In an Over-Communicated, Intrusive World, Simple is Better
Ed

Musings by Ed Bagley

 

On Tolerance:
The English writer G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936) once remarked that tolerance is the virtue of people who do not believe in anything; consequently, the have no standards by which to judge, which means they can be endlessly “ tolerant”. Within any given society or culture, the majority can, in fact, be wrong. Ergo, “Right is still right if nobody is right, and wrong is still wrong if everybody is wrong.” An act’s rightness or wrongness does not depend upon the number of its supporters. Acts that are popular or even laws passed by a legislature are not necessarily moral or ethical, not to mention fair.

On Your Potential:
It is possible that you are squandering your ability to develop your potential by spending too much time mooning over what is not right with your life rather than using that same energy to take action to achieve what you want to happen. To do so you must first decide who you are, what it is you want, and why you are here. Once you answer those questions for yourself, you will naturally gravitate toward becoming the person you are, you want to be, and what you are going to do with the rest of your life. Along the way, you will be feeding your passion rather than trying to discover your passion on an ever ending journey to despair.

On Personal Growth:
There is a huge difference between “professional growth” and “personal growth”. Do you know the difference? Virtually all successful people have professional growth. Professional growth is getting more education (a bachelor’s degree or an advanced degree), or successfully completing a training course in some specific skill (an apprentice carpenter becoming a journyman carpenter). Personal growth is totally different because personal growth requires you to change your thought process and belief system. Of every 100 people who could benefit from personal growth, only 10 at most would even attempt to develop personal growth, and, of those 10, only 1 will achieve personal growth because it is so difficult to achieve on your own without professional help of some kind. The one percent of people who achieve personal growth could be called “1 percenters”.
The 1 percenters may be 99% ahead of those who do nothing to change their thought process and belief system.

Clason’s “The Richest Man in Babylon” Part 2 – The 7 Cures for a Lean Wallet and The 5 Laws of Money

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

Part 1 of this 2 Part series ends the synopsis of George Clason’s book “The Richest Man in Babylon,” but Clason raises an important question: Why should
so few men be able to acquire so much gold?

The answer is because they know how.

One may not condemn a man for succeeding because he knows how. Neither may one with justice take away from a man what he has fairly earned, to give to men of less ability.

And so it was that the good king of Babylon sought out the richest man in Babylon to teach to others in his kingdom the secrets of his success.

This is a synopsis of what the richest man taught to the people
of Babylon:

The Seven Cures for a Lean Wallet

1) Start your wallet to fattening. Save one-tenth of all you earn. Remember that a part
of all I earn is mine to keep. Do this faithfully. Do not let the simplicity of this escape you.

When I ceased to pay out more than nine-tenths of my earnings,
I got along just as well.
I was not shorter than before, and, money came to me more easily than before.

2) Control your expenses. How is it that all do not earn the same yet all have lean wallets? Here is the truth: That which each of us calls our “necessary expenses” will always grow to equal our incomes unless we protest to
the contrary.

Confuse not necessary expenses with desires. We all have more desires than our earnings can gratify. Examine which of the accepted expenses of living can be reduced or eliminated. Let your motto be 100% of appreciated value demanded for every dollar spent.

Budget your expenses so that your actual necessities are met without spending more than nine-tenths of your earnings.

3) Make your money multiply. Protect your growing treasure by putting it to labor and increasing. Money in your wallet earns nothing. Money that we earn from our money is but a start; it is the earnings generating earnings that builds fortunes.

When the richest man in Babylon loaned money to the shield maker to buy bronze, he said this: “Each time I loaned money to the shield maker, I loaned back also the rental he had paid me. Therefore not only did my capital increase, but its earnings likewise increased.”

4) Guard your money from loss. Everyone has an idea of how to make quick money; few, however, have the evidence of making money to justify their idea, scheme or offer of quick riches. The first sound principle of investment is security for your principal.

Before you loan your money to any man assure yourself of his ability to repay your loan, and of his reputation to do so. Make no one a present of your hard-earned treasure.

Consult the wisdom of those experienced in handling money for profit. Such advice is often freely given for
the asking, and may possess more value than the amount you
are about to invest.

