Monday, 30 June 2008

The difference between right and wrong

We live in a confusing world today. The line between what's right and what's wrong is becoming increasingly blurred and it shows. Messages that we should not be listening to, or paying heed to, bombard us from all sides . . . television,newspapers, magazines, radio, computers, video games . . . even the very streets of our own villages, towns and cities. Is it any wonder that a great deal of the youth of our nations are running rampant . . . afraid and lost, with no moral standards and not knowing the difference between right and wrong?

The breakdown of family, political correctness, loss and lack of religious values . . . these are some of the things that have contributed to the great pervading sickness we are seeing around us in today's society.

When I was a child I knew that when I went to school, if I did anything that I should not be doing on the way to school, one of the neighbours would see and they would tell my mom. If I did anything wrong at school, I'd be punished and then my parents would be told and then I'd be punished again. Teachers were allowed to care and they cared. The values that we had been taught at home and at church were also expounded at school. Most people went to church and sent their children to Sunday School. Family was important, upheld and revered.

There was a consistency in life. Things that were correct . . . had always been correct . . . they were correct today and would still be correct tommorrow . . . there was no grey area. It was all black and white.

Children were surrounded with people that cared . . . in most cases two parents . . . father's who cared enough about them and about their mother's to want to get married and stay married. I heard on the radio the other day that Charlotte Church was expecting her second child with her longstanding boyfriend Gavin. I thought to myself, if you love someone enough to want to have two children with them, surely you want those children to have the stability of having a father and mother who are committed enough to each other to want to get married . . .

Teachers cared too. Most teachers in those days looked at teaching as a calling in life. Sure there were teachers who never should have been teaching and who were mean and quite obviously didn't like children . . . but for the most part we had people at school who really and truly cared for us and who guided us along a straight and narrow path, and were able to teach us from the heart. That is not to say that teachers today don't care . . . I'm sure there are lots who do, but their jobs are frustrated with the red tape of bureacracy and political correctness which binds their hands and hearts.

Neighbours cared about each other as well. They took the time to get to know each other and kept an eye out for each other. It was really distressing a couple of years ago in this small village that I live in, that an elderly couple passed away in their home and it was several weeks before anyone noticed. It was only because a postman noticed an obviously starving dog on one of his rounds that anyone was alerted that something might be amiss. The wife had been an invalid and bed ridden, and her elderly husband her caregiver. He had had a heartattack and passed away in the bathroom and she, unable to move and too feeble to call for help had died in her bed a day or two later of starvation and neglect . . . the family dog, wandering in and out of their open back doorway, quite obviously distressed and hungry . . . thirty, forty or even twenty years ago this would not have happened. People would have noticed within the first couple of days and once noticed they would have acted . . .

When we went to attend our chapel a couple of Sunday's ago, the lawn was strewn with beer bottles and the grass had been burnt. There were about half a dozen burnt out disposable barbeques laying about. Someone quite obviously had decided to use our grounds to have a get-together of sorts and just left their mess behind. We have had to have the lead on the church roof replaced several times as some person keeps stealing it and our windows are often cracked and pitted by stones thrown at them by the youth in the neighbourhood. Where is the respect?

Oh, it does paint a dismal picture, but not all is dark and gloomy. There are still pockets of good to be found and people with standards to be found. We just never hear about them. I wish someone would start a newspaper filled with good news and good stories. A paper with positive and uplifting messages. Do they think we don't want to hear them, or that we would not be interested? I wish someone would try and then prove them wrong. What a turn around that would be!

A wise man once remarked that he had never known a good thing that was not beautiful or a bad thing that was not ugly . . . it's really quite simple isn't it? The spirit of the Very Cheerful easily rubs off onto everything around it. I guess it starts with me . . .

A Merrier World is hosting a blogging event until the 16th of July promoting the ethical rearing and use of chicken. I know that it's not always possible for people to spend the extra money to buy free range chicken and that with growing families and the rapidly increasing cost of food these days it is becoming even more difficult to eat with a conscience. I try to stock up on it when the grocery store has a special offer going. In the past year or so we have made the decision that if we were going to be eating meat of any kind we would only eat free range and organic if possible. That means that we don't eat it quite as often as we used to, but it does mean that when we do eat it we can feel good about it. This is a lovely dish that takes a few chicken breasts and makes them see like a whole lot more, and with very delicous results!

*Chicken with Parsley and Capers*
Serves 4 to 6

Simple, quick, easy and tasty. This delicious way of preparing chicken wins on all counts! We like to have it with some chips and peas, but they would go equally as well with rice or mash or even boiled potatoes.

