In my POV (point of view) aka estimation, (albeit limited and partly by my (almost 49) years of existence/experience(s), acquired knowledge/education, etc.) us humans have the tendency to under and over-estimate ourselves and our capacities for good and our capacities for not-so-good… did “I” just do that by deliberate word choice, e.g., not writing bad?;) Of course!🙂… did it yet again, huh??… by writing “good” (or is it well?) and not adequate, eh?!
The “human achievement assessment pendulum” seems incessantly swinging: sky high into outer space via glorious mind rocket ride or swinging mercilessly into subterranean trenches down low at ocean depths below… via gloomy submarine/submersible mind ride…
Do we arrogantly solely credit ourselves, us humans and our capacities, with way too much??… in the positive and in the negative?! (And why do you write that joanie??)…
We are vessels of/under constant positive/negative influence and positive/negative pressure/manipulation…some of us (and choose to be) clay in the Great Potter’s hands (a positive process of becoming useful)*(see below) and some of us…”and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the Devil, seeing that they have been caught alive by him to do his will.” (2 Timothy 2:26)
Revelation 12:12 “On this account be glad, you heavens and you who reside in them! Woe for the earth and for the sea, because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing that he has a short period of time.”
Would it be naïve of me to think “organized” crime with a stealth crime boss doesn’t exist?? Just cause a seemingly unidentifiable fingerprint, at a seemingly obscure crime scene, doesn’t match an already caught criminal?? What about a super-human cruel-master crime-boss behind the scenes manipulating weak human marionettes??
Naivete and arrogance can make us vulnerable… humility can keep us vigilant, spiritually awake, and alert to any of our potential “blind” spots… and to any negative influences: super-human or imperfect-human…
Cruelty often does psychological harm and sets in motion a vicious cycle. Referring to the violence engendered by cruelty, Noemí Díaz Marroquín, who teaches at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, says: “Violence is learned, it’s cultural . . . We learn how to act out in violent ways when our environment allows and encourages it.” Thus, those who have been victims of abuse may well end up abusing others, perhaps even in the same ways that they were abused.
In other cases, those who misuse such substances as alcohol and drugs may end up behaving cruelly. Not to be overlooked are individuals who are dissatisfied with their government for not meeting the needs of the people. Some of them, being determined to make their views known, resort to cruel acts and foster terrorism, often at the expense of the innocent.
You might wonder though: ‘Have men learned to act cruelly on their own? What is behind the present situation?’
Who Really Is Behind Cruelty?
The Bible tells us that Satan the Devil wields a strong influence over this world, calling him “the god of this system of things.” (2 Corinthians 4:4) He is the most selfish and cruel person in the universe. Jesus well described him as “a manslayer” and “the father of the lie.”—John 8:44.
Does this mean that the situation cannot improve? Díaz Marroquín, quoted earlier, states that “people are capable of unlearning” undesirable behavior. However, with Satan’s influence permeating the earth today, a person is unlikely to unlearn it unless he allows a different, superior force to influence his way of thinking and acting. What is this force?
