Sunday, June 12, 2011

Fatherly Reflection

I take a pause in my studies of immigration in order to write on the important topic of fatherhood. The weekend for me has been a time of reflection on my father, due to his birth day being in this month, as well as Father's day also approaching. Such meditation has been fruitful in conceiving revelation from the L-RD based on the verses in Proverbs chapter 4.

Solomon admits in the early verses of the chapter that he was taught by his father David (Proverbs 4:3-4), who taught him primarily to value and acquire wisdom (Proverbs 4:5,7). Solomon in turn valued this lesson so much that later when G-d appeared to him  and asked him what he desired for a gift (2 Chronicles 1:7; 1 Kings 3:5.htm), Solomon could only but remember his father's words and advice that wisdom was the principal acquisition (Proverbs 4:7) that would bring everything else . As such, Solomon made his request for wisdom (2 Chronicles 1:10).

Solomon's story demonstrates how important it is that as fathers, we teach our children so that they will grow up knowing how to make wise choices (and the best choices) in life. It is a parent's duty (and especially a father) to teach his children from his own life experiences about the world that they live in and inhabit, and what makes for success in life.

Can you imagine David, who was a failed father of many children, made up for his entire bad parenting with Solomon his last child? After seeing what tragedies resulted from his bad choices and personal failures with his older children, David took parenting his last child gotten from adultery very seriously. David used where he had failed and had many regrets and his own foolish mistakes in the past that he wanted to make amends and correct to teach and guide his youngest child. Hence David advised  Solomon and gave him teachings that would make Solomon learn from his father's mistakes and experiences, and avoid those same mistakes and pitfalls in life.

All father's should, like David, give unto their children pearls of wisdom and instruction about how the world works and how best to survive in it. Our children must know what pitfalls to avoid and what will ruin them and prevent them from attaining their desires, happiness and goals from our own teaching and guidance that we must give them. It is when we do such an investment in our children, that they will make wise choices like Solomon, and become successful and respectable citizens of the earth.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Immigration & Globalization in the Bible (Part 2)

So the first ambassador and diplomat was G-d, and the first embassy was located in Eden. Human government had access to good diplomatic relations with heaven.

However, a certain deportee called 'Satan', used the medium of a serpent in Eden, to disrupt the diplomatic relationship between humanity and heaven. Through the serpent, the devil was able to seduce human government to break the first treaty ever established on earth. However, out of it G-d made a new policy for earth's extra-terrestrial relations in Gen 3:15:

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring Or seed and hers; he will crush Or strike your head, and you will strike his. (NIV)
Man who violated the conditions of their access to life and G-d in Eden was also deported. Adam and Eve found themselves denied entry to Eden and forced to immigrate to places where they would have to undertake agriculture for survival. Their visa to heaven was revoked; they lost their citizenship and permanent residence in Eden.

Adam was not only to have strained diplomatic relations with G-d, but also with the earth. Adam was used to picking fruit and nuts from trees, which were adequate to sustain him. Now he would have lack of access to orchards, and would have to create his own. Fortunately, he could till the soil for crops that did not take as long to grow and reproduce, such as ground provision and grain.

Now Cain, the first murderer, also had further strained diplomatic relations with both G-d and the earth. Unlike his dad, Cain had no work permit and could no longer utilise agriculture for his survival. His work permit on earth was revoked and he had to be a nomad in order to obtain food. Plus, he lost access to visits from G-d. However G-d did give him refugee status (Genesis 4:11-16).

Despite his lack of a work permit, Cain managed to build a city (Gen 4:17). So despite having to be a food gatherer and (possibly hunter), instead of a farmer, Cain was able to access food that he could possible store and have time to build a dwelling for himself and his family to settle down. Cain then became an artisan and skilled worker, and his generation followed. His great great grandson Lamech raised Jabal who became the father of tent makers skilled in livestock production (indicating that rather than hunting, they were able to domesticate a supply of animals, so they could have a constant supply of meat, hence remaining settled in one place) (Gen 4:19-20). Another offspring was Jubal, who raised musicians in his family, persons adept at discovering how to pleasantly arrange and organise sound and make instruments (Gen 4:21). This indicated that Jubal's descendants did have time for leisure and recreation, due to some constant supply of food and adequate food provision. How else would they have abandoned the rat race of gathering food and hunting if otherwise?

Finally, Lamech's son, Tubal-Cain, became a skilled artisan at making agricultural and construction tools. He was the first to be involved in the metal industry (Gen 4:22).

These great stories tell me that whatever restrictions are placed on one's working in another country, there are still ways and means to survive. No matter where you go and may be unable to find work, you can find something to do that can bring you an income. You need not rely on formal employment. You can always innovate and find something that humanity is not yet doing or producing and create a livelihood for yourself. Self-employment, innovation and entrepreneurship is also a path to being a successful immigrant. G-d bless you.