Wrapping Up the Week

It’s felt like a long week! With a weekend – that ‘oh so favorite time for the middle class’ – comes our weekend wrap-up.

On Malnutrition and World Hunger: This is a big topic for me. I feel it in my gut and several times a week read a blurb or article on malnutrition in the developing world.  The question asked in the linked article is whether fortified rice can be a game-changer in the fight against malnutrition. The irony of course is that I now live in a country where our biggest health problem is obesity….that’s a hard one. Read Cambodia: The Game Changer Against Malnutrition and let us know what you think of the issue and the article!

On hate: – There’s disagreement….and then there’s hate. Is it possible to disagree with someone and yet not hate them? Absolutely. But what I often hear about President Obama is pure venomous hate. Is this racially motivated? It’s a hard question – it’s an important question. Take a look at this article and see what you think – Hating President Obama (in Jesus’s Name). “But it is possible to disagree and challenge with respect. And if you can’t conjure up respect, you can at least disagree and challenge without being hateful.” from the article.

On College Costs: As a mom of 5 this is a soapbox topic for me – college costs and school loans. Here’s one man’s take on how to get what he affectionately calls his 10 K-B.A. The comments are all over the map in this one so don’t read too far! But what do you think of college costs and the dilemma of higher education? Weigh in through the comments after you read My Valuable, Cheap College Degree.

On Saying Goodbye to Adult Children: The GypsyNesters are a couple that are living an unconventional and wonderful empty nest life — instead of pining for the days with kids, they are embracing a life of adventure as ’empty nesters’. This article is a great look at saying goodbye to adult children. Take a look at Post-Parting Depression: Saying Goodbye to My Adult Kids and see what you think.

On Downton Abbey: What if the episode were Facebook updates? Take a look at this hilarious Facebook recap of Season 3, Episode 1.

Most interesting comments on the blog: These came from Cab Driver Conversations. Turns out that there are many of you who have had interesting conversations with cab drivers. Two links below are from a reader who blogs at Outasiteoutamind. I love these two stories!

1. http://outtasiteouttamind.com/2012/02/15/global-litter/
2. http://outtasiteouttamind.com/2012/11/05/on-american-progress/

On the same article Pari commented “We all have a little drama, many short stories and at least a novel in each of our lives.” If you haven’t had an opportunity, take a look at the comments on the article. They are proof that the readers of CAB are amazing!

Crime and Punishment

On my bedside table:  Oops! No changes from last week! First They Killed My Father and Crime and Punishment call out to me by day and by night!

I’d also love to know what have you been reading. Feel free to share and link in the comments and with that, Have a great day!

Champagne or Hemlock? Election 2012

Today’s the day and tonight’s the night!

“Why don’t you come over to our house? We’re going to have both champagne and hemlock so we’ll be ready!”

Today in the United States ballots have already begun trickling in from east coast to west. All eyes are glued to television and computer screens as we watch Wolf Blitzer appear in hologram, listen to pundits with bald heads, and enjoy our own commentaries in the privacy of homes or in public venues like good dive bars. The champagne/hemlock reference was said to a friend of mine by her dad as they made plans on where to watch the election results.

And that about sums up this last year. Judging from the vitriolic, heated comments and responses from both donkeys and elephants, half the country will end up drinking champagne while the other half takes hemlock!

And the world will watch, because policies and politics of the United States affect a great many people — either for good or for ill.

And with that I’ll sign off and leave you to ponder our Champagne or Hemlock election – the election of 2012 where Barack Obama and Mitt Romney face off.

Happy election day 2012. May the odds be ever in your favor! Now – Let the games begin!

If you haven’t already seen this 20 second video, I think you’ll enjoy this 4-year old speaking for the world.


I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them to vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy; to speak no evil of the person they voted against; and to take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side — wise words from John Wesley penned on October 6, 1774.

So Much at Stake – But No Vote!

A word about today’s post  — Communicating Across Boundaries is not a political blog, nor does it ever want to be. Today’s post is not endorsing a particular candidate! Rather, because over 50% of the readers of CAB are not from America, it is giving a perspective that will perhaps resonate with those readers. We look forward to having you weigh in through the comments about your perspective on politics in your country and politics in America.

