Monday, September 26, 2011

relief society meeting thoughts-vt lesson

About 20 years ago I first heard a quote that the only way to truly know a person was to follow them home. I thought of Christ and how we can follow Him home and how much we learn about Him when we do. I thought of Temples being the houses of God and how much we learn about God and Christ by spending time in that home. Then I thought of visiting teaching. Visiting Teaching is an invitation to follow a sister home. You can learn things about a sister in her home that you could learn in no other way…not over the phone, not in the hall. In the Bible dictionary we learn that only the home compares with the Temple in sacredness. By entering a sister’s home we enter her most personal space…her world. Why do we choose not to go?

Why don’t we love visiting teaching? We don’t like to be told to be assigned to be a friend-or feeling like a friend had to be assigned to us, we don’t like another thing we have to do, we don’t enjoy reporting or feeling guilty…we’re busy, we’re shy, we forget, we’re distracted, we’re tired, we’re stressed. We’re too different from the people who’ve been assigned to, they’re doing fine anyway, they’re not doing fine and they wouldn’t want us there anyway, they’re busy themselves… We don’t always want to share the message. We forgot to read it, can’t find our Ensign, or don’t have an Ensign, we are having a good conversation anyway so why bother interrupting.

Last night in the Relief Society conference broadcast Sister Beck briefly connected statistic focused visiting teaching to the law of Moses. That really struck a chord with me. Do we ever look at Visiting teaching that way? As if it is a lesser law? I don’t know much about what was required by the law of Moses but I do know that it was there to point people to Christ. The animals sacrificed were unblemished, they were to be the best of the flock…it was all a reminder of Christ’s sacrifice for us. It’s not a very enjoyable reminder, but it would be very poignant. Killing animals isn’t the goal of the Law of Moses, a once a month visit isn’t the goal of visiting teaching.
When we visit teach because out of duty, because of stats, to get it done…we are only keeping the lesser law. That is not what visiting teaching requires of us. Making appointments, sharing a message…that is not what is required of us. The higher path of visiting teaching, the real goal? Zion.
Think of the sisters on your visiting teaching list, or think of sisters in the ward, choose one person, maybe they are sitting next to you…imagine that before that sister was born she had a personal interview with her Heavenly Father. Maybe he was excited about the family He was sending her to, maybe he was concerned because He knew well the situation she would be entering, maybe He was trying to prepare her for this life one last time. Maybe he gave her specific gifts that would help her in her specific situation. This sister is here now. She is most likely facing very real difficulties. She may have fears, challenges, and problems. She may have specific doubts that are part of the normal process of learning in the gospel, but are unsettling. All of us have times of weakness, fear, struggles. What does Heavenly Father want for this sister?
Homes are next to the temple in sacredness. When we enter the home of our sisters we learn so much about them

Visiting teacher consists of a message, service and reporting. Let’s look at what Jesus would do if He were here…what would he counsel Mary and Martha to do as visiting teachers?
First, the message. That standard gospel message you are asked to share every month carries truth, and it can bring in the spirit whether or not you feel it applies to this particular sister….OR you can pray and teach the sister what her Heavenly Father would have her know. Maybe that has nothing to do with the message, but I know that by studying the message you will be better prepared to teach this sister what God wants her to know. Russel M. Nelson taught in his April 2011 conference that no matter what fears we are struggling with…“We can combat those fears by strengthening our faith”. Sometimes we hesitate to share a message…it could feel awkward or forced, or perhaps we don’t know the sister well, or we know her too well. We ALL struggle at times with recognizing the spirit, and receiving revelation…do we know what our sisters are praying about? We can pray with them. By bringing the truth and the spirit into our visit, Heavenly Father can teach her whatever He needs her to know.
Eliza R. Snow said “A teacher…should surely have so much of the Spirit of the Lord, as she enters a house to know what spirit she meets in there…Plead before God and the Holy Ghost to get [the spirit] so that you will be able to meet that spirit that prevails in that house…and you may feel to talk word of peace and comfort, and if you find a sister feeling cold, take her to your heart as you would a child to your bosom and warm her up” How would our visiting teaching be if we weren’t just sharing a message, we were sharing truth? Some of us may not feel worthy or able to have that spirit with us so strongly. I have learned in callings that frequently the Lord blesses me far beyond my capacity because of His great love those I am serving. All He needs is my willingness...I have to BE there and want to do what He would have me do. While serving others the spirit is present to bless them and in the process it purifies me.

