Pat and I attended the Napa Institute Summer Conference in Napa Valley, California, held at the exquisite Meritage Hotel, then went to Carmel, one of our absolute favorite places. More on Napa later, but first to share something that happened to us on the beach in Carmel.
When Might a Young Boy Realize The Value of Work
We returned to Carmel where we had spent our honeymoon, now nearly 16 years ago, and we were marveling at the natural beauty of the beach and God’s creation, wanting to get our picture taken at the same spot we had a picture taken back then.
Nobody was passing by to take the picture for us.
Finally, a 12-year-old boy came close enough where we could wave him over. He was carefully carrying a box and when he reached us, he did not waste any time telling us his name was Isaiah.
Isaiah told us that he was too young for a business to hire him, but he already knew that he wanted to own his own home when older and it would take lots of work for him to be able to buy a home. So, he was starting now by selling candy to hungry people on the beach. He had five or more choices including Baby Ruth, Butterfinger, M&M’s, Snickers and Skittles, which could be had for $3.50 each.
After sharing his young entrepreneurial venture with us, Isaiah kindly took our picture and asked if we wanted chocolate. We declined the chocolate, but we did put a $5.00 bill on top of his box, thanked him for taking the picture and for giving us “hope” that others in his generation will realize nothing in life worth having comes without hard work and perseverance.
What a wonderful example Isaiah lives—without even realizing it—for giving anyone who meets him the chance to quietly observe how hard his father works to take care of him and how is parents are an example in action (not merely words) for Isaiah to realize he will have to do the same to get what he wants in life.
Getting the Best from Napa Institute Summer Conference
Now, back to the experience of attending the 2022 Napa Institute Summer Conference. The expertly organized event allowed some 800 attendees maximum opportunity to enrich one’s soul from attendance at the numerous daily Masses for receipt of the Eucharist and listening to the talented religious and lay presenters on a variety of current religious and human-interest topics.
If you are looking for an event to attend where everyone there is either doing something to serve others or helping provide the funding for these great service projects, I encourage you to plan to attend a Napa Institute Summer Conference.
When Contrasting Activities Each Help Open Our Eyes
Now over a month since the Napa Institute Summer Conference ended, I am reflecting on the Conference and the juxtaposition I found myself in. I do not get to read as many books as I would like, but while en route to Napa and before getting home, I had time to read Matthew Kelly’s 2021 book, Life is Messy.
The Napa Conference take-away is that it gave “hope” for good living as we move forward. On the other hand, Kelly’s Life is Messy book reveals that yes each of our lives are messy from time to time.
The book is very truthful and candid about the conditions we are living with in America today, and about societal problems. One of the most concerning observations is how he defines “EVIL” as profoundly immoral, and yet how often we do not even hear a discussion of morality.
As Kelly so accurately describes it,
“Every type of perversion and depravity has become someone’s personal preference and right… This has desensitized us to the reality and effects of evil. The normalization of every immoral act on television continuously interferes with our moral compass.
How is this normalization of staggeringly grotesque and immoral acts accomplished? Gradually and by repetition. It is the story of the frog in boiling water. We are the frog! The evil you normalize will occur ever increasingly in society. We become what we read, hear and watch.
Today’s storytellers appear to be committed to a normalization of evil, and by extension, the annihilation of human dignity. Not the dignity of some anonymous people, but the annihilation of your dignity, my dignity, and the dignity of our spouses, children, grandchildren, friends, and neighbors.
What’s really happening here? We are dehumanizing a whole civilization by desensitizing people. When you dehumanize people, it changes the way they treat each other.”
In many families today there are not even family gatherings because they cannot converse with each other.
Thus, the contrast between Napa’s “hope” for the future and Kelly’s book describing evil, desensitizing, and dehumanizing. It is an excellent book that everyone should read.
How a 45 Goal Program Is Progressively Changing America
I share these same beliefs with Matthew Kelly. I have tried to express this in past articles, but I have not been as clear and direct as he is here. This causes me to remember the 45 Communist Goals for America (herein, “Goals”) read into the Congressional Record on January 10, 1963.
You owe it to yourself to read them and see how close they have come to attaining their objectives.
