps what is missing in this generation is the truth in Folk Music… Music that brought people together!

Choices

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It pains my heart to see the way one policeman’s deadly action has reopened the door to division and strife that has been stewing for years in the United States. Peaceful protests are very much in order, but the violence of opportunistic looters and destructive vandalism in no way honors the memory of George Floyd. How can one call for respect when their actions show otherwise. The lack of wisdom and understanding in this situation is very disheartening!

Choices affect everyone;
changing the course of a nation
Choices are the difference between life and death;
altering the lives of everyone around us.
Wise choices lead to life…
“Above all, seek wisdom and understanding…” Proverbs

Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Taking Down Memories

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Today I took the ornaments off of my Christmas tree, and packed them back in the box, to store until next year. I enjoyed looking again at each ornament, remembering that many of them came from my former elementary school students. Some I remembered; others had names on them. You may think an ornament is an insignificant gift, but mine have hung on my tree every year since 1970.

Gifts bring back mem’ries

Each one was a warm spot in my heart

Winter of my life

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Happy New Years 2019

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A New Year’s Blessing
May your old year pass with peace and celebration
May you let all your worries remain in 2018
Hold your friends dear to your heart
Let loyalty and love be your coat of arms
Let your grief do its work in your soul
Never forget those who passed on
Keep your family precious and spouse revered
Treat everyone with dignity and respect
May your wishes become goals to attain
With God’s strength work toward that end
May you follow the light of the Spirit in your heart
Walk with God as you would your closest friend
Trust that all things will work out for your good
Be thankful for all of your blessings of life
May you live every day as the “Word made flesh”
May you be a light and a beacon to all
Happy New Year 2019

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Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Finding Success

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Does becoming Miss Home Coming Queen mean you are a success? It is wonderful to be recognized in this way, but there is more to success than a short lived recognition. Success is who you are, not what you have accumulated.

Finding Success
Success comes from within
Not from what we have
The car we drive
The house we live in
The trophies we have won
Success is getting up when you fall
Believing you can continue on
Knowing who you are
And what you can do
Success is loving and being loved
Knowing the value of family
The importance of friends
And that children are an extension of you
Success is giving $12 worth of work
On a job that pays only $6
Success is treating others with respect
Even when you are mistreated
Success is standing up for justice
For those who are being oppressed
Success comes from within
From the core of your being
Success is who you believe you are
And being all you can be

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

This photo was taken in 1978 when I was teaching elementary school at Inborden School in Halifax County, North Carolina.

A New Year’s Blessing

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A New Year’s Blessing
May your old year pass with peace and celebration
May you let all your worries remain in 2017
Hold your friends dear to your heart
Let loyalty and love be your coat of arms
Let your grief do its work in your soul
Never forget those who passed on
Keep your family precious and spouse revered
Hold grandchildren dear to your heart
May your wishes turn into goals to attain
With God’s strength work toward that end
My you follow the light of the Spirit in your heart
Walk with God as you would your closest friend
Trust that all things will work out for your good
Be thankful for all of your blessings of life
May you live every day as the “Word made flesh”
May you be a light and a beacon to all
Happy New Year 2018

Dwight L. Roth

Like Trees

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The mountains are alive with color and people flock to see the beautiful fall foliage. I find it interesting that leaves are most beautiful as they are about to die and fall to the ground. My mind started running and I came up with this idea. I realize the analogy doesn’t follow through in every aspect, but bear with me and see what you think. If people were like trees perhaps older folks would be more revered in our society. Perhaps the young ones would choose to spend more listening moments with them, gaining wisdom and knowledge that will soon be gone.

Like Trees

If people were like trees

They would love us

In each season of our life

 

Finding comfort and shade

In our towering strength

Admiring our refined appearance

Planted on the landscape of time

 

And, in the fall of life

Make special effort

To come before winter

And see all the magnificent beauty

Of our changing folage

 

The myriad array of colors

That makes us special

Before they’re is gone

With the cold winds of change

 

And our balding limbs

Put in brick boxes with windows

Injected with composting material

Observed from time to time

As we await our fate