A Prayer For The World

A Prayer For The World

What the world needs now is love, sweet love.
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The world is tainted lately by violence, aggression, racism, prejudice, discrimination, and hateful elements. To work against this, I'm offering a prayer for the state of the world in hopes that we can see these values come to fruition and show themselves every day.

I pray for the world to be overcome by peace. I pray that peace would become the natural instinct in the way we treat each other and for relations between nations.

I pray that hate would cease to exist.

I pray that love would overflow from our very cores. I pray that our souls would reflect the power of love and that it would shine out of every fiber of our beings, brighter than the sun.

I pray that we would listen to understand. I pray that we would not compromise what we know to be good and right. I pray that we would seek to understand multiple perspectives and those different than our own, but that we would also stand up for what's right.

I pray that we would have the courage to speak out against discrimination and prejudice when we see it. I pray that we would teach others how to treat people respectfully through our words and actions.

I pray we never stop seeking to understand the truth. I pray that we would always strive to identify the truth to the best of our ability.

I pray that our world leaders would be guided by care for the people of their nations and not by personal agendas or hatred. I pray that nations would learn to work together and find common values in order to make this world the safest it can be.

I pray that those in danger would be able to seek sanctuary and refuge. I pray for the safety of any person living or fighting in a combat zone or dangerous, oppressive regime. I pray that no human would be denied basic needs based on gender, age, ethnicity sexual orientation, or any other demographic.

I pray that discrimination and prejudice would cease to exist. I pray that we would celebrate diversity and those who are different from us. I pray that diversity would enrich our lives and teach us more about who we are. I pray that different cultures would be valued.

I pray that the power of education would continue to grow, and through education, we can begin to understand the ways in which we can make a positive impact on the world. I pray that no human would be denied education based on gender or any other demographic.

Most of all, I pray that we would treat each other with kindness and respect, and realize that perhaps we are not all so different from one another in our wants and priorities.

Cover Image Credit: Bart LaRue

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The Impact Of Technology On The Younger Generation

What effect will growing up in an “age of technology” have on the younger generation?
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By now, everyone knows what a prominent role technology plays in our society. It is nearly impossible to go a day without hearing something about technology on the news in some form, whether it is good or bad. Usually, these stories focus on the effect that it has on teenagers, since they are the group that is most heavily involved with using it; however, now, more than ever, kids and pre-teens are beginning to use technology just as much as teenagers and adults do. Unlike teenagers and adults, though, the younger generation has been raised with this constant influx of technology around them— they practically do not know life without it. What does this mean for them? What kind of impact will this have on them, both now and in the future? Overall, will this have a positive or negative effect on how they grow up?

In a way, growing up in an “age of technology” is a double-edged sword. While it has an abundance of advantages, it has just as many, if not more, disadvantages.

First, the advantages. The use of technology from a very young age helps in schools, due to the fact that it helps students want to learn, as well as makes it possible for each student to learn at their own pace. Additionally, it allows learning to become more interactive than it has ever been before. Kids essentially have the world readily available at their fingertips— if they want to know something they can look it up on the Internet and in just a few seconds have an answer.

Then, for the disadvantages, which many argue are much stronger than the advantages. Growing up with technology continuously around them, kids have a greater chance of becoming dependent on it, and become overly used to relying on it for everything. Among other effects, this can have a serious impact on their social skills. If kids and pre-teens communicate primarily through texting, social media, etc., from a young age, it is all they will know, and, as they get older, they will not be able to interact with others the same way they would if they were behind the screen of a device.

Kids are also more likely to follow what they see. For example, if they see their older sibling or parent constantly on their phone or laptop, they will do the same. Most kids today would rather stay inside and watch television or play video games then go outside to play. If they learn these habits now, it will be incredibly hard for them to break out of them. This will only lead to future generations becoming more and more introverted and technology obsessed in the years to come.

The bottom line is that having kids and pre-teens grow up in a world that is so influenced by technology has both good and bad effects on them. There is nothing wrong with their use of it, as long as it is balanced with them doing activities that kids should be doing, like going outside and playing catch or jumprope, or reading a book. There is no escaping technology— society just needs to learn how to use it in a way that is more beneficial than it is harmful.

Cover Image Credit: Ralph Nader Radio Hour

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Our Leaders Need A 'Time-Out'

We all learned a few essential rules as children.

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As I look watch the news, I can't help but wonder if the lessons we learned as children might not serve our leaders well. They seem to have forgotten these basic lessons. I am reminded of the book by Robert Fulghum "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten."

Watch out, hold hands, and stick together.

I think this could be useful in a couple of different contexts. First, the current divisiveness in the country doesn't serve us well. We are first and foremost, a part of the family of humankind. Differences in politics, religion, and so on come in far behind that one important attribute. What happened to the notion of agreeing to disagree?

Second, when leaders get off a plane in another country, they should remember who they came with and who they represent - "watch out, hold hands, and stick together."

Clean up your own mess.

Trump seems to take great pleasure in blaming everyone else for their "mess." The government shutdown was someone else's fault – any Democrat. When the stock market went up, he happily took credit, but when it went down, he quickly shifted gears and placed the blame on the Federal Reserve Chairman. Daily and hourly tweets out of the White House place blame on someone else for his "mess." Sadly, he still likes to blame Obama and Hillary for his mess.

Don't lie.

Politicians have always had a bad reputation when it comes to honesty. Still, the number of lies that we hear from Trump (and members of his staff) is unprecedented even for a politician.

We all learned these lessons when we were little more than five years old. Now more than any time in history I think our leaders need a " time out" to re-learn these lessons.

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