The second part of visiting teaching is service. The Lord wants us to love His daughter. He already loves her. He knows what is amazing and beautiful about her. He knows what gifts she has and what she needs to develop. He knows what help she needs. He has spent time with her. He hears all her prayers. He sees what she can become. How different would our visiting teaching if we saw our sister like God sees her? Sister Silvia Allred asked us to plead for charity, to “pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son Jesus Christ that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him.”
President Kimball talked about visiting teaching and said “Your duties in many ways must be much like those of the [home] teachers, which briefly are to ‘watch over the church always’-not twenty minutes a month but always-‘and be with and strengthen them’-not a knock at the door, but to be with them, and lift them and strengthen them and empower them and fortify them”. Frequently what our sisters need most is a loving listening ear. We can be the visual reminder that God is listening when we listen to our sisters.
The Lord wants Zion. He wants us to truly care about the sisters…to love them and lead them gently back to Him. He wants our hearts knit together in love…they cannot be knit together if we never actually come into contact with them. Just like my daughter’s knitting over time small little acts and movements can make a beautiful creation. Loving and serving each other creates Zion..a people of “one heart of one mind and dwelt in righteousness and there was no poor among them.” Moses 7:18.
Reporting is the third part of visiting teaching…not because of the stats. Report because you love your sister and want others to best be able to help and love her. Report because you want the teachers and leaders to know how to direct our lessons and activities to best meet the needs of your sisters. Report what we can do to support you in your visiting teaching. There is no way for us to know how each individual sister is doing without help. A checkmark in a box does not help us know how the sister is doing.

It sounds amazing… since we all have hours of free time to devote to praying and learning the truths and the love that Heavenly Father would want for our sisters, extra time to spend in service and we always remember to call and report right? . I have presented an ideal. A beautiful, wonderful ideal. I have pointed to a mountain top far away and have tried to hopefully encourage us to what we can be. Last night Elder Uchtdorf reminded us to be patient with ourselves. Hopefully something of this message will inspire you. Hopefully you have felt the spirit. Listen to what it is inspiring you to be. Please be patient with yourself…but I hope you will be determined also.

The last few weeks my daughter has been trying to learn to serve a volleyball overhand. Her dad told her that she would fail and fail and fail and fail and fail..but she could learn from each failure and she would be getting closer to success. The failure is only the end if we stop trying…if we keep trying it is a part of our learning and success. She tried and tried…she’s easily served more than one hundred balls---most of them into or under the net. She let many many tosses drop because they were nowhere near where they needed to be-the ceiling or the other court…Yesterday she served a few balls over the net-in a game. She was so excited. I hope we can have her determination AND her ability to appreciate the beginning steps and successes.

Each attempt we make to visit teach strengthens our love for that sister. Every attempt to call or visit or prepare increases our abilities as a disciple of Christ. We may feel like it's a failure if we miss a month or she doesn't let us in, or we never seem to be able to get ahold of her. It may feel like we don't really understand her yet...but in the process we are developing the heart of a disciple.

Friday, August 20, 2010

noah-moses and empathy

We just moved so we are meeting many new people. Think of the last time you met someone new. How did that conversation go? I have noticed that frequently within two minutes of an introductory conversation it starts: the comparisons and judgements, the defensiveness and rationalizations. I’ll type a few facts about myself that come up in convercsation and see how if any of those kinds of thoughts come to your head: Hi my name is Britt. I have nine children, I homeschool, and I haven’t eaten sugar in almost seven years. Has it started yet? Are you questioning your family size, or mine? Are you defending your diet or the education of your children? Please don’t. PLEASE don’t. I’m not looking for an adversary, or a competitor. I need a friend.

When I tell people these basic facts about my life I hope they understand what I call the Noah-Moses principle. Moses should not have built Noah’s ark and neither should you. Join me in a thought exercise. Imagine Noah and Moses talking together. This is the first time they have met and they are likely discussing the miracles they are most famous for. Can you for one minute imagine them fighting over bragging rights for the best way to traverse impassible bodies of water? Can you imagine Moses leaving the conversation thinking about how he has never understood those boat-building types and wishing he had found someone more like him to talk with? It sounds cartoonish doesn’t it? Ridiculous and humorous, yet we do it all the time. We don’t wish we knew how to build a boat or part the seas…but we do wish for and question the missions and circumstances of others.