Happily, God’s holy spirit is the most powerful force that exists, and it can overcome any demonic influence. It promotes love and the well-being of humans. To be filled with God’s spirit, everyone who wishes to please Jehovah must avoid conduct even bordering on cruelty. This requires transforming one’s personality to conform to the divine will. And what is that will? It is for us to imitate God’s way to the extent possible. This involves viewing others as God does.—Ephesians 5:1, 2 “Therefore, become imitators of God, as beloved children, and go on walking in love, just as the Christ also loved us *(or possibly, “you”) and gave himself for us*or possibly, “you”) as an offering and a sacrifice, a sweet fragrance to God.” Colossians 3:7-10 “That is how you too used to conduct yourselves*(or “used to walk”) in your former way of life.*(or “when you lived that way”) 8 But now you must put them all away from you: wrath, anger, badness, abusive speech, and obscene talk out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another. Strip off the old personality*(Lit., “man”) with its practices, 10 and clothe yourselves with the new personality, which through accurate knowledge is being made new according to the image of the One who created it.” [excerpted readings: “Will Cruelty Ever End?” w 07]
Bookmarks can be underrated… especially useful in directing focus to a specific place, page in book or time in history…Thinking about 1914 as a history bookmark… specifically significant events: WWI, WWII, and all the unspeakable atrocities/crimes against compassion aka crimes against humanity… and the infamous perpetrators of these (whose names You can insert/recall)… who I don’t wish to waste my breath on naming… these killers/takers!!:(…What WOE experienced by our global human family since 1914 onward!!:(
**just a quick thought about: kings of Israel were required to copy God’s law and read it daily. Those who had Yahweh’s approval (and were compassionate/successful/kinder leaders) pursued such study to develop and retain the right/good/humble heart attitude and listened to Godly counsel. 2 patterns emerge from the many life accounts recorded in the Old and New Testament… those who chose to obey God’s law/requirements of how to engage life… and those who disobeyed. Every account where the person young, old, male, female, of their free will, chose to obey/listen to God/do things God’s way and not their own way say… things went much better for them individually than those who disobeyed…much pain, misery, and lives cut shorter.
Self-exultation v. cultivating modesty/humility…a topic for another time.
What does it say (positively/negatively) about our so-called advancements/progression/developments as a whole-modern-day society and technologically-savvy-society of humans when our “North” aka “conscience compass” visually appears/seems solely, at times, guided by the strict parameters of going VIRAL (or not)?!
Among some… content of HIGH-quality or of HIGH-accuracy… is NOT a factor/consideration whatsoever!… Nor IF content is laced with poison for minds in minute form or not.
Going viral is the validation…(for some).
Virality as a value system aka “new” morality… dangerous and damaging to say the least!!… and may be, for some, a mechanism of self-collapse/self-destruction!…the publish button.
When posting anything on-line here or elsewhere i “try” to be discreet and exercise caution. And remember wise-ancient reminders: i.e., the “writing on the wall”…e.g., “Mene, Mene, Tekel, and Parsin”!!…as well as this
Also sobering counsel…”You must not spread*(Lit., “take up”) a report that is not true. Do not cooperate with a wicked one by becoming a malicious witness. 2 You must not follow after the crowd to do evil, and you must not pervert justice by giving testimony to go along with the crowd.” (Exodus 23:1, 2)
That phrase: “Schools as Killing Fields” popped into my mind after briefly reading the disturbing news of yet another school shooting to hit the USA today, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 in Maryland.
A shot, shots heard not only around the world, but too close to home, huh??… in children’s classrooms!!:( 🙁 aka so-called safe places of planting seeds of knowledge and helping these seeds bloom into beautiful bouquets(?)(.)(!)
What are schools “really” teaching kids?? (By example, by word, by deed)
What are parents “really” teaching kids?? (..)
What is our individual and collective histories “really” teaching kids?? (and about so-called “acceptable” behavior??) Love?? War?? Peace??
And yes, people do poorly choose to hurt and kill or pick up a gun for reasons other than say nationalism.
Have we taught kids to overcome jealousy and the type of pride that causes one to treat others as inferior??
Could it be considered compelled speech or indoctrination requiring/demanding ritualistically at the start of every school day (and at any significant school events, assemblies, etc.) all students “pledge allegiance to the flag” and all that so -called “gloriously” represents?? Or to stop everything at the moment they hear the tune… time to sing an ode of worship aka The National Anthem with hand on heart??
Have kids been taught at home and/or at school to love your neighbor aka fellow-breathing-beautiful-fragile-life as yourself??
