Stories

Dangers of Religious Radicalism

Dangers of Religious Radicalism

Before getting started on our usual Franklyn fare, it seems appropriate to take a moment to say something about the people of Brussels, in Belgium. Like many of us, they too know now the dangers of religious radicalism, and what can potentially happen when extremists are allowed to have their way. Don’t get movies and reality mixed up though – this isn’t some simple bad ending with a lesson to teach. People perished, and for that we send out our condolences. Know that you’re not alone in grieving for loved ones and wanting justice for those who would commit such egregious attacks in the first place.

It’s a shame that ruthless faith and religious fervor don’t stay in movies, where they can’t cause real harm to real people, but this isn’t Franklyn – this is real life. The recent attack in Brussels is a stark reminder of what happens when radicals are left unchecked by more moderate minds, and it is so much more powerful a message than the one told by our favorite movie that it almost seems silly to talk about a piece of film when something so much more relevant is happening right at the same time.

So today when the news is filled with tales of destruction, we want to encourage people to create something, to build something. It doesn’t have to be something complicated or something large, because even small experiences can take us very far when they teach us things we did not know about ourselves. Consider taking up gardening, growing flowers, vegetables or fruits indoors with the use of electric lighting. With the right tools and mindset, creating is actually easier than destroying, and that’s an important lesson for people to learn. The information at Plantozoid can help you more with growing.

It may seem kind of morbid, but if you put together the string of attacks which have ripped through the European Union and other parts of the world over the last year, you might just have a movie. It’s hard to imagine who would want to watch such a movie, but there has been enough killing and terrorizing to fill at least a couple of hours at a stretch. And again, this is the real deal, not people acting on a stage, picking up roles and faking injuries they walk off as soon as they leave view. If only that were true, these times wouldn’t be so tragic.

Even if you’ve got no green thumb and the thought of growing something fills you with dread, it might be a good idea to find some other way to be creative and produce something. Maybe recording your own thoughts about the recent happenings and sharing them with the world through some social media outlet or video sharing website would be a better fit for you. On the other hand, if gardening works, that’s quite a bit easier. Just check this website for more information about how to get started doing that and good luck to you.

Play Us a Tune

Steven knew it was practice time. Every day at 4.30pm, an hour after school finished, he would sit down in front of the piano and practise for an hour. Steven was 14 years old and had been learning the piano for 7 years now. Was he any good? Well, his parents thought so, as did the extended family. Every time there was a party or gathering at their home, Steven would be asked to ‘play us a tune, dear’. In some ways it felt a little tedious but secretly, he loved to play for an audience.

There is a chemical reaction in your body when you are asked to do certain things. For example, public speaking is feared only second most to death! For a musician, playing in public has its moments of doubt, but if you are reasonably accomplished on the instrument you play, then the initial nerves dissipate relatively quickly. In fact, the empathy you get from an appreciative audience soon has you playing with a lot more passion than you would feel during a lesson or practice with the teacher.

And so it was with Steven. His playing for family and friends seemed to elicit the best out of him and his recitals were always received with a big round of genuine applause. Steven’s problem was not that he couldn’t play, it was more the fact that the piano they had in the house was old, old, old! It had belonged to his grandmother who would lovingly caress the keys every time she was visiting as if patting an old dog.

Steven wanted to play in a funky, modern group, but you could hardly carry a piano around with you to band practice, could you? His 15th birthday was coming up and he had dropped enough hints to his parents that he would like to move from the old upright to a more modern style of piano. This family heirloom of a piano he was using was okay, most of the time, but it had a tendency to stray out of tune more often than Steven liked. That meant phoning old Mr. Bennett, the piano tuner, and asking him to visit again to tune the darned thing. It seemed Mr. Bennett was the last living tuner on planet Earth. Even he had suggested to Steven’s father that they should think about upgrading. Surely he would be out of a job if they decided to buy a digital piano, wouldn’t he?

Like clockwork, at 4.30pm, young Steven sat down on the old seat. It was one of those ancient models that had a liftable top and inside which you could store hundreds of pieces of sheet music, some keyboard replacements, both black and white, and the wood varnish and cleaning cloth needed to shine the old girl up on occasion. As Steven played, all thoughts of changing to a modern keyboard disappeared as became totally immersed in the piece he was playing. There’s nothing like a beautiful tune to carry you away to another world with little or no worries!

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