I first learned this concept a few years ago. At the time my twins were one. They were my sixth and seventh children. It had been a challenging year for our family. While our extended family was dealing with cancer, parkinsons, paralysis, open heart surgery and other major issues…we were dealing with sleep deprivation. Frequent and random interruptions of sleep are used to torture prisoners of war. The bring on weakness, helplessness, disillusionment and depression. Sleep deprivation is standard fair for parents of infants. About the time my twins turned one I went to a meeting with a group of women. A lovely lady was sharing her recent experiences with us. She had found her mission in life and in amazing ways she was changing the world. She and her daughter had gone to Africa on a three week adventure to help refugee children there. Her slides were stunning and inspiring. The need of the children was obvious. Her experiences led her to ask us in humility to help meet the specific needs of the children; we could go with her, or gather supplies or donate money. As she was speaking with all the passion and heart she could muster I felt a still small voice whisper…have another child. The voice did not tell me to go to Africa, though I would have loved it and there is much to do there. I was not told to fulfill her mission anymore than Moses was told to build an ark. The spirit saw through the beautiful details of the presentation to the principle..God loves you, God has a mission for you. You will be needed to do something amazing and impossible to bless his children.

Just like Moses and Noah, God may ask us to do something impossible. Fear can effect our ability to rely on the Lord to accomplish what He wants us to do. Fear may lead us to scurry about relying on the wisdom of women (even great ones). There is a definite logic that would lead us to NOT do what is so very obviously impossible. Lack of self worth may lead us to forget that God knows us and has a specific plan for us. It may not look dramatic or exciting. It may not be more or "better" or measurable at all. It may not be what we want to do at all. It will be God's plan for us. If Noah had built the Jaredite barges he would have been in trouble...the principle there wasn't even boat building. It was and always has been that the Lord prepares a way for us to accomplish all that he commands us. He does not help us accomplish what He has commanded other people to do.

Now what if the Jaredite barge builders, the Nephite boat builders, Noah and Moses all got together? Would Moses feel left out? We all like to be with people who have similar missions, similar circumstances and similar beliefs. It’s both motivating and comforting. Yet it doesn’t take specific circumstances or experiences to takes a heart and listening ears. Or in other words, what I call the empathy principle… You don’t need to give birth in an elevator on Christmas eve to have empathy for others.

Two years ago I gave birth to a baby in an elevator. Dramatic, exciting, crazy! At first I hated to tell people about the birth because their reactions tended towards that extreme. I was the side show circus act fit for reality television. My feelings about the birth were far from those that would enjoy that voyeurism. I felt my body had betrayed me and endangered my baby. I felt such overwhelming fear and heartache surrounding the situation. I was in shock that I had gone through the experience. I had reoccurring nightmares as my mind tried to make sense of the birth. I felt very angry and very alone. I had many symptoms of post traumatic stress syndrome..from what some people saw as a dramatic, crazy and exciting experience-oh and SO easy to have such a short lucky.

I found a lot of understanding and healing from two fairly unlikely sources. Around that same time a friend had a homebirth. Unlike the peace and simplicity she had experienced surrounding some of her other births…this was an extremely long, difficult and painful birth I don’t remember all of the circumstances but I do know that what struck me was that we were feeling very similar feelings. She too felt betrayed by her body, a lot of anger and shock. She also felt misunderstood as she tried to explain her feelings to others. Our situations were fairly different, but I felt she understood me.

I also felt that Jesus understood me. I have always felt that jesus understands women even in our most female circumstances. He offers to the world life eternal and they refuse. He has been misunderstood and abused. Some people see him as weak and a sort of door mat. More appropriate to my current situation was the Atonement. I wondered at Jesus’ prayers in the Garden of Gethsemene and how his Apostles couldn’t wait with him one hour. I wonder if he worried that his body wouldn’t be able to do what he needed it to do. I know he asked to “let this cup pass from him”. I felt that Jesus understood me. In my dreams I slowly began to see angels surrounding my husband and I in that elevator. I can still feel that comfort.