5) Make your home a profitable investment. When you can set aside only nine-tenths of what you earn to live, and can use a part of that nine-tenths to improve the investment in your housing, do it; owning your own home is also an investment that grows with your wealth.

Your family deserves a home they can enjoy and call their own. It builds a sense of stability and well-being.

6) Ensure a future income. Build income-producing assets that do not require you to work forever. We will all grow old and die.

You should prepare a suitable income for the days to come when you are no longer younger and cannot work as hard, and to make preparations for your family should you no longer be with them to comfort and support them. Provide in advance for the needs of your growing age, and the protection of your family.

7) Increase your
ability to earn.
Desire precedes accomplishment, and the desire must be strong and definite. When you have backed your desire for saving $1,000 with the strength and purpose to secure it, you can then save $2,000.

Desires must be simple and definite. Desires defeat their own purpose when they are too many, too confusing, or too difficult to accomplish. Cultivate your own powers to study and become wiser, more skillful, and more productive.

Here is more sage advice from Clason’s masterpiece on financial matters:

The 5 Laws of Money

If you had to choose, would you choose tons of money or wisdom? Most men would take the money, ignore the wisdom, and waste the money. Here is the wisdom:

1) Money comes gladly and in increasing quantities to any man who will put aside not less than one-tenth of his earnings to create an estate for his future and the future of his family.

2) Money labors diligently and contently for the wise owner who finds for it profitable employment, multiplying unto itself in infinity if kept working diligently. Money multiplies itself in surprising fashion.

3) Money clings to
the protection of the cautious owner who invests it with the advice of men wise
in its handling.

4) Money slips away from the man who invests it in businesses or purposes that he is not familiar with, or which are not approved by those skilled in its keep. The inexperienced handler of money who trusts his own judgment, and puts his money in investments which he is not familiar, always pays with his money for his experience.

5) Money flees the man who would force it to impossible earnings, or who follows the alluring advice of tricksters and schemers, or who
trusts it to his own inexperience and romantic desires in investment.

Here is the hard lesson of the 5 Laws of Money: You cannot measure the value of wisdom in bags of money. Without wisdom, those who have it quickly lose money, but with wisdom, money can be secured by those who have it not.

This ends the condensation.

Copyright © 2020 Ed Bagley

I think it is true: God gives men 4 crucial gifts: The Gift of Life, The Gift of Choice, The Gift of Faith and The Gift of Women.

The Holy Trinity is really three persons in one—God the Father, the Creator of Creation as we know it; God the Son, Jesus, who by being crucified on the cross becomes our redeemer by canceling out our original sin passed down from Adam and also becomes  our savior by arising from the dead so that we might be heirs to eternal life in heaven; and the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life as we know it and live it on Planet Earth.

Here is why we are the benefactors of God’s 4 crucial gifts:

The Gift of Life

Without the Gift of Life we would not exist. We exist through the grace of God, our Creator.  

Following is one example of why God remains relevant in today’s world:

Jesus said to His apostle Thomas (the “Doubting Thomas” as he would become known):

“You have seen me and now you believe. Blessed are those who have not seen me, yet still believe.”

Lesson: The knowledge of belief is a lifesaving gift. We are the only animal on Planet Earth who knows we will eventually die. When we die, we will lose our consciousness and experience either nothingness, or a life with our Father in heaven, even though we do not now know exactly what that afterlife will be.

Which is the better choice?

Jesus said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” He was not kidding. To be blunt, He said it is either my way or no way.

We know that all good things come to an end, and nothing stays the same.

The Holy Bible teaches us that no one can come to the Holy Father except through Jesus, and that while doing good works is a Christian practice that is highly valued, we will ultimately be saved by the grace of God, and not by our good works in helping others.

The apostle Mark tells us that Jesus said: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” 

What is important about this message from Jesus is that you believe in Him and His word. The fact that you are also baptized is an important act of saying that you believe in God’s word, you are entering a new life with Jesus, and you are washed clean of the past and your sins.

