Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Personal Problems

One day, my daughter Sonia made this evaluation of a TV character...

“Hacker has a problem with himself.”

“What’s his problem?” I said.

“Well, he’s always planning things and they don’t work out, and he never has a Plan B!”

I laughed and laughed when she said that. Later, I thought, “Hacker’s personal problem is our societal problem — especially in relation to this cancer question. With one in three Americans getting cancer, and with less than 10% of cases being hereditary, we’re up against a wall. And we seem to lack a viable Plan B.”

It’s not for lack of trying, as Steingraber (Living Downstream) notes in the parable she uses to open her book…

There was a village by a river that noticed an increase in drowning persons floating by. In the villagers’ heroic compassion, they developed more elaborate ways to try to rescue and treat these people. But they neglected to look upstream to see who was pushing the victims into the water.

The villagers needed a Plan B. And so, says Steingraber, do we. More on this in a future post.

"Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask…where the good way lies; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls." Jeremiah 6:16

Woman at the wall photo Stefani M. Rossi Used with permission.


Blogger Andrea said...

Yes, and this applies to things in our society other than cancer. Prescription drugs come to mind. That's what this post reminded me of.

Lovely pic.

8:15 AM  
Blogger Martin Stickland said...

Very wise words L.L, a few good little stories there to make you think!

Hope the pics were okay and reached you.

Take care!


10:00 AM  
Blogger Craver Vii said...

Funny how it's so hard to search ahead and have a plan B for ourselves, and yet we will second guess God when He tells us to honor our parents, love our neighbor, etc.

If there is any inconvenience for us, we're more inclined to see if He has a plan B... (sigh)

2:54 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Andrea... yes, we could use a whole truckload of Plan B's! :)

Martin... that's one thing I love about having kids... they give me wise words to give to the world.

Craver... are you saying that a little suffering opens us up to other possibilities? I've certainly noticed that suffering is a good way to get people searching for somebody's Plan B, God's or otherwise.

5:52 PM  
Blogger Craver Vii said...

What you said was true, but I was confessing a bent toward disobedience. I'm talking about knowing the good that we ought to do, and squirming our way out of it. We search for a plan B instead of trusting God from the beginning. We should instead motivate ourselves to ponder a little longer on our own agendas and consider whether we need a plan B for ourselves. An example for me might be reevaluating the trade-off between books I want to read and how much I am willing to do with my youngest son who's never satisfied with how much time we spend together. God did not put me in charge of reading x amount of books, but I want to read them, so it annoys me when this little guy invents a new game that we must play before he lets me get back to my book.

6:26 PM  
Blogger Ms. Kathleen said...

Awesome post. I read once that Nebraska has one of the highest cancer rates, especially since WWll. Reason, herbicides and pesticides. Nothing much has been done about that...Organic farming and sustainable agriculture need to be the norm and farmers need to b be educated.

Of course that is only a part of the problem.

Awesome picture.

7:07 PM  
Blogger Martin Stickland said...

Thanks Laura, just thanks for your kind email to me tonight.


7:51 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Craver... oh, I see. Thanks for clarifying that. And little guys are good for orienting us back towards what is of lasting value. :)

Kathleen... I guess what surprises me most is the incredibly high cancer rate amongst farmers... one would think that more changes would be made more quickly.

Martin... you are welcome. :)

8:36 PM  
Blogger The Gatekeeper said...

A Plan B always scares me. I think about the many times I must have strayed from God's plan A. Probably close to being on my 100th plan B in life. Arrrgh. Good thing there's a lot of grace and mercy to live on. BTW L.L. if I make it to Mount Hermon next year, I hope to see you there.

9:33 PM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...


Good thoughts. I really think the medical establishment is becoming better and better at treating and helping problems. But not good at preventing them.

I'm reminded of hospitals, at least in the past (and I still think many now), in which much of what you can purchase inside its walls is not altogether good for human consumption.

Only one angle to look at a problem that really is everywhere, in our air, water and land.

Thanks. And your blog has nice photos.

5:47 AM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

I do want to add that an increasing awareness of this problem and need for a better solution is on the rise, from sources like here, on your blog.

5:49 AM  
Blogger CJ said...

I think this applies to society and our world in general. How nice it would be to have a Plan B for everything!

12:19 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Ted... yes, it's all about land, air and water, according to Steingraber.

And it's up to us to stop both ourselves (who do so largely ignorantly) and others (my father, who used to own a chemical company, says the violations are unbelievable... as a Christian, he was careful to have his waste "reclaimed" by special companies) from continuing to overload the environment.

Otherwise we will continue to pay with our lives. As Steingraber quotes another scientist saying, "Do you think that you alone are immune?"

ImperfectChristian... welcome, and thanks for stopping in. Soon we'll talk here about some Plan B's.

5:24 PM  
Blogger Haddock said...

It's always good to have a plan B. It even more helpful is plan is a good one! :)

6:58 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Haddock... yes, true... tonight I'm searching for some plan B's on my manuscript, and I recognize it's easier said than done! Sigh.

9:32 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I once made a pretty deep application from an episode of Cyberchase as well. . . .

6:21 PM  
Blogger eph2810 said...

I am not certain the problem lies, but I think much has to do with our environment - don't your think? Much more pollution in the air - I noticed the other day here in the Metro area. When we moved here 16 years ago this area was recommended to people who have breathing problems - now we have a brown cloud hanging over us through out the week - it is better during the weekends though, because of less traffic.

8:27 PM  

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