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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Are You Always Right?

In the movie, A Time To Kill, there's one of the most compelling scenes that I remember ever seeing.  Mathew McConaughey, a lawyer, defends Samuel Jackson for the murder of two young men who raped and left for dead his 10 year old daughter.  Of course, the movie is a story of extreme prejudice and human brutality. In the closing arguments MacConaughey recounts in painful and graphic detail the crime of kidnapping, rape and actually attempted murder of the young black girl. 
There are no dry eyes on the jury and any watcher is deeply moved. The lawyer stays silent for a few moments and lets the picture settle in. Then in a quiet tone, he says "Now---imagine the girl is white."
It is stunning, you are not prepared for it.  No matter how much you believe you're not prejudice or how much you've been on the side of Samuel Jackson, this one piece of dialogue is an instant slap of awareness.  In a second, my own daughters, my grandchildren flashed through my mind and it felt so personal.
In our very complicated world today, the issues and differences are not simple.  We are being confronted with problems that don't always have very clