Walter Patterson Herald ColumnistMaybe God planned it this way, but it always happens.
History repeats itself. Live long enough and you will see what I mean. Take nations, for example. For most of recorded history, mankind, for the most part, lived as peasants, serfs, or slaves. There was the king and there were his subjects. The subjects lived a miserable existence, and they lived or died at the behest of the king.
But time has a way of changing things. Even the kings began to disappear and soon they were replaced by the dictator. Think Adolf Hitler, Roberto Mussolini, Saddam Hussein, Hugo Chavez, and Fidel Castro. Those are modern day dictators, but the history of mankind has been one of servitude and slavery.
Nations rise and fall. Think Greece, Rome, France, and Great Britain. There seems to be a pattern here that is hard to ignore. Great nations seem to rise and sustain themselves at their height of power for about 240 years, and then something begins to happen. They all seem to collapse – not from outside forces such as a military invasion, but from internal strife or self-inflicted suicide, as one writer says.
But before the collapse, there is always a period of “national schizophrenia” where little that is happening in the nation makes sense.
Let’s talk about a few examples. Right now in America the hot topic is “gay marriage.” If you read the papers or watch TV, you might think that this is the most important topic ever discussed in American history.
According to some polls, individuals under 30 years of age believe that people of the same sex have a “constitutional” right to marry. Not only does our constitution provide for this, but it is a “civil right.” Now there is a movement by some gay activist to provide mandatory health insurance coverage to “infertile” gay couples.
The fact that they cannot procreate is an issue of fairness. It would only be fair to these couples if the American taxpayer compensated them for their inability to have children. What am I missing here? What part of this makes sense to you?
We lost a great international leader last week in the person of Margaret Thatcher, the former British Prime Minister. This woman led the United Kingdom back from certain collapse to a respected player in the international community.
Yet, upon hearing the news of her death, thousands of British citizens took to the streets to celebrate her death. Without her leadership, these “low-lifes” may have starved to death. Yet, they sullied her name because of her strong anti-socialist stance. This is exactly why the United Kingdom will soon be deposited in the dust bin of history.
In Pennsylvania, a U. S. Army training instructor has classified Catholics and Evangelicals as extremists just like Al-Qaeda or Hamas. The Christian faith has been under attack by the left for years, but now they are emboldened to spout their nonsense and discredited ideology at will, and make no mistake, the left is winning this fight.
Because of Obamacare, many doctors are being driven to bankruptcy, and the labor force has 90,000,000 unemployed people. Last week the labor force lost 663,000 more people, and yet, we are told that we are in an economic recovery. A judge in New York has ruled that the “morning after” pill be available over the counter to people of all ages.
Even Dear Abby has gotten into the act. A reader writes, “My wife is an out bisexual woman.” I did not need to read any further to know that this man’s life, if not already, was about to be filled with problems beyond his comprehension or understanding. Sometimes divorce lawyers are worth the money.
But the most insane idea of all comes from a MSNBC host named Melissa Harris-Perry. “We have to break through our private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families. Kids belong to whole communities. and once we realize this we’ll make better ‘investments’ in government ‘education’ of our children.” Substitute “indoctrination” for education.
Did I mention national schizophrenia? We may very well be gasping for our last breath as a nation. That’s the way the left wants it.
Jamie Patterson Managing EditorIt was a shameful sight in the Patterson home.
While my husband Jason and our children carried on with their nightly activities in our home, I was sprawled out in the recliner, unable to move.
With my legs propped up, I had finally found a comfortable way to sit with a big ice pack on my left knee. My pants were covered with grass stains, my knees were swollen with pain and my pride was hurting.
How did I get in this situation? I was crippled in an effort to make my children laugh.
Just one giggle, one snicker or one belly-busting laugh from my son and daughter were all I wanted. Now, I am alone in agony.
It all began with a simple afternoon game of basketball in the back yard. The weather was perfect for some outdoor time with the kids. So, armed with a variety of outside toys, we began our afternoon of merriment.