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
(wipe dry and then using a very sharp knife cut each one
horizontally into three or four thin flat slices)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 TBS plain flour
3 TBS olive oil
1 fat clove of garlic, peeled and slightly squashed
the juice of half a lemon
1 TBS capers in vinegar, drained and chopped
2 TBS chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

Season the chicken pieces with some salt and pepper and then dust them lightly with flour, patting them and then shaking off the excess.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat and then add the garlic. Once it begins to become fragrant add the chicken pieces, a few at a time, frying them lightly until golden brown on each side. Once you have all the pieces browned, put them back into the pan, and reduce the heat. Squeeze the lemon juice over all and add the capers and the parsley and a couple tablespoons of hot water. Let it bubble up and then put a lid on, turn out the heat and let them sit for just a few minutes longer to make sure they are cooked all the way through. Don't overcook them or they will be dry and tough. Just a few minutes insures that they are moist and tender and that there are some juices in the pan to spoon over.

Serve immediately.


  1. This looks like a wonderfully fresh and tasty dish, Marie.
    Thanks for being my first participant!

  2. Ohoh Marie all know the difference dear but sometimes we are so bad to ssee, but is true you say. So sad the couple's story, where are their relatives?? how they were so alone??? is so sad.

    This dish looks so nice dear. Good luck with all your work that you have (I read in Granny Blog) xxxxGloria

  3. I couldn't agree with your post more. Though all my years of teaching I marvelled at the lack of respect, love and pride in country, school or home that my students exibited. It is sad and scary for our future.

    I think that one thing that draws me to blogging is reading about the good things people around the world are doing and thinking. It surely beats reading the newspaper. Let's start a "Good News" news paper ,Marie, filled with uplifting stories and advice ..... but wait a minute...that is what you are already doing with your blog.

    Good for you!

  4. This is a fear I have for the church my family attends. It is undergoing a massive, multi-million dollar renovation. All of the stained glass panels were painstakingly brought over from Poland a century ago and they truly are spectacular. Bullet proof glass had to be installed on the outside to prevent damage as it's difficult to find artisans of that caliber anymore. The neighborhood has gone downhill over the years, but families still flock to her.

    (If you'd like to see photos, it's the 2nd link in my "circle of friends" link list)

    It's a true American replica of a classic Polish basilica. I just hope that even though the neighborhood is not what it used to be, the neighbors still give that beautiful building and it's grounds the respect it deserves.

  5. Great post Marie! I try to be a pocket of that goodness! We have problems here, too, our church has been broken into several times, our safe stolen (just papers, no money), we have had the glass doors broken, and the freon stolen out of our air conditioner several times. It is sad that people no longer care!

  6. You write so eloquently and what you say is so true some days I just despair to what our world is coming too. Take care Love Joan.

  7. i'm sorry to hear this, marie! but you are right...there is still a lot of good too.
    you prove it everyday with your words.


  8. It is tragic about the older couple... that's why I've been worried about my mother living so far from me. My only consolation is that she does so many things for other people that the alarm would probably go out if she didn't show up for whatever activity/job she has promised herself to. Our church has beautiful beveled stained glass windows, and it's out in the country. When we first had them installed about five years ago, I thought surely someone could easily vandalize them. But no one has, and I am eternally grateful for this. It's possible that the lawn lighting and the parsonage across the street has helped prevent this from happening. We have a handful of neighbors who, when they hear that someone is ill, injured, or otherwise suffering, will visit them, bring them food, find out what they need. We keep the Caring line of communications open. It's a nice thing to have in one's neighborhood!

  9. We'd like to invite you to participate in our July berry recipe contest. All competitors will be placed on our blogroll, and the winner will receive a fun prize! Please email me,, if you're interested. Feel free to check out our blog for more details. (Click on my name in the message header link to visit our blog. :)

  10. I should start that newspaper! I agree with you. I see people my age doing horrible, unethical things all the time that just aren't right. Even when they claim to be doing things out of love and faith, like getting married early, it's just so they can get a bunch of free crap. People don't want to work and build their life on morals and hard work anymore. They all want to be famous on YouTube, wear free clothes and hang out with Paris Hilton.

    But, I think everything is a cycle. I think soon, people like you and me and all your lovely readers will help convince these selfish pigs to do what's right and to make the world better.

    I'm going to start that paper.

  11. Be in the world, but not of it. But that counsel doesn't means it's easy to accomplishment, but worthy of the effort.


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