During the 17th and 18th centuries, people in Britain, France, and the United States promoted devotion to their State, so that nationalism, in effect, became like a religion. During the 19th and 20th centuries, nationalism began to dominate the thinking of most of mankind. Eventually, Christendom’s churches splintered into numerous sects, most of which tolerate nationalism. Churchgoers have even gone to war against fellow believers of another nation. Today, Christendom is divided by both sectarian beliefs and nationalism.
16. What sort of issues divide those in Christendom?
16 In the 20th century, some of Christendom’s hundreds of sects initiated the ecumenical movement in a push for unity. But after many decades of effort, few churches have amalgamated into one, and churchgoers are still divided on such questions as evolution, abortion, homosexuality, and the ordination of women. In some parts of Christendom, church leaders try to bring people from different sects together by downplaying previously divisive doctrines. However, downplaying doctrines leaves people with a shallow faith and certainly does not unite the divided house of Christendom.
Rising Above Nationalism
17. How was true worship foretold to unite people “in the final part of the days”?
17 Although mankind is now more horribly divided than ever, unity continues to distinguish true worshippers. God’s prophet Micah foretold: “In unity I shall set them, like a flock in the pen.” (Mic. 2:12) Micah foretold the elevation of true worship above all other forms of worship, whether of false gods or of the State as a god. He wrote: “It must occur in the final part of the days that the mountain of the house of Jehovah will become firmly established above the top of the mountains, and it will certainly be lifted up above the hills; and to it peoples must stream. For all the peoples, for their part, will walk each one in the name of its god; but we, for our part, shall walk in the name of Jehovah our God.”—Mic. 4:1, 5.
18. True worship has helped us to make what changes?
18 Micah also described how true worship would unite former enemies. “[People from] many nations will certainly go and say: ‘Come, you people, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will instruct us about his ways, and we will walk in his paths.’ . . . And they will have to beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears. They will not lift up sword, nation against nation, neither will they learn war anymore.” (Mic. 4:2, 3) Those leaving the worship of man-made gods or of nations to embrace the worship of Jehovah enjoy global unity. God instructs them in the ways of love.
19. The unifying of millions of people in true worship is clear evidence of what?
19 The global unity of true Christians today is unique and is clear evidence that Jehovah continues to guide his people by means of his spirit. Individuals from all nations are being united on a scale never before seen in human history. This is in remarkable fulfillment of what is implied by Revelation 7:9″After this I saw, and look! A great crowd, which no man was able to number, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues*(or “languages”), standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes, and there were palm branches in their hands.” 14 “So right away I said to him: “My lord, you are the one who knows.” And he said to me “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” and it indicates that God’s angels will soon release the “winds” that will destroy the present wicked system of things. (Read Revelation 7:1-4“After this I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding tight the four winds of the earth, so that no wind could blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree.2 And I saw another angel ascending from the sunrise,*(or “east”) having a seal of the living God; and he called with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea,3 saying: “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until after we have sealed the slaves of our God in their foreheads.”4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed, 144,000, sealed out of every tribe of the sons of Israel:”
Revelation 7:9 “After this I saw, and look! a great crowd, which no man was able to number, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues,*(or “languages”) standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes; and there were palm branches in their hands.10 And they keep shouting with a loud voice, saying: “Salvation we owe to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb.” Is it not a privilege to be united in the worldwide brotherhood? How can each of us contribute to that unity? (excerpted reading: Unity Identifies True Worship W 2010)
There are millions of true followers of the humble, compassionate example of Jesus aka those trying their imperfect best to follow the model he set in their daily living and choosing. Those who accept the Superlative Sovereignty of Yahweh and experience REAL Freedom (aka those who refuse to worship (or sacrifice to) the inferior god of war)! Those who have risen above the divisiveness, destruction, and death brought on by prideful nationalism and its false teachings… who don’t pick up pieces/guns/weapons of war to kill, or take revenge, or to ascend, but rather (out of the lime-light) pick up their PEACE to forgive, heal, resolve, reconcile, help, unite in a loving brotherhood of global mankind!!:)