Beliefnet
Everyday Spirituality

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016) scored big in imagination and ingenuity. The plotline follows Jacob, a young teen, to a faraway land of fantasy and chilling monsters.

My first thought: I would NEVER take my kids to this movie.

Second thought: Why, or why was a black man cast as the bad guy? Actor, Samuel Jackson portrayed Barron, a demonic twisted soul with white eyes. I don’t recall any other black people in the film.

I watched the film in a theater with no black people. I live in an embarrassingly homogenous white community. I couldn’t hardly sit through the film as I watched, not the film, but the audience’s children, staring at the massive screen images of a forbidding, menacing guy, black as ever.

At the end, I survived the film and will admit I got a kick out of the time-loop idea. Miss Peregrine and her household were in a 1934 time-loop that lasted 24 hours.

But, I give the casting director a bottom score for casting a black man as the bad guy. I give Samuel Jackson a thump for taking the part.

From 21st Century Science and Health, “Ignorance, arrogance, or prejudice closes the door to whatever is not stereotyped.

“All persons must fulfill their own mission without timidity and without putting on a show. Spiritual goals are successfully achieved when our work is done unselfishly, and as a result, arrogance, prejudice, bigotry, and envy cannot wash away its foundation, for it is built on the rock, Truth.

“At all times and under all circumstances, overcome evil with good. Know yourself, and God will supply the wisdom and the occasion for a victory over evil. Love is a protective covering. Wear it! Wrapped up in love, human hatred can’t reach you. The confirmation of a higher humanity will unite all interests in the one divinity.”

We participate as an audience inside auditoriums, sacred buildings and theaters. Audiences observe, take in and expand on messages. Good audience etiquette teaches us not to interrupt.

But messages leading to inequality need to be interrupted. And messages leading to progress in gender equality need full attention. How do we do this?

By giving undivided audience to the qualities supporting equality.

Qualities such as integrity, creativity and courage advance messages of fairness. Moreover, they can resolve past interruptions.

Recently, in Seattle, Washington, 24 women presented their individual Capstone projects using computer programming techniques learned at the Ada Developers Academy. The event took three hours.

As an invitee, I entered the audience knowing what I learned from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that only 21% of the computer programming labor force in year 2015 consisted of women. After listening to the presentations and hearing about Ruby on Rails, JavaScript, scraping and deploying applications, I left the audience feeling as though I understood 12% of what was said, but was confident that more women will be entering the field of computer programming.

Basically, the message of confident femininity is returning to computer programming and I didn’t want to interrupt.

It would have been a terrible interruption if my feelings of computer illiteracy, jealousy or impatience had gotten my attention. Instead, I focused on the qualities of creativity, wisdom and courage, exhibited by the Ada women. It gave me a greater appreciation.

The Ada program is a synergy between the feminine and a tuition-free program comprising of 6 months of full-time classroom training followed by 5 months in a paid industry internship and sponsored by more than 30 companies including Expedia, Microsoft and Zillow.

The Ada program teaches full-stack web development to qualified women and people of non-binary gender. It was instituted a few years ago to interrupt what amounted to the male-dominate field of computer programming, which was not always the case. From as far back as the 19th century, computer programmers showed a fair balance between women and men.

Ada Academy honors Ada Lovelace, a 19th century mathematician and woman with proclivities toward metaphysics.

Circa 1842, Lovelace incorporated into a paper, notes, later recognized as the first published algorithm designed for use on a computer. Afterward, the number of women in computer programming steadily rose right along with men through the mid-20th century.

A celebrated computer programmer, Grace Hopper (1906-1992), helped develop a compiler while working her way up to earn the rank of rear admiral in the United State Navy.

Then, in the 1980s, women’s progress in computer programming was disrupted.

NPR’s, Planet Money, podcast episode 576 aired, “When women stopped coding,” and spoke on one reason why the computer programming industry is male-dominant today.

The reason, when home computers were marketed.

In the 1980s, home computers were not connected to the internet. They were bulky and mainly used to play games, portrayed as a man thing. Companies that sold home computers, advertised by targeting boys and men. Radio Shack and Apple advertisements spoke directly to fictitious guys, Elliot, Jeff, Brian, and Scott. If a woman was involved, she was wearing a bikini in the background.

A woman in a bikini makes me want to gag today, but gagging won’t help the empowerment of confident femininity. Whereas, giving audience to the qualities that advance equality will, not only in computer programming but everywhere.

The very exercise of giving audience to equalizing qualities as shown by the Ada women was carried outside the program. I was able to give audience to the same qualities as expressed by the baristas serving lattes and mothers caring for children and homes.

The exercise showed me that the message of women’s equality and dignity can be given audience to uninterruptedly.

This knowledge resonated with my belief that there must be an infinite source, I call it God, of those very qualities that lead to equality. I, even have access to them in my field of knowledge.

Unfortunately, women’s empowerment gets interrupted with the wink of an eye, because the collective psyche is rooted in the notion that women lack the qualities that reveal equality. But there is no lack with an infinite source.

By giving undivided audience to the spiritual truth that all the qualities leading to fairness are accessible to everyone, or in other words, not gender dependent, the winks get stopped and the correct message is forwarded.

With all this said, I can’t help but give audience to the current news about Apple, the computer company that just introduced Swift Playgrounds, a revolutionary new app for iPad, to teach the next generation how to code. Their gender-neutral advertisements speak to “children” and “students” as able to learn how to program computers.

Quoting from science & religion to God, “The first commandment demonstrates the law of divine Being. “You shall have no other gods before me.”[1] All people have one Mind, one Spirit. One infinite God, good, unifies people and nations, constitutes goodwill, ends wars, and fulfills the Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[2] The law of Truth annihilates idolatry and improves social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes. Spiritual metaphysics equalizes the sexes, annuls curses, and leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed.”

[1] Ex. 20:3; Deuteronomy 5:6

[2] Lev. 19:18, Mark 12:31, Luke 10:27, Rom. 13:9

Recently reported on NPR, the issue of transgender bathrooms keeps popping up. For many reasons, good and bad on both sides of those for or against who uses what bathroom.

When I think of the issue, I can’t get past the feeling that it doesn’t matter. When I have to go to the bathroom, I have to go. I’ve gone to the bathroom in both men women designated stalls. I’ve gone to the bathroom in the one and only hut with a squat toilet. I’ve gone to the bathroom behind trees. I pray to take a stand for decisions that express common sense, respect, and safety. I have a feeling each situation and place will require their own unique decisions. There is no one-size-fits-all decision for humanity, and we have the ability to progress, to change rules when appropriate.

Quoting from science & religion to God:

“The advancement of Truth has nothing to do with popularity. The object is to work in the interest of humanity, not work in private interests or sect. No matter what field you work in, Truth should stimulate labor and progress.”

The second edition of my book, A Foster Child Comes to Stay with Josie and Brooke, is now available on Amazon. It ‘s a true story about hope and assurance. Two girls learn about one big family in love.

A quote from the book: “Bedtime was prayer time for Josie and Brooke. Mom came into the bedroom to say prayers, too. Junior listened quietly and smiled as they began repeating a prayer given by Christ Jesus. “Our Father who is in heaven.” The sisters looked at Junior and knew God was his Parent. They finished the prayer. “Hallowed be Your name. Your Kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever].” (Matt.6:9, NASB)”

 

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