Baptism for an adult simply means that your heart, not your mind, is changed by a leap of faith in Jesus; that is, you have found a better, more fulfilling way to live life here on Earth, God’s place for us to live when we are granted the gift of life through the Holy

Spirit, the Lord, and giver of life.

No specific act of doing good, including baptism, is necessary for you to be saved. If you were a believer and practicing your belief according to God’s plan for your life, you would still be saved, even if you were not aware that baptism, according to some believers, is a necessary condition to be saved. You will be saved by your belief, not your baptism.

That said, baptism will give you additional protection as a Christian because it is an act of faith and belief in God’s word. In the Catholic faith, baptism is the first of seven sacraments that are vital to the Catholic faith.

Many Christians believe that being baptized opens you up to receiving the Holy Spirit, and the protection of God’s angels, who have been messengers of His holy word. 

God is really 3 persons in 1:

1) God, who created the universe and every good thing in it.

2) Jesus, who suffered an excruciating death on the cross to forgive our sins (the times when we have strayed from God’s plan for our lives), thus becoming our redeemer; and then arose from the dead (thereby conquering death on Earth), thus becoming our savior so that we might spend our continued life with God the Father in heaven.

3) and the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life on Earth, and the inspiration for every good deed that happens during our existence on Earth, including a sense of compassion, kindness, understanding, forgiveness, acceptance, approval and, most important, love for one another.

The Gift of Choice

Jesus said: “Love your neighbor as you love yourself” . . . “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (for example, if you do not want to be killed, then do not kill others).

This is simply said but difficult for us to achieve completely because of the devil, who appeals to our baser wants and desires in being human, including greed, envy, lust, lying, cheating, stealing, power, influence, pride, hatefulness, and gluttony.

The devil is any evil thing that prevents us from being the person God wants us to be, knowing that if we believe in God and follow Him, our life will be better for our belief and behavior. The devil is out to destroy our sense of goodness, and the spirit of God is always present to remind us that our spirit of goodness will always remain the better choice for our well-being.

We exercise our gift of choice when we sin simply because we are foolish. We foolishly think sinning gives us pleasure and perhaps a sense of satisfaction when, in fact, it ultimately gives us nothing but heartache and unrest.

We think taking another drink (as an alcoholic), taking another drug (as a drug addict), consciously lying, cheating and stealing (to increase our own wealth and material possessions at the expense of others), or giving into concupiscence (having an affair with our fellow worker or casual acquaintance for the thrill of the excitement, attention and ego boost) will give us more happiness and pleasure when, in fact, it does just the opposite—we yearn for more of what we should not have or do, then desire more, and are never satisfied.

There might be some sense of satisfaction but there can be no real happiness and peace of mind when we sin. All sin leaves us with is the desire for more of the wrong tonic—guilt, shame, uneasiness, or all three.

We want to do better, but we do not choose to do better because sacrifice, discipline, and loyalty seem even more difficult than sinning.

The choice between doing good and evil is not a concept, it is a real life choice we face every day and every moment of our lives. Every choice in life that we make has a consequence, and some consequences are more severe to our survival than others.

That is why sinning becomes such a lure; some of our sins do not provide us with immediate feedback on the long-term consequences of our actions (it takes very little time to become an alcoholic, a drug addict, or an adulterer).

The beauty of the gift of choice is that when we do things that will destroy us, we always have—because of our gift of free will—the opportunity to change our course of action by making a better choice. And better choices will produce better consequences.

When we sin and do not believe in Jesus, it is never too late to accept God the Farther, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit into our lives, and benefit from the blessings, mercy and grace that God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit can bring us.

Lesson: If you hear his voice today, harden not your heart. When in doubt, follow your heart, not your mind.

In the Book of Proverbs, we read that as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.

It is our heart that rules our final destiny, not our mind. Our mind is the devil’s playground, our heart is God’s place of rebirth and redemption, wherein goodness always remains an option through our forgiveness by the grace of God.

Lesson: God will reward our good choices and forgive our bad ones. Only the devil will encourage our bad choices; God will never do so because He is incapable of sin.

The more you do what God wants, the less the devil will influence your life, but you must continually choose to do the right thing with the right motives for the right reasons to get the right results.

