Even with a fresh t-shirt feeling clammy around my ribs within two minutes of putting it on at 6:30 this morning I was excited about the day ahead. Triple digit temperatures? Bah, get on with it…
We, my daughter, her husband and I, were due to sign papers this afternoon to rent a nice house up in Madera. We plan to move there twenty or more miles northeast of Fresno, to potentially buy a home in a while, while more quickly starting a Baha’i-inspired Junior Youth Program. What’s that? Fresno has many of those going, and they are very good for kids between the ages of eleven and fourteen (roughly). There is more about the program at http://bahaiteachings.org/get-involved/junior-youth-empowerment-programs
Designed to help young adolescents between the ages of 11-14 develop into focused, happy and productive teenagers and young adults, junior youth groups teach the crucial moral, spiritual and ethical skills society often fails to transmit to this important age group.
Worldwide, junior youth are participating in an endeavour that strives to give them a voice in today’s society. These junior youth groups are enhancing their power of expression, sharpening their spiritual perception and allowing them to analyse the constructive and destructive forces of society.
Back to my morning…. Halfway back into my honking great power wheelchair after an exercise walk around my apartment the phone rang. The one option to answer it, teetering as my physical being was just then, was via my Apple watch. The tinny but distressed voice of Paco, my son-in-law, came through clearly enough. He said:
“There are squatters living there.”
When our potential landlord’s agent went to check the premises this morning people were ensconced. They claimed that they had, through Craigslist, made a deposit on the place, were given a key, and had now moved in. That they believe they have a legal right to be there,
My daughter, a Californian for at least ten years, is well versed in the various Craigslist rental scams. If things are as the squatters claim, they may have fallen victim.
When we went to visit the house we were given a code to put into a lock box on the door knob, to let ourselves in for a tour. Except there was no key there. The rental agent by phone told us about another inconspicuous lock box, from which we retrieved a key. A couple of days later they called to say there was one party ahead of us wanting to rent the house, and they had to check that party’s creds first. Another couple of days and another call to say those creds fell through and the house would be ours, if our own creds held up. Which they did. Of course.
It could take up to sixty days to get the squatters out if it has to be done the lawyer way, said the rental agent.
Well, bite me.
Which all got me to thinking about the confused state of the world we are living in. It gets more confused just about any time I read the news, it feels. Like so many of the processes traditionally used for operating the planet have gone topsy turvy. Like the safety nets of people’s expectations are being yanked away. Like what is my culture any more?
Yesterday a sitting US president blasted NATO partners with so many conflicting statements about what he was bullying and baiting them to do that they about got whiplash. Some were visibly weak and shaken after the meeting in Brussels. From there the US leader went to London and met the stoically smiling Queen Elizabeth II — while what seemed to me via video to be hundreds of thousands of Brits were filling London streets. They were bearing signs that said things about dumping the US president, and lofting, nearby, an insulting balloon of a baby US president.
The British Prime Minister was also subjected to the whiplash form of non diplomacy when the US president alternately praised and insulted her efforts to bring about Brexit — a situation which seems to this Yank to be about as confusing to the Brits as current US politics is to this side of the Atlantic.
When twelve young boys and their soccer coach were rescued — arduously — from a flooded cave in Thailand a few days ago, there was cheering from the US president. The whole world watched that rescued, it seems, and many countries participated in the process. At the same time that some 2000 young children wrested from their parents at the US border between April and July were sitting in cages, tents or other facilities where they were to received little to no affectionate attention, as the result of an executive order from the US president. When a court struck down that order and stated that the children must be reunited with their parents (who had entered the country illegally) the government scrambled to meet the court’s deadline, but fell far short of reuniting people.
The world has also been watching that situation.
Bear in mind that as a Baha’i I abstain from partisan politics. My political affiliation is “decline to state.” The US president is who he is, his style is … novel. He is the duly elected president because of the Electoral College and not the popular vote. He is, in a word, my president, too.
Nonetheless, one keeps abreast of affairs both at home and abroad, diligently seeking information to independently form opinions of the needs of the times, of those running for political office, to understand the forces running through societies of the world. Which I have faithfully (well, mostly) done all my adult life. Which led me to surmise that one of the most recent candidates has a character such that it would be easy for interested parties to manipulate and otherwise use a US president to further their own aims.
To become a voluble source of confusion and disorder.
Is this a terrible thing? As a Baha’i I believe that whether or not, this is the long expected thing by many people of faith.
Said Baha’u’llah, the Prophet Founder of the Baha’i Faith back in the mid 1800s,
The world’s equilibrium hath been upset through the vibrating influence of this most great, this new World Order. Mankind’s ordered life hath been revolutionized through the agency of this unique, this wondrous System—the like of which mortal eyes have never witnessed.
The Kitáb-i-Aqdas : paragraph 181
One does not sit passively awaiting whatever the outcome may be. One need not become overwhelmed about what a single person can do.
That one indeed is a man who, today, dedicateth himself to the service of the entire human race. The Great Being saith: Blessed and happy is he that ariseth to promote the best interests of the peoples and kindreds of the earth. …. It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens.
Bahá’u’lláh / 11. Lawḥ-i-Maqṣúd (Tablet of Maqṣúd)
Here I am having a not-so-great day with no place to put packing boxes and materials all over my living room because of scammers who are rife on Craigslist and elsewhere because of prevailing dishonesty (I suppose).
But at least there is that bit of framework to push me towards positive. We are all in this together, scammers beware…