“Socialism is seen as the bridge between Capitalism and Communism. The major difference between Socialism and Communism is the method of takeover. Socialism (and Progressivism) believes that it can centralize all control of the individual, land, and industry by peaceful, but gradual legislation; whereas Communism seeks a violent and final confrontation to eliminate all dissension to achieve its utopian goal of a Stateless (one government) and Classless society,” says Thomas Licata.
Taking Control Without Asking the People
Now you can sense this juxtaposition with me: Government-mandated shutdown of everyday human interaction and business, juxtaposed with whatever reason is promoted to justify such draconian shutdown. ”
When we consider each of our personal experiences with the Covid pandemic, it is abundantly clear how the government went to great lengths to remove individual freedoms and obtain control over individuals’ lives.
Each of us has our own story and each of us can describe how the government’s actions impacted us individually, emotionally, financially, mentally, as a family and in business. Each of us can describe how it felt to lose control over things we as American citizens had taken for granted all our lives.
In light of what we each experienced here… Imagine what the citizens of Hong Kong felt and what they are now enduring when communist China took over the reigns of that once-booming, free enterprise region, where Hong Kongers were—just months ago—free to attend any church, free to travel where and how they wanted, free to speak their mind on any topic?!
Ways to Weaken the Family in America
In my view, foremost concern must focus on the means being utilized to weaken the nuclear family. As the family goes, so goes our country.
Following are some of the specific ways the promoters seek to achieve the following Goals.
(1) Discredit the family as an institution.
(2) Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce.
(3) Emphasize the need to raise children away from the negative influence of parents.
(4) Create the impression that violence and insurrection are legitimate aspects of the American tradition; that students and special interest groups should rise and make a “united force” to solve economic, political, or social problems.
(5) Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for Socialism and Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teacher associations.
(6) Do away with “revealed religion” and replace it with “social religion.” Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity, which does not need a “religious crutch.”
All these things happening in America that attack our Judeo-Christian traditions and weaken Christianity also weaken the family.
The most sought-after objective is to eliminate the Catholic Church, which is the greatest obstacle to establishing a communist society in America.
You may be saying to yourself – this just cannot really be happening! Look at how far the 45 Goals For Communism in America have come toward fruition in just the last two years.
However, there were many rays of “hope” shining through at the Napa Conference!
Hope-Filled People Can Heal the Brokenness
Through this article we have looked at the negative aspects of what is happening in America and how and why we are getting to where American society is today. Also, we can see what those who seek to accomplish the “45 Goals For Communism in America” want America to be. Those of us who are “hope” filled and have faith through our belief in God and believe that no matter what happens, in the end, God will prevail, also believe that the United States of America as envisioned by the framers of our Constitution can return from its brokenness to the freedoms that people from across the world risk their lives to come here and become part of the American dream that is based on a firm foundation recognizing and giving purpose to our Creator who has endowed us with life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. However, to get back, this will require extensive repair to our brokenness.
Matthew Kelly asks the question – “can something that has been broken be put back together in a way that makes it more beautiful than ever before? In our wasteful, consumption addicted society, we throw broken things away. So, we don’t know what to do with our broken selves. If we put on the mind of God, we discover one of the most beautiful truths this life has to offer. Something that has been devastatingly broken can be put back together in a way that makes it more beautiful than ever before. This is true for things, but even more true for people. This is the source and summit of ‘hope.’”
An Artform That Puts Broken Things Back Together
Kelly describes the beautiful Japanese artform called Kintsugi – a form of ceramics. When a vase or bowl or cup is broken, artists gather the broken pieces and glue them back together. They mix gold dust with the glue and do nothing to cover the cracks. They celebrate the cracks as part of their story. Kelly describes the most beautiful and surprising lesson the Kintsugi artform teaches us. We are each other’s wounded healers. We each possess the gold dust needed to glue other people back together making them more beautiful and lovable than ever.
Rebuilding A Broken America
America is broken, many of its people are broken. Its government is broken particularly the Executive Branch and Administrative Agencies. But it is NOT too late to pick up the pieces assemble them with the help of freedom loving Americans and glue them back together, so America is better than ever before. Each of us must be a part of the glue to make this happen. The future of America is what is at stake with our elections this coming November.
Let us each pray and do our part to vote and make our country better than ever!
- BOOK REVIEW: The Messiness of Life can keep us from focussing on those things that lead to a good life – Thomas M. Loarie, Catholic Business Journal
- Life is Messy — book by Matthew Kelly
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