 Lesson: Trust in the Lord in all things and lean not unto your own understanding (your way of thinking).

The Gift of Faith

When everyone has abandoned us, and there is no hope that our life will get any better anytime soon, we can always count of this reality: God is with us and will never abandon us in our hour of need. We just need faith in our choice to follow God’s plan for our life.

Our gift of faith is joined at the hip by our longing for hope. Hope that there is something positive in our future that causes us to hang onto the precious gift of life. When a person loses all sense of hope they are a candidate for suicide to end it all.

We can solve our problems, loneliness and discouragement by using the talents He has given us. We must pray like it depends upon God, but act like it depends on us. God gives the birds food to eat, but He does not put it in their nest—they must work by going out and finding it, and so it is with us. The more effort we make doing the right things with right motives, the more God will recognize and reward our efforts.

Some people think that because God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit can do anything, they should do everything. Some common examples of apparent injustice happening to helpless people include a child dying of an incurable disease, people being killed by a natural disaster, or someone drinking and driving and killing an entire family during a head-on collision.

These are all tragic events that are part of our everyday life. We wish these events were not part of our everyday life, but they are, and we feel helpless and inadequate in preventing them. The prevalent thought is: How can a God of justice and mercy allow this to happen?

The answer is as complex as the triune God itself, the trinity of God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. In brief, if God were to prevent every tragedy on Planet Earth from happening, He would have to take away our free will, destroying our ability to act (make conscious choices) in our own self best-interest.

The problem is, without the ability to accept or reject God by using our free will, we would have no way to connect with God after death here on Earth without our conscious choice to accept and believe in Him while we are still alive.

Another consideration lies in the oneness of goodness. If we never experienced both good and evil, we would not be able to distinguish the difference between the two behaviors.

We can experience unwanted tragedy and suffer from our bad decisions and mistakes in judgment. We can also learn from our mistakes, and when doing wrong, make a different, better choice to do the right thing with right thinking and right motives the next time.

We should never assign blame for our circumstances because, when we blame others, we give up our power to change. And if we lack the will for change, there is no one who can show us the way. Not even Jesus Christ. When you turn your back on Jesus, He turns His back on you.

It is important to appreciate that while we will never be perfect (we will sin because it is in our nature), we can learn from our mistakes.

When we encounter adversity and do not what to do or say, prayer provides as answer to fill the vacuum of doubt, fear and uncertainty. There is tremendous power in prayer.

Even in the best of times, we could and should pray in thankfulness for power and glory of the triune God in our life.

It is also important to appreciate that adversity does not build character. Just as we can learn from our mistakes, we can gain character from our disappointments. It is our response to disappointment that builds character. We cannot always prevent what happens to us, but we can always control our attitude and response to what happens to us in everyday life.

Fear and fatigue block the mind. Confront both, and courage and confidence will flow into us. Understand that when stability becomes a habit, maturity and clarity follow. Do not be confused by the devil.

God gives us the opportunity to live our life on a higher plain by exercising our ability to

choose wisely. This not only pleases God but helps us better prepare for our life after death if, by God’s grace, we are able to join Him with His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit in heaven. In heaven we will not have to worry about evil. We may well be helping people avoid evil by watching over them from afar.

We should continually praise and thank God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit for their blessings, and most certainly for their mercy and grace in our present life.

The Gift of Women

God recognized man’s loneliness and created women to help him along his way. The union of man and woman allows for the creation of new life, a most precious gift indeed.

If man only had himself he would get bored and tired in a hurry. Women were made in part to listen to man’s greatest accomplishments, worst failures and absolute foolishness.

Women are the equal, if not superior of men, in many good traits that matter in the union of relationships involving both men and women–compassion, kindness, understanding, forgiveness, acceptance, approval and, most important, love for one another to name just a few.

Some men say they cannot live with women or without women. That is pure nonsense. If men did not have women in their life, Adam would have died in the Garden of Eden alone and life as we know would have stopped.

It is women, with the help of men, who conceive and bear the children who continue human existence on earth. We will all die eventually and if we do not see the generation coming behind us, life would not be as joyful, despite the challenges, as we carry on to our eventual destiny.

