11 September 2020

Being part of the solution instead of part of the problem

We have had wonderful rains recently. 

A rainbow signifies that rain is on hand
A waterfall near Franschoek flows following rain and snow falls

Water glistening in dams looking over Franschoek Valley

Snow is a slow release form of precipitation

For some people living on the streets the rain was a real inconvenience because the rain wet their bedding. For some who had shelter, the rain was not such an inconvenience. For some it was a pleasure seeing the rain coming and watering the earth, then flowing into the storm water system and into the sea. For some, the rain was harvested and used for lasting effect in irrigating, washing or other useful purposes.

Construction of a dam enables water to be utilised in many ways, including generating electricity, and it can be channeled to a great distance from the storage dam
HF Verwoerd Dam, now named Gariep Dam, on the Orange River, photos by Ken Powrie

Our being prepared to receive rain is an example of a range of scenarios from a problem, not a problem, not a solution, and a distinct solution. You and I can also be part of the solution, or part of the problem.

There are certain homeless people who come to my door. I remember one, in particular, to whom we gave some tins of food. He was clearly hungry, unlike some who have simply discarded what was given to them because what they actually wanted was money for alcohol or something unwise. This beggar went around the corner, sat down, and ate from the tins. Then I saw the following morning when taking a walk, that he had left the tins in the gutter. Suddenly I had become part of the problem because my tins were littering the neighbourhood.

Litter dropped in alleyways where vagabonds hang out

Litter dropped right next to bins that are provided in our neighbourhood

Why is it that beggars who constantly receive from the community, from shelters, or from clinics and other services, do not give back to society by cleaning the streets – being part of the solution – rather than littering, or any other adverse behaviour – being part of the problem?

I love my country and it grieves me when anyone demonstrates a lack of love for our wonderful land. It is unfortunate that so many people simply litter, or are part of the problem in any other way.

Some litter at a roadside stop in the middle of the Karoo - 
litter thrown on the ground and not in the bin provided

There certainly are times when I feel like I am among the dazed 80%. Just maybe in some circumstances I would be considered among the doomed 10% 🙁

I am feeling dazed about the prospects of disposing of some stuff as we prepare to simplify our home that has 30 years and more of accumulated clutter. My wife is more the survivor 10% in many ways.... 

I guess that each of us might be in either category, depending on our strengths and the circumstances. My challenge is to try to be part of the solution - and to try to never be part of the problem - especially in the things that matter most.

Let each of us choose to be part of the solution and not part of the problem.

03 September 2020

The origin of interesting things

I found this interesting. I picked it up long ago. 



One side

The other side


I look at it and can picture one rock bumping another, causing a cleft to form into which water will be drawn by capillary action, the water then freezes and causes the small chip to break off. This water being drawn in and freezing could have been repeated in the same crack, season after season, event after event, over many years. The weathering of rock is a slow process, but all of the valuable agricultural soils derived from granite, shale, dolerite, sandstone, conglomerate, and other rock are evidence that the soils do weather. 

Isn't it interesting that anthropologists and archaeologists look at things like this, using their incredible human eyes, and say that this must be a stone tool fashioned by primeval hominem. Yet, they will thoughtlessly attribute the development of their human eyes, and brains, and hearts, and fingers, and skin, and circulatory system, and intelligence, and everything that makes them what they are to random chance events and undirected natural selection. 

I don't doubt natural selection, but I am fully confident that an infinitely intelligent and powerful Heavenly Father directs the selection processes that might have been part of some of the development of some of the preferred races.