The understanding and empathy I sought did not come from people who had experienced a Christmas Eve elevator birth…yes Christmas Eve. Isn’t that dramatic, exciting and crazy? Maybe reading this you have felt some empathy for me. You can share in my emotions even without sharing my experiences. Think of the most salient experiences in your life. They may involve pain, love, sorrow, loneliness, fear or helplessness. Those words probably don’t even begin to describe the depth of what you experienced. Those experiences can either separate us or unite us. We can choose to honestly say that no one else has ever really experienced exactly what we experienced, or we can open our hearts and recognize the emotions we feel in the hearts of others despite their wildly different circumstances.

The next time you meet someone I hope you remember the Noah-Moses principle and the Empathy principle. I hope it helps you develop a friendship where you might not have. I hope it helps you pursue your mission and encourage the efforts of others to do so. I hope if you meet me you will not focus on the differences that could separate us and instead take the time to make a friend.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

bible in 90 days

A friend over at suggested I read the Bible in 90 days. I think that's a little crazy. I've read the Bible before and it's long. I've already committed to join my older chidlren in reading the Book of Mormon in 90 days...yet here I am.

My thoughts form the frist few days of reading, which include most of Genesis, is that God loves us a lot. He loves us even if we are stupid, and if the book of Genesis is in anyway typical, we are REALLY stupid. It has been a comforting confirmation that Jesus is perfect and He is our Savior. His mercy is because of His goodness. The people in the OT surely made a slew of crazy decisions, yet God loved them. Perhaps He can love me despite my stupid decisions.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

religious freedom

In the war of words that has become the prop 8 debate one troubling concept demands discussion. I'll leave the homosexual debate for another day, I'm talking about the first amendment. It reads "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Despite the constant barage and never ending repetition to the is constitutional for me to vote based on my religious world view. The first amendment gaurantees that right. Common sense supports that right.

All laws are moral in their basis. ALL laws are moral in their basis. We all vote depending on what we feel is right or wrong, what is of greater or lesser value.

To categorically say that a group of people who believe the Bible cannot vote based on morals they have developed related to that belief is fallacy. A vote is expressing one's opinion, not forcing it upon other. A vote from a religious world view is no more force than a vote from any other point of view. We can develop our morals however we want, then vote as we desire based on those morals.

If we are to say morals based on the Bible are somehow not appropriate, it begs the question what books are appropriate to base your morals on then? Ayn Rand is okay? Stalin okay? Anything in favor of God..not so much? We can read books by political pundits, but not anything religious? Or is it just certain religions that are singled out? Who chooses this? Popular opinion?

Perhaps it is the number of people believing in a certain if a certain percentage of the population read and votes based on Obama's books would they also be forcing their views with their votes?

Which beliefs are forced and which are inappropriate even in the Bible? The Bible teaches pretty strongly against murder. Shall I vote against that or is that also forcing my beliefs on others? How about child abuse? Am I allowed to vote against one moral issue, but not another and how is that decided and who is it decided by? You?

It becomes clear that I am only allowed to vote based on my religious world view when it agrees with the "general public" . Now by general public I do not mean the majority of the population that actually has religious faith, but the minority of the population that does not! On a more personal level, if the person I am speaking with disagrees with my moral stance on any law *I* am forcing my religion on them. Are they forcing their lack of religion on me? Or is this a one way purely anti religion tact? Are my morals of lesser consideration because my religion has influenced their development? Is this decided on a case by case basis?

How about religious people who vote differently from me? Are they forcing their views on me? If they vote similarly to you is it still wrong for them to vote based on their religious world view?

I am clear that I should not vote my religious practices into law. I do not think anyone should be forced to believe anything..if that were even possible. I do not think either that specific practices, such as requiring certain clothes, reading certain books or praying a certain way should be legislated. That is what the first amendment is all about. The government allows people to practice their religion or lack there of, but does not enforce any certain manner of religious practice.

But religion is not solely practices. Religion is not a checklist of beliefs that I consult, or a list of doctrines I memorize. It is not a set of counsel that I am to follow. The counsel to vote in void without my religion is implying I could. I cannot. My beliefs are intrinsically a part of me. Religion effects what I eat, where I live, what kind of job I seek, what kind of books I read, how I see the world. I cannot leave my world view at the door. Can you? Can you somehow leave everything you have experienced and felt and lived at the door of the voting booth in some sort of blank slate phenomena? If I could leave my world view at the door, what would be the cost? Would I also be leaving everything that is compassionate, giving and serving at the door as well as my sometimes troublesome morals?