While it may be difficult for some men to admit, women can complete men, meaning that a man is always better off with a woman in his life. It is possible for men to complete women. The union of a man and a woman can make both better as a unit operating together rather than apart.

There are other gifts in our life, including God-given talent, intelligence and creativeness to mention three, but without a proper appreciation and understanding of first four great gifts, the rest would be window dressing. We create and develop every other gift in life because of the first four.

If you have read this far, you have a lot of stick-to-itiveness and patience. Whatever you think of one man’s opinion and belief, remember that it is one man’s opinion of the crucial importance of life—there are others with just as strong or greater beliefs.

The Legality of
Roe v. Wade Screams
for Reconsideration

 

Copyright © 2021
by Ed Bagley

There are at least 61 million incidents of why the legitimacy of the landmark United States Supreme Court decision regarding Roe v. Wade in 1973 should be struck down and reversed.

The screams of the 61 million fetuses already killed were never heard as they were deliberately executed in the womb of the mother and, if surviving to actual birth, they were killed in the operating room before being blessed with the gift of life.

Think for a moment about what is happening in this process and the carnage it is creating in our society, and the eventual impact it is having on our hearts, minds and souls.

The victim in this process is not only the unborn child, but also the mother who permitted it to happen, the father who helped create the child, his or her brothers and sisters, their potential grandparents, all living relatives, and all future generations of children who will have lost a companion and what the unborn child might have meant to the advancement of mankind, peace and harmony among our fellow living inhabitants who currently benefit from the gift of life.

Please do not be confused about thinking that life is not a gift. Life is a perfect gift that we cannot create on our own. Science has given us a better understanding and appreciation for the world we live in, but science cannot give us a living, breathing child. It is not only foolish but ignorant to think that we can plant a seed in the ground and a child will eventually arise from the soil.

Scientists cannot create sperm and an egg from nothing and produce a child. Without sperm and an egg, scientists are dead in the water before they ever start on the process involved.

While it is a generally accepted idea in civilized societies that killing someone is unacceptable if we are to coexist together; the chilling practice of Roe v. Wade allows a mother to kill her child rather than carry the child to term, let the child live, and raise the child as a mother. Citizens who murder another person after birth, who get caught and are tried in court and convicted, serve time in jail for their punishment. Roe v. Wade makes the deliberate killing of a child by abortion legal.

Roe v. Wade became a landmark decision when
7 of the 9 Justices at the United States Supreme Court created a majority decision to enact Roe v. Wade into law.

It is important to note that the governmental system of the United States of America is not a pure democracy—that is, rule by majority vote of its citizens who are registered to vote and vote during legal elections—but rather a constitutional system governed by the rule of law. The Constitution of the United States is the glue that holds the fabric of our system together with the help of the Bill of Rights, providing freedom and equality to its citizens who adhere to the laws of the land. Our judicial system provides the mechanism to make it work. At the top of our system of justice is the United States Supreme Court.

In the case of Roe v. Wade, 7 of the 9 Justices ruled that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution provided a “right to privacy” that protected a pregnant woman’s right to choose whether or not to have an abortion, and therein lies the rub.

The Fourteenth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution granted citizenship and equal civil and legal rights to African Americans and slaves who had been emancipated after the American Civil War, and included three major provisions: The Citizenship Clause, granting citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States”, the Due Process Clause declaring that states may not deny any person “life, liberty or property” without Due Process of Law.

The 7 Justices that went along with this idea included Chief Justice Warren Burger, and Associate Justices Harry Blackmun, William Douglas, William Brennan Jr., Potter Stewart, Thurgood Marshall and Lewis Powell. The 2 dissenting Justices included William Rehnquist and Byron White.

The result of what the 7 concurring Justices were saying implied that women have more rights than an unborn child, more rights than men, husbands, parents, grandparents, and all living relatives. And, that women not only have more rights, but also have more special rights than anyone else on the face of the Earth. And, of course, that an unborn child in the mother’s womb has no rights whatsoever; that the unborn child can be killed at will by a decision of the mother without any other consideration whatsoever for the welfare of the child.

