Matthew 2:13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” 14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt,
GAZA/SINAI BORDER, 5 BC–The would-be savior of the world was killed today by Herod’s soldiers as he was fleeing towards Egypt. Herod, the self-styled ‘king’ of Judea, wanted to ensure that the toddling pretender to the title of ‘King of the Jews’ would never have the opportunity to live a full blameless life, complete a healing/teaching ministry, and sacrifice himself for the redemption of mankind. The feelings of those remaining on earth ranged from happiness to chiding. Opinions on the way forward in heaven are mixed.
‘Where is your visa?’
It was 6 AM, and I was stopped a second time by an Australian Border Force member whose job, as I understood it from my 30 odd trips through SYD, was deciding whether my luggage would be dissected, or if I would be let through unmolested.
‘It’s electronically linked, there isn’t a paper.’
I was somewhat startled by the question at this stage of the travel out and I was starting to get annoyed at this point. I was exhausted from the trip, but it was something more than that.
‘What subclass is your visa?’
Was it this guy’s attitude that was grating on me? Was it the fact that my American passport had already been checked by the computer upstairs, and I thought this was, at the best of times, redundant?
‘I’m not sure, I’ve got the details on a sticky note right here’
Then it struck me, it was the first time that I, a 188cm, 85kg, middle class white male had ever been really asked about why I was coming into Australia.
‘It says on your note 2013. That’s a long time ago. Is this still current?’
I came to Australia for love of family. We moved back after my wife had been incredibly supportive and moved to America while I was on active duty in the Marines. She even stuck it out there while I spent a year in Afghanistan. America, like Australia, recognizes the love of family that it represented by marriage as a reason to emigrate.
‘It’s a spousal, permanent resident one.’
There is another love of family that I learned about in Afghanistan, this time from my linguists. A love of family that doesn’t compel you to bring your family to your home, but compels you to take your family far away from a ‘home’ where they may easily be maimed or killed by a recently planted IED or an old landmine from the Soviet invasion. Even if the road is long, and the seas are perilous. We were not so different. I wrote a blank check with my life once hoping that it would keep my family safe, and they write similar checks hoping for fair wind, following seas, and open arms.
‘OK, come on through.’
I am sorry that I failed in my attempt to put Afghanistan back together. I wish that others who love their families as much as I do could hear that too.
Interesting Things I’ve looked at since the last post
Chapter One: A book about the start of the journey for ThankYou a double-bottom-line business operating out of Melbourne.
When thinking about giving, I suspect that the same rules about diminishing marginal utility apply. My great giving towards causes that are well funded is unlikely to make much of a difference. This cool tax receipt from the Australian government shows where my tax money is already going. It would be great to get that from America
The Wealth Secrets of the 1%: a terribly titled book that looks back on the history of those who have amassed fortunes. It largely point to one ‘secret’ that is well known monopoly/barriers to entry are the only source of long-term profits. In competitive markets the rents accrue to the consumer. What if we had a social enterprise in a monopolistic market? Think of the good that could be done.
Think twice: A great short read about common mental heuristics and how they lead us astray.
This article with housing/rental data from Amsterdam for the past 300 years. Key takeaways: there are no secular trend in rental/price ratios, or inflation-adjusted component rates of either of the two for several hundred years. When the ratio is out of balance, the burden of adjustment most often falls to the owner, not to the renter.
An urban version of the tiny house, see here
Please, tell me what you thought before reading this, and let me know if this changed your mind.