The constitution demands that we value the votes of all. Those who believe as we do, those who disagree, those who are young or old, male or female, black or white...we all have unique life experiences, different morals and different political opinions. That is one of the reasons why this nation is so amazing. We all have a voice.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I am susan

My darling little three year olds were walking down the hallway wrapped in their towels. They had that fresh smell and clean faces. They also had somehow snuck a dolly in the bath and each of them had dipped their towels back in the water.

I checked on my husband's progress in the flood control and then came out to dress the girls. I heard the following argument. "You are soaking wet!" said Kalani. "No I'm not, I'm SUSAN!"

This same interchange continued probably a dozen or so times before I could pull Susan away and encourage Kalani to not belabor the point.

Although I've heard similar arguments in the past with other children, for some reason this time it struck me. We frequently forget who we really are and instead identify ourselves by our current circumstances. Are we a student, Stay at home mom, teacher, accountant, musician? Are we fat, poor, messy, well dressed or depressed?

Are we identifying ourselves or those around us by something temporary, or lasting? Are we seeing what people wear or who they are?

Monday, October 13, 2008

The poverty of motherhood

We are puppy sitting. Some friends are be out of town for a week and we have their 8 week old puppies. We have Tigger, Freckles and Snoopy. Tigger and Freckles are brothers. They are very snuggly and playful; everything you could want in a puppy. Snoopy is fun and playful, but a little wary. He is sometimes extremely defensive of the food bowl and is snappy when you move towards him with an open hand that isn't palm up. Snoopy hasn't been treated well. We don't know the details, but the owners were warned of this when they got him and the behavior difference between the dogs is stark at times.

When I heard today was blog action day, with the focus on Poverty, Snoopy was the first thing that came to mind. I know a few children that are like Snoopy. Poverty isn't solely a lack of money, sometimes it is a poverty of love, a poverty of motherhood. Babies who have not had their basic needs met, food, diapering and a little love, can develop a disorder called reactive attachment disorder. Motherhood is so amazingly powerful a DISORDER will develop if it isn't done at even a basic level. It may manifest itself in a variety of ways at first. The baby may be stiff, not cuddly. Lack of eye contact is a typical sign, but hard to detect in a newborn or excitable toddler. Sometimes the baby won't cry even when hungry, because she has learned it doesn't work, nobody comes. Sometimes the baby sleeps a lot and is listless, because she doesn't have the energy for much else and doesn't have coping mechanisms for how to take care of herself.

I have met some darling adopted babies who started out life not having their needs met. Some babies were left with a few bottles in playpens, not having a diaper changed or being looked on for days at a a time. Mom has friends over and is busy with drugs and a new guy. Some were left in a swing or high chair for long periods of time while mom left the house. All too frequently the real cause is the stress and overwelm of poverty. Though love doesn't cost anything, it requires time, hope, patience and a gentleness that are increasingly difficult when the mother is literally starving and sees no future for herself.

A baby who sleeps a lot and seldom cries sounds eerily nice. Even if suddenly the needs start being met some children will have lifelong issues to face from this early situation. The child is still a child and in trying to be self reliant, rejects anyone attempting to take over that role of caregiver. It's a form of emotional self preservation. The child has been taught that no one will help her meet her basic needs. Something in their little hearts has broken, as if they no longer have the ability to love or trust or accept even the most basic of necessities. The consequences shift from a lack of crying, a stiffness and listlessness, to a failure to make eye contact, a refusal to accept affection and an undercurrent of violence.

It's unthinkable really. The future of our nation, our most precious resource, unattended and uncared for. This results in a baby who is callous or a child who is a time bomb and may begin his show of rage at anyone who dares to come into his life and claim the title mother. Make no mistake this rage will generalize towards others and as the child gets stronger, their power to destroy increases. The price to be paid by society will be not only the loss of the distinct character and gift of that child, but a whirlwind of damage and loss as the growing child turns to drug use or increasing acts of violence to push people away.

It is staggering to think that the simple act of holding and feeding a baby has dramatic effects. We know that brain development occurs when a mother holds and feeds her baby. and We need to rethink the rocking chair. The simple task of holding a baby has long term effects for the baby and society. Changing a diaper and comforting a baby are both critically important tasks. Does that seem dramatic? Perhaps, but it is true.

