Risks of Retirement

Talking about being able to breathe

And not suffocating in old age

Just look at the risks

Facing those that retire

Whether it’s at age 55, 65, or 70

Wenliang Hou, an economist

At the Center for Retirement Research of Boston College

Identified the risks of a typical retiree:

■ How long will a retiree live?

A lot of this projection has to do

Whether an individual dies at a younger age,

Or lives to be quite old by outliving the retirement funds

■ How are the markets doing?

A great deal depends on if the returns

Of the stock market on the investments are strong or weak

■ What is the nature of a retiree’s health?

An individual’s health can be a tricky business

No one knows if a retiree will enjoy good health

Or if he or she will be dogged with chronic health problems

■ What are the challenges faced by families?

Some families throughout their lives are economically independent.

While a few might suffer the death of a spouse

And others unforeseen circumstances that are problematic

■ Would there be policy risks?

Imagine if there are cuts to Social Security benefits

Or if the family insurance company is bankrupt

“Universal Provider, help retirees that have established safety nets with the funds they need to live in retirement.  Protect their investments from the whims of market-fluctuations and bankruptcies.”

Amen     

Learning in Schools

American society is polarized.

Misinformation has poisoned relationships.

People aren’t like what they use to be.

There are at each other’s throat.

This dilemma is mainly caused by politics.

President Trump has sold Americans on “the big lie.”

He claims the 2020 elections were rigged.

Predominantly millions of Republicans believe this tale.

And this fallacy has permeated much of the society.

Families are affected and can’t talk intelligently to each other.

But such an atmosphere isn’t new to the world.

It deeply divided, corrupted, and led to the fall of Nazi Germany.

But what could change this trend in America?

This will call for the revamping of our educational system

The nation’s schools at the elementary, middle, high school, and college should be revamped.

Educators should add world religions, philosophy, ethics, and poetry to their curriculum.

Let students be exposed to the intricacies of what it’s like to live in different faith traditions.

Let them start examining the big questions of life.

Let them think about the life’s dimensions – ethnicity, social justice, and civics,

Let them learn critical thinking, and heed the poetic imperative to live compassionately.

Help our students develop new and helpful perspectives of morality.

All these perspectives should be taught to our pupils at an early age.

Then they would have the foundation of understanding their fellowmen and women in uniquely positive ways.

“Omnipotent Creator, help us to amend our ways that have been ripped apart by misinformation. Be with the American society as teachers build a curriculum for facing these social problems and by educating students to counter this poisonous atmosphere.  And guide Americans to continue to live as a free nation and to be a beacon of hope to the world.”

Amen   

Human Rights Defenders

How would you like to be a human rights defender?

What does this mean?

Where do you work?

And what can you expect?

These answers are most challenging.

A human rights defender fights to protect human rights.

He or she promotes the welfare of all citizens.

They work locally, nationally, and internationally.

These are the defenders of a variety of cases.

They range from employment issues, health care, rights to life,

Food, water, executions, torture, indigenous, and women rights

These defenders fight for human rights for all.

Problems are everywhere in the vast expanse of the world.

They are in democratic and non-democratic countries.

Challenges vary from HIV/AIDS, the coronavirus, migration,

Structural adjustment policies and political transitions

Defenders monitor regional and worldwide conditions.

They collect and disseminate information on violations

And work to bring reports to key political and judicial officials

Human rights organizations publish reports about their findings.

They ensure accountability to respect human rights legal standards.

“Benevolent Judge, help the human rights defenders to work for the best interests of their countries.  By so doing give them wisdom, and the will to be effective change agents in their respective communities.”

Amen  

Preventing Senior Falls

Seniors can do a great deal to prevent falls.

They can update their home to make it senior friendly.

Purchase a medical alert system

That saves lives if they trip or fall accidentally

All they have to do is to push a button

To summon access of emergency care

Seniors can install lighting that is motion activated.

This light will brighten their path as they walk

Motion light can also deter intruders from their home.

If stairs are a problem the elderly can install a ramp.

But they should make sure that the railings are secured.

Be certain the home has a fire extinguisher

As well as a smoke and carbon monoxide detector

Refurbish the kitchen so that shelves are accessible.

Cover corners with sharp edges to prevent injuries.

Upgrade and update the bathroom and be rid of slippery showers

Install safety devices for using the toilet.

Make sure that in the bathroom there’s non-slip rugs.

Using a shower chair helps seniors in taking a bath.

Adjust the home’s hot water setting to avoid scalding.

Clear clutter like books and magazines on the floors of the home

So as to reduce the probability of tripping hazards

“Benevolent Provider, help the elderly as they senior proof their homes.  Let them do so with the confidence that they will be protecting themselves from falls and other emergencies.”

Amen    

Explore Peace

Don’t let peace die.

Breathe life into it.

It’s too precious to perish.

Let the earth rejoice in peace.

Peace has to be explored.

In the streets and alleys of life

It’s vital to keep it alive

Mankind’s future depends on it.

Without peace we’ll fade away.

So sound the trumpets from roof tops.

Let these echoes resonate in villages.

Peace is alive and well

As it marches in a parade for life

Let peace reign!