If the World Could Vote….Fridays with Robynn

Lowell showed me an interesting poll yesterday. Taken by the BBC, the poll declares that if the world were voting for president—Obama would win by a landslide! Of the 21 countries they polled only one country, and that one dear to my heart and Marilyn’s, Pakistan, would vote Romney for President.  Pakistan is likely responding to Drone strikes and other policies toward Pakistan played out in the last four years. The other 20 nations would definitively choose the incumbent.

And as we know, the rest of the world can’t vote in an American election — this is a right reserved for those who hold citizenship.

As an American green card holder but not a citizen, I’m in the same situation. The only person who can vote in our family is Lowell. Recently he stated he’d let his vote be a family vote. We voted at supper time. Connor assigned how many votes we’d each get in our “electoral college”. The kids each get three. Lowell and I each get four. We held our own presidential debate on the issues that matter to us. Our ten-year old is inclined toward President Obama. She likes the emphasis he places on education. We have more talking to do. More praying.

But you can’t imagine how exasperating it is to not be able to vote! As a Canadian guest in this country I can only clench my fists, try not to panic and pray like crazy. I listen in on live broadcasts of Presidential debates like I’m listening in on a cell phone conversation. I hear one side of the conversation but it’s not my dialogue. I’m not invited in. I may react emotionally but I don’t get to weigh in.

As much as I hate to admit it, it really does matter to the rest of the world who the President of the United States of America is. The world, like me, has an interest, a stake in who the President is but they don’t get a vote. And neither should they.

Citizenship has its rights and responsibilities. Voting is one such right. Voting is also a responsibility.

Recently, after the second Presidential debate, I was intrigued by a friend’s response on Facebook. This friend is from South Africa but he and his family live in North India. Christiaan passionately aired his views and opinions on Facebook. Here’s some of what he said:

There (seems to be a) quiet understanding between the pulpit and the market place. If you give money for our projects and my new sound system or car I will (close my eyes) on what you do to get your money! Instead we will find ‘real sinners’ to condemn–. Condemning them makes us look better… We choose to follow politically the most religious looking one. We call it ‘values’ and we vote for whoever will leave our hypocrisy alone and unchallenged. We will excuse our actions with phrases like, ‘look what THEY are doing’…this is the same phrase that propped up Apartheid and gave it a Christian backing.

Why do I talk about politics? Because my life in South Africa has been shaped by it. My religious thoughts carve through politics all the time and so do my prayers…

…I love politics because it shows me where I can be the one to bring reconciliation, where I can pray, where the weak ones really are in society, what to pray for and how to reach the ones not yet loved… [There is ] so much I as a South African can say about [my] nation’s politics, but because of who I am and what my people have done to my compatriots- I dare not say. In my own nation I dare not voice an opinion, not because it is not allowed but because it will only polarize further. It will only cause more pain. Instead the only voice I have is WHAT I DO for the ones I love and the ones I find abhorrent alike! And the rest is up to God…

I just cannot understand how Evangelical Christianity in the States has ended up in this bind when it comes to politics. It seems to me the whole thing needs to be reevaluated. Have we as Christians had a role in ostracizing people no matter what their convictions or leanings yet at the same time harbouring in our own hearts wrongs just as bad? 

This vote is not for or against God…God is grown up. He does not need our defense. He is not man-made, democracy though is! Our vote will not move us away from God, our actions though might…

My affinity with Christiaan is that we are both citizens of heaven, members of the same family. He is my Christian brother. We lived out our lives and our faith side by side in India. He has articulated with passion and with conviction. He has an opinion…a strong one at that, about who the next American President should be. And while he and I don’t vote, we do stand up for justice, we plead for Kingdom issues, we defend the poor and we pray. Perhaps both Christiaan and I can see through the political jargon and chaos to some of what’s right, and to some of what’s ridiculous. Perhaps we are freed up to pray with broader borders in mind. Perhaps living on the outside gives us a glimpse into what’s happening on the inside. Or perhaps we don’t have a clue how the American soul works and what it’s deep cultural needs might be.

I don’t want a president who sees America as the “hope of the earth”….but neither do I want a president who uses drone missiles to kill faceless innocent lives in far off places, nor a president who denies the realities of climate change, nor a president who lives in a fantasy land, nor a president that mistakes ruling the USA for governing the world. It’s such a hard decision. Maybe I’m glad, or at least relieved, that I don’t have to choose, that I don’t get to vote.

I trust in the True Hope of the world. And I take comfort that’s He’s in charge and not the electoral college, not the American electorate, not the President of the United States.