Feeding a baby helps connect neurons in the brain! I have seen effects of a poverty of motherhood in the lives of children. It is difficult to imagine. It is hard to understand the feelings some foster parents face as they try to care for children who haven't experienced enough caring before. Despite years of love and attention, a young person damaged by the initial years of neglect may still reject the woman who has dared to be mother. It is much easier to keep a child's heart than to reclaim it.

We are in many respects experiencing a poverty of motherhood in America. It is not always as drastic as in attachment disorder children. Sometimes it is as simple as working mothers, teenage mothers, or single mothers. It is absolutely true that some people in these categories did not choose them and are working desparately to be everything to their children. A mother can do amazing things and stay involved in her children's lives even if circumstances and time are not ideal. However, the underlying theme running through these situations is a fundamental misunderstanding of the value of motherhood in the life of the child. Sometimes a mother must work and children can understand when it is a necessity, but they know the difference. Chidlren know when something is being chosen over them, whether it is nicer clothes, personal fulfillment or financial gain.

It is not just nice for a child to have a mother, it is essential for their emotional and physical growth. Children need a great quantity of time so when they are ready the quality moments can happen, not in little packages of time on the adults schedule, but casually by the kitchen sink, or sorting the laundry, reading a book or sweeping the floor. The basic development of a child is only possible when a mother chooses to mother. It cannot be outsourced for convenience sake, it cannot be begun too early by mistake. The development of a healthy child demand preparation and attention.

It is really astounding that it would ever have to be said that a woman should mother her children. She should choose when to have those children thoughtfully, then devote herself to them. Time in the rocking chair should be encouraged, supported and recognized for what it is, a powerful life giving force. Motherhood can reduce poverty and increase peace in the world on small and grand scales.

In saying all of this I do not mean to under emphasize the power of fatherhood, just to delegate another day for a discussion of that role.

Now back to our dear little friend snoopy. We have hopes for him as his owners have already seen great progress. We are very patient and he is coming along. His owners may have to resort at times to physically controlling him and caging him. As a young child I had a dog like snoopy who had been mistreated. We ended up putting him to sleep because despite all our efforts he bit everyone and was only increasing in his violence. Rightly, we would never consider physically controlling or "putting to sleep" an increasingly violent child. Children are too precious and valuable, no matter their behavior.

It's time we recognize chidlren as a priority in a practical, simple way. The path to destroy the poverty of motherhood is a simple one. It involves singing to your child no matter your voice, playing a game, rocking and reading more, encouraging a young mother, reminding a teen of her own self worth and her potential for motherhood and a thousand other little ways in which can affirm that motherhood matters. Tell the next young mother you see that what they do is powerful. It is not simply a rite of passage for a young woman it is a fundamental, saving power in our society. "For the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world." William Stewart Ross "Woman:her glory, her shame, her God"

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I thought I was done with third wave last week...darn thing isn't done with me. It occurs to me that there are probably dozens of lessons to be learned from that "backwards" agricultural age. There is aconcept as basic as gravity. As well known and commonly accepted...yet somehow we have lost the meaning of it in application. It is the law of the harvest. As the spiritual sings, you are going to reap what you sew.

This is the law of natural consequences. When you sew wheat, you harvest wheat...countless generations relied on this basic unquestionable law. Then along came toffler's second wave. We moved away from farms and their natural laws which technology seemed to overide. Technology and medicine sometimes strive to remove or mask consequences. Yet we haven't escaped the law of the harvest. Overeating, credit card debt, immorality and laziness all betray a generation that does not understand the law of the harvest. Every action we take has a consequence. Technology can delay that consequence or shuffle it around, but it cannot remove it. We are reaping a whirlwind of consequences. A majority of children don't live with their biological father and mother. Many people spend more than they earn. People eat more than their bodies need...including things that are known to be harmful. People spend their money on get rich quick schemes, ponzis flourish, lotteries expand and few profit.

Our ancestors would be perplexed if they could watch us continue in unhealthy patterns. How rediculous it would seem to them that with so much variety of food available to us, we still manage to be malnourished. Why, they would wonder, do we buy what we don't need and can't afford? Why should we ignore our spiritual feelings, but jump and run at the slightest physical attraction?

Perhaps the question we should ask is how can we use technology without loosing sight of natural laws?