A noble peace all good people seek.

It has to be based on compromise.

With a golden heart everyone wins.

This is the goal of embracing the truth.

Let peace reign!

“Almighty Negotiator, show us the way to resolve our problems.  Guide our hearts and minds to embrace what is true and just in life.” Amen

Juneteenth Freedom Day

Over 200 cities in 49 states

And the District of Columbia recognize Juneteenth

Either as a state or ceremonial holiday, or a day of observation

And activists are pushing Congress

To recognize June 19th as a national holiday

On June 19th, 1865 General Robert Granger

Issued a proclamation notifying black slaves

That they were free in Texas

This “Juneteenth Jamboree” grew in stature

And in many states it has become mainstream

The Anacostia Museum of the Smithsonian Institution

Has an exhibition Juneteenth ’91, Freedom Revisited

Reading of the works of African American novelists

Like Ralph Ellison and Maya Angelou are popular

And singing of traditional songs like “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”

And “Lift Every Voice and Sing” are sung at ceremonial gatherings

Celebrations on “Jubilee Day” include picnics, rodeos, and cookouts

Families have reunions, park parties,

Attend blues festivals

And there’s a Miss Juneteenth contest

But all revelers never forget to have a Strawberry soda –

The drink associated with these festivities

And for the more serious minded

There are lectures, exhibitions of African American culture

Accompanied by a voter registration drive

But to top it all everyone should participate in a barbecue cookout

The centerpiece of most Juneteenth celebrations

“Divine Providence, bless these Juneteenth festivities on this notable day of remembrance when African Americans began enjoying the fruits of their freedom.”    

Encroachment on Nature

People have invaded the wilderness

Homes are built besides forests

Trees tower overhead in the distant

And there’s constant logging

Mankind has definitely encroached on nature

Wildlife is crying out for help

Creatures of all kinds are losing their habitats

People are now affected

By species carrying viruses

So they are infected with diseases

They never experienced before

CO₂ is heating up the planet

Bringing in its wake unprecedented storms

For months there have been violent winds, rain, and flooding

That has been impacting many Northern and Southern states

Wildfires are raging in the West

Homes and businesses are going up in flames

Thousands are forced to flee

And Washington, Oregon, and California

Are in the throes of such a crisis

People have to be able to live in harmony with nature

“Supreme Spirit, help us learn the best way to be with nature.  Enable us to live in harmony with its abundant gifts that surround us.” Amen 

Elderly at Home

The elderly has many challenges.

A lot of tasks that they did

While younger have become difficult

That’s why there’s need for adjustments.

There are risks of tripping or falling.

So seniors have to be careful in their homes.

As their mobility decreases

The elderly have to be aware how they walk

Some rooms in their homes

May well become dangerous places

So they should try to prevent falling

What can the elderly do about aging in place?

They should endeavor to modify their homes.

Looking into senior care options is a good idea.

Seeking out the advice of caregivers make sense.

And depending on family and friends

In helping them elder proof their homes

It’s the only way that they may be safe

As they endeavor living out their life at home

“Loving God, help the elderly as they make adjustments to living in their home.  Give them the wisdom to turn to family, friends, and caregivers for the help that they will need in making good decisions.”

Amen 

Corolla Wild Horses

Corolla wild horses

Are a hardy bunch

They have adapted

To the weather of winter

While living in the wild

They have done so

By growing thicker coats

And eating a modified diet

That helped them survive the cold

Cold is dangerous for many horses

But these wild ponies

Have survived snowstorms

And whipping frigid winds

Without being in a barn

They just know how to adapt

Because of centuries living on their own

These horses spend most of their time

On the banks in the maritime forests

Living by fresh water marshes

They have a leader of the pack

This stallion leads the mares

Through the winter months

When much of the caloric-filled,

Green grasses on the Outer Banks’

Natural meadow and manicured lawns

Turn brown during the winter months

The horses get their nutrition

By eating dry winter grass

And stalks of sea oats on the dunes

“Great Provider, you have graced us with wild horses on Corolla’s Outer Banks.  Continue to protect, and help these animals to survive the austere weather the Outer Bank experiences.”

Amen

The Golden Rule

Every religion has a golden rule.

Treat others as you wish to be treated.

How marvelous are those words.

They show the depths of love and compassion.

So what should you do if your neighbor offends you?

Some may say like the bible verse “an eye for an eye.”

But this will only make the whole world blind.

Instead it’s best to practice forgiveness.

But suppose the hurt is quite deep.

What should you do to alleviate this pain?

It’s best to pray and be sure you’re in the right frame of mind.

Talk your situation through with a loved one that you trust.

If that doesn’t help, seek the service of a trusted counselor.

Suffering such a painful hurt could be devastating.

So it’s better to realize that two wrongs don’t make things right.

Why rub salt in a wound that’s already open.

Instead, endeavor to ease the pain to find peace.

Always remember looking at a ray of sunshine

Is better than ushering in disastrous consequences

Live according to the golden rule.

“Loving God, let us remember it’s better to forgive than to retaliate in kind.  Guide us to follow the tenets of the golden rule as we deal with our family, friends, and enemies.”

Amen