We shot a few foam missiles into the tree. We tossed the football around a few times. Our son James got a few baseball swings in. And our daughter Elsie hauled some dirt around in her brother’s bulldozer.
When it was announced that a basketball game was in order, I beamed with excitement. Anything dealing with basketball, I am ready.
As Elsie continued to throw a few “dunks” with the help of Daddy in, a healthy game of Horse was included in the mix.
James was getting a little sore at his performance, so I decided I had to do something to brighten his mood.
My grandfather always told me that laughter is the best medicine. No matter what you have to do, make them laugh. Sometimes it’s the only weapon you have.
So I aimed on making James laugh.
Running with the basketball, I noticed Elsie’s pink scooter in my path. I decided that I would “trip” over the scooter and give a dramatic tumble to the ground.
Well, it worked...too well.
Tangling my feet in the scooter, I really did fall to the ground. My knees pounded into the ground, and my entire body shifted onto my left knee.
As I remained on the ground, I managed to thrust the basketball into the air, all while giving a series of whimpers and grunts.
My trick worked because James, Elsie and James all erupted into laughter. I accomplished my goal.
But when I picked myself up from the ground, I noticed that my left knee was throbbing. Dusting the grass and dirt off me, I could see that my knee was already beginning to swell.
Within minutes, it looked like I had two left knees.
Needless to say, I had to sit down the rest of the playtime. And as the sun eased into the hills, I limped back into the house.
“Does it look bad,” I asked Jason, showing my knee off.
“Yeah, it looks bad,” he said. “I can see it swelling from here. Why did you do that?’
“I wanted to make the kids laugh,” I said, limping away to get my ice pack.
While the rest of the house ate their supper, played with their toys and carried on with their lives, I was alone in my anguish.
As James played with his trucks, I told him that I was out for the count.
“See my knee,” I said, pulling up my pant leg. “That is what I did trying to get you to laugh.
“Oh,” he said.
Oh? That was it?
I guess I will think twice before I go throwing myself into danger again to get a few laughs.
Let’s be honest here... no, I won’t.
It doesn’t matter if I walk away with bruises, bumps or even stitches. If I need to do something outrageous to make my kids laugh, I’ll just have to take my chances.
A home filled with laughter is the best place you can be.
Walter Patterson Herald ColumnistSir Isaac Newton was a very smart man. He gave us many scientific discoveries, but perhaps the most important was his discovery of the Law of Gravity.
This sounds simple, but “things fall down.” If an apple, for example, falls from a tree, it always falls down. Gravity gives order to the universe.
As a matter of fact, gravity has shaped our planet and made it what it is today. Newton was able to describe the concept of gravity and explain many scientific questions because of his discovery of this law.
Albert Einstein came along in the 20th century and took Newton’s Law of Gravity to a completely new level. Einstein gave us the Theory of Gravity. As strange as it sounds, Einstein’s Theory is much more accurate than Newton’s Law of Gravity. Einstein’s Theory tells us much more about our universe and how it works.
From this theory, Einstein gave us the Theory of Relativity, and opened the door to scientific inquiry farther than it had ever been opened. Even today, long after Albert Einstein’s death, scientist still struggle to understand the physics that this great man left behind.
Then there is the Second Law of Thermodynamics. In the simplest of terms, this law states that “things go from a state of order to a state of disorder.”
A hot frying pan will go from being hot to being cold if the heat source is turned off. An ice cube will go from a solid to a liquid if left in a warm room.
Scientists estimate that the universe will go dark in 300 billion years. The stars will have exhausted their fuel supply and will begin to flame out. Soon, our universe will be dark and “disordered.” The Second Law of Thermodynamics has had its way with the known universe.
However, “black holes” may eat us up before the Second Law of Thermodynamics kicks in. Black holes are formed when giant stars collapse on themselves down to the size of a molecule. When this happens, the gravitational pull is so strong that anything that comes in contact with the black hole will be sucked in, never to see the light of day. A black hole would be very bad news for the earth and to our solar system. The sun and all of the planets would simply disappear into this “master of disaster” and human kind would be no more.