Therefore, what the father, brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents or any other living relative might think merits no consideration whatsoever.

No one, of course, is even asking what God might think. If you have no spiritual development whatsoever, you could care less. You may even think there is no such thing as a God, and that we humans are in a long line of evolution descending from apes, who some scientists have determined have 96 percent of the same genes as humans.

And, and what? These are the same scientists who, if asked to create a tree from scratch, with no seed already in existence to plant, could not create a tree from scratch on their best day as a scientist, or if their life depended upon it.

Saint Teresa of Calcutta was probably not the first person to point out that  “every perfect gift comes from God”. God, in the Christian faith, and more especially the Catholic faith, includes the Trinity: God the Father, Jesus the Christ and the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life.

Science and human nature aside, what does God have to say about killing? One of the Ten Commandments says: “Thou shall not kill”.  The commandment cannot be said simpler with the same meaning.

This Commandment of God does not hedge. It does not say, “Thou shall not kill, except for unborn babies”.  The gift of life is a perfect gift from God. In life, we can be faced with an enemy trying to kill us, and we kill so we, or our family, will not be killed. To be certain, killing is never a positive activity. Only sorrow comes from killing; the victim will likely leave behind a spouse, children, parents, grandparents, or a partner on the battlefield.

Why a majority of Supreme Court Justices would think that killing an unborn, defenseless fetus in the womb who will, without hindering, become a live, breathing human being at birth, is beyond common sense, not to mention an offense against humanity and the sanctity of life. It could be noted that, at the time of the Roe v. Wade decision, all the Supreme Court Justices were men.

Do mothers, who decide to kill their baby, realize and appreciate the fact that they would not be alive to reproduce if their mother decided to abort them?

No one in a polite, educated society wants to hear about killing babies. People who believe abortion is a personal right of a woman lay away nights trying to describe the process in more acceptable terms, such as: reproductive freedom, a woman’s right to control her own body, terminating a pregnancy, freedom of choice, a woman’s own private medical decision, a procedure, access to health care, family planning, and choice; anything but the raw truth: killing, which does not make it any less permanent for the unborn child and victim.

Those who would deny or doubt the existence of God are in a long of people who are “pro choice” rather than “pro life’. It would almost be impossible to calculate the arrogance and self-righteousness of women and organizations that promote abortion. Only God has an accurate take on that.

Without spiritual development and belief in God, it is hard to appreciate and understand God’s three greatest gifts for us; 1) The gift of life, 2) The gift of free will to do as we please, and 3) The gift of faith.

We could be reminded that God is not pleased about killing unborn babies, primarily because He is the creator of the life we enjoy.

For women who decide that abortion is an answer to whatever issues they feel will complicate their life, there is forgiveness when they experience remorse over their action. God is a forgiving God, and a woman who is remorseful over her decision to abort her child will be forgiven by God if she recognizes her wrongdoing and asks God for forgiveness.

God is a merciful God and understands that no human in His creation is without sin. All humans are sinners because we are not God. The good news is that we can be forgiven when we experience remorse, and ask God for forgiveness.

It is interesting to note that only 1 in 50 babies born worldwide are born in a free country that is the United States of America. There is no other county with another system of government—like socialism, democratic socialism, communism, fascism or any other ism or dictatorship—more free and offering more opportunity to succeed than the United States of America.

It is a shame that we can kill 61+ million unborn babies and claim to think we are as humane as we think we are. We are not that humane, but neither is any other country on the face of the Earth. We could do better, and we could start by reversing Roe v. Wade.

Financial Thoughts
on Investing
by Warren Buffett

 

(Ed’s Note: The following condensation is from The Tao of Warren Buffett, written by Mary Buffett and David Clark and available for sale at Amazon and bookstores nationwide. I am always impressed by what Warren Buffett has to say and am doing this condensation to help promote their book.)

On Investing: Never be afraid to ask too much when selling offer too little when buying.
(Ed’s Note: How much you get from a sale or how much you have to pay when making a purchase determines whether you make or lose money and how rich you ultimately become.)

(Ed’s Note: For more of Warren Buffett’s advice go to the menu bar above and click on Financial Thoughts.)