Sunday, January 29, 2012

Random Thoughts

aBear with me, some of this might be interesting to you.

I went running last night at the gym because that's what you do on a Saturday night and your wife isn't in town. I loved it. I was listening to an episode of This American Life and it just kinda got me thinking about some things.

The episode in question was about jobs, stimulating the economy, that sort of thing. They talked at length about Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin and some campaign promises about bringing back over 250k jobs to the state. The reporters questioned him at length about his philosophy and what it meant to be bringing back jobs.
The funny thing about the report was that the reporters just seemed to have a pretty fundamental lack of understanding about conservative politics. They just didn't get how Walker wanted to shrink the size of government and give incentives to businesses and stimulate the economy through economic growth rather than intervention. One of the reporters even made the point that by reducing taxes, the governor was promoting growth in the short term, but ultimately that would lead to a long term reduction in quality employees because people wouldn't come out well educated and they would be worse off as employees.

I marveled at that assumption: spending on education=better students/employees, etc. If the US is not already at the top of the list for spending on education then it's very close to it, but has that really meant better educated? Not necessarily. We are in dire need of some education reform. Other countries that are spending less are getting more out of their students. Why would that be the case?

One thought that came through my head was because of greater character and integrity. Someone with integrity naturally demands a lot out of him(her)self. If we fail to instill that in ourselves and in those around us, then no amount of spending will make up for the loss in quality of person, no?

That thought caused me to think about an article I read earlier this week that someone somewhere linked to about What's Wrong with Teenager's Minds. The writer speaks about how kids are reaching puberty at earlier ages than ever before, but reach adulthood at much later years. It's an interesting read.

And then that got me thinking about a conversation Amy and I had last week about how funny some parents are with their kids. Nowadays it kind of seems like some church members will have a newborn and then take Sundays off for a couple months like they've been given a free pass. I can't refer to any actual numbers and I probably sound judgmental, but that's just the feeling I get from people, you know? And we both remarked at how people from previous generations would have never let that stop them from attending Sunday meetings, how people with greater "awareness" and more available knowledge seem to be able to do less with it than before. Like I said, I'm not speaking to anything specific, just a feeling I have.

Last random thought from today: I got to sit in on a combined priesthood/relief society meeting because of it being the 5th Sunday. (Although I love my calling in the primary, oh how I miss regular church.) The subject was the priesthood and ward members submitted questions they had about it. I was surprised at how little knowledge some of the leaders had about the priesthood, but that's not my thought. One person asked about how he(she?) had heard of a sister bear testimony about giving a blessing by the authority of her husband's(dad's?) priesthood. The question was if that was proper. This isn't my thought either, but I'll finish this part to get to what I want to share. The bishop answered and said that the spirit will dictate what is proper in what circumstances, and while it's probably improper to mimic a priesthood blessing without being conferred the priesthood, faith can do great things.  I thought that was well put. I really do like our bishop.

This brings me to my thought:A sister behind me asked if the person was healed as a result. If so, then there's your answer, meaning that it would indeed be proper to act in such a manner, but I thought that was making too large of a jump. The reason that the person was or wasn't healed has to do with whether it was God's will. The outcome is not relevant to how the miracle happened because in the end, God's will supersedes all of that. Just because you got the desired outcome doesn't mean it was carried out in the proper manner. I won't bother with examples.

And there you have it. G'night, y'all.

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