This isn’t Politics. This is Your Life.

While this blog of mine isn’t a particularly political one, in a “politics and government” sense, I can’t guarantee that politics won’t slip in now and then—especially since I, a book reviewer, read some political books. 🙂 Still, there are times when it can be easy to mistake or dismiss someone’s intentions as political when politics aren’t even the issue.

The area of politics is one of society’s ways of dealing with various matters of life. But for people experiencing those matters personally, the matters are, first and foremost, life.

Politics don’t come first. Life comes first. Without life, without experiences human beings are living through, there’d be no need for politics.

And many (not all, but many) people don’t step into political conversations or the political arena because, gee, they just feel so political. Or they love to fuss. Or they’re looking for a job or a hobby and “eeny, meeny, miny, moe” lands them into politics. They bring up or step into the conversation or the arena because they have a concern about life.

A matter is merely a “political issue” to you if the context of government policy or political or social debate is the only context in which that matter comes to your attention or affects you personally. It’s not a “political issue” for people who are living it.

Just taking time out on my blog to say—don’t be so quick to assume someone is “just getting political.” Don’t be so quick to write off someone else’s experiences, concerns, and convictions as “just politics” because the matter in question doesn’t mean much to you, or it annoys you, inconveniences you, confuses you, scares you, riles you up, or otherwise makes you uncomfortable. In your dismissive efforts to maintain your comfort, you may very well be writing off someone else’s life.

 

Beyond the Politics, Check Your Heart

I figure it’s time for me to pause from book and movie blogging to say something to my blog readers, and anyone else who’s listening.

I see what’s happening in the United States. Not just what’s happening in America but what’s happening with Americans.

A country isn’t merely a place. A country is the people in that place. And, no, things aren’t just a little heated or uncomfy in America at present. We’re in a crisis. Not only does human crisis bring out the best or the worst in people, but it sets the stage for what kind of people they’ll be, going forward.

Trust and believe, you don’t become something deeply and drastically different overnight. It happens little by little—a day by day process. It’s a good thing when you’re aware of how you’re changing, how you’re evolving, when you’re intentional about it, and you wake up at peace with what you’ve become and are becoming. But it’s a sad thing when you wake up one day, look in the “mirror,” and realize there isn’t much true honor in what you’ve turned into. When you realize, somewhere along the line, in the middle of all the noise, you became too accustomed to tuning out your conscience.

With every discussion or dispute you hop into, you’re becoming something. With every catchy meme you jump on and share around on social media, you’re becoming something. With every voice you choose to agree with, every voice you choose to disagree with, and every voice you choose to disregard, you’re becoming something.

So my encouragement to everyone reading this is to stop and check to honestly see what you’re becoming. Not merely the person you say you are or want to be, or who you are when your friends are around to concur with your opinions, or who you are when you’re busy arguing with folks to prove a point. I mean for you to check on you. Not just to check on the immediate or loudest stuff in your brain, but to check on your heart. Deep down.

Don’t blindly allow this time of crisis to turn you into something you’ll regret or be ashamed of, years down the road. Don’t get so caught up in noise that you miss the present opportunity to work on your character, to become a better human being.

Don’t just know your politics. Check on that heart of yours.

 

The Tears of Olive Trees by AbdulKarim Al Makadma

memoir-books

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. Online Book Club provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.

The Tears of Olive Trees

The Tears of Olive Trees: An Autobiographic Story Featuring Poems From Mahmoud Darwish by AbdulKarim Al Makadma

Autobiography/Memoir

Even with its grievous subject matter, this autobiographical and multigenerational account of a Palestinian family’s exile in Gaza is inspirational. I’d recommend it to anyone concerned with justice, compassion, and peace for humanity.

Officially reviewed at OnlineBookClub.org with 4 out of 4 stars. Do take a look.

 

Saving Sarah Cain (2007)

Film reviews are subjective. I tend to rate films not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

Saving Sarah Cain (2007) from Believe Pictures
Rated PG. Drama, Family Film, Faith, Romance

1/2

Description (from the film case): Sarah Cain (Lisa Pepper) is sweet, successful, slightly self-absorbed and a city girl through and through. But when the untimely death of her sister draws her to Amish country for the funeral, she makes a discovery that will change her life: she is now the legal guardian to five Amish nieces and nephews! Desperately trying to juggle the kids, her career and her comfort level, Sarah must reevaluate her priorities as she prepares for the biggest culture shock of everyone’s lives!

My thoughts: I hope you excused the rather enthusiastic exclamation points (!) in the description. 🙂

Here’s a wholesome and enjoyable movie with some fun and touching pieces mixed in. The changing of the title and a central plot element from that of the novel this story is based on both serve the movie well. The acting and pacing could’ve been tightened, particularly toward the beginning. And, though the actress is indeed a good crier, the tears of Lyddie’s character would have had more of an impact if they’d appeared in a fewer number of scenes. Still, it’s a movie I like watching over and over again.

While I’m aware of the central plot departure from the novel, The Redemption of Sarah Cain by Beverly Lewis, no, I haven’t actually read the book. I’ve mentioned before why I didn’t hop on the Amish novel wagon when many other Christian Fiction readers did, and I still only read a little of the subgenre, but after watching this movie, I wouldn’t be opposed to checking out the novel one day. With that said, Saving Sarah Cain can appeal to folks who aren’t necessarily Amish fiction or even faith film enthusiasts but who like good family stories that make you feel a little something.

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