But, alas, I may worry too much about “natural disasters” and, in fact, should concentrate more on “man-made disasters.” Right now, the Democrat Party is setting us up for a disaster that could destroy the United States as we know it. If the Second Law of Thermodynamics is true, and it has never been proved wrong, then our country is moving from a state of order to a state of disorder.
Look at what is happening today.
Our economy is hanging by a thread. We cannot continue spending money we do not have and expect to survive as an economically viable nation.
Freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution are being systematically taken away from our citizens.
The institution of marriage is under assault and will probably crumble in the near future. Men will “marry” men and women will “marry” women.
The Christian faith is being discarded in favor of secular beliefs. The moral fiber that has held this country together is disappearing, and an “anything goes” attitude has gripped our people.
Politicians misrepresent the truth in order to implement their own agendas, and our news media is corrupt. More and more people get their news from Comedy Central or Saturday Night Live than tune in to an honest news program. Complex political concerns are never addressed, and the ruling political class does exactly what it wants. To my knowledge, not one Democrat has stepped forward and said that it is time to solve our enormous national problems.
The Second Law of Thermodynamics is certainly an “inconvenient truth.”
Jamie Patterson Managing EditorWho needs eggs when there are flowers to be picked?Our daughter Elsie only had about four Easter eggs in her basket when something else caught her attention.
It wasn’t the golden egg that is usually filled with a silver coin or green dollar.
It wasn’t a delicious chocolate bunny rabbit, complete with a giant pink bow.
It was a vibrant, delicate yellow flower among the plastic eggs in the green field.
Elsie ran right up to it, dropped her basket and took a seat right by the pretty flower. The annual Yazoo Herald Easter Egg Hunt was nothing but a distant memory. She had better things to tend to that morning.
As the other children her age ran around the field, scooping up as many eggs as they could, Elsie sat alone with her batch of flowers. With her tiny fingers, she carefully picked each individual flower and placed them into her basket. Not shifting one petal out of place, her Easter basket resembled an Easter bouquet within a few minutes.
By the end of the Easter weekend, Elsie and our son James both had their share of eggs from the family and church hunts. So it really didn’t matter that Elsie missed out on that one hunt to stop and smell the flowers.
Looking over the photographs we took that day, it reminded me of a very special lady who I had met within the first few months of arriving in Yazoo City.
I was a new wife, soon-to-be mother, and I had just settled into my new position as reporter at The Herald, along with my husband Jason. I seemed to be fitting in just fine in my new position and new home.
I did spend a few weeks being homesick. I am not sure if it was the new territory of beginning my own family or if it was being in a new place without my family or old friends.
And then out of nowhere, I received a phone call at work with a news tip.
“Have you ever just stopped and looked at all these pretty flowers coming up all over town,” the sweet voice said, over the telephone.
Flowers? It was my first news tip about flowers.
“No, ma’am,” I replied. “I never really gave it much thought.”
“Well, come on over to my house,” she said. “Let me throw some clothes on, and I am gonna take you on a ride around town to look at them. Might even make for a good story.”
Her name was Mary Brister. And she wasn’t kidding. She wanted to show me the flowers of Yazoo.
We spent about two hours that morning, driving all over Yazoo City. With her little hands stuck tight on the steering wheel, she would point out the different varieties of blooms and other flower beds.
But it was the tiny white and yellow wildflowers that she gave the most attention to that morning.
“They don’t look like much when they are all alone, but when they grow in big bunches like that...it’s really beautful,” she said.
And she was right. It really was a pretty sight that I never paid attention to before.
I did end up writing a story about that drive. And I made it a point to speak to Mrs. Brister anytime I saw her.
Maybe she realized the impact she made on me during that drive...maybe she didn’t But from that day forth, I began to notice the flowers. It even made an impression on Jason. It was the first thing he mentioned when we heard Mrs. Brister passed away.
So when Elsie dropped everything to pick up that small yellow flower this weekend, I thought about Mrs. Brister. I thought about all the people who stop and look at the flowers.
It is a sign of rebirth, a new season. It is a reminder of what precious things God has made for us to admire.
We just have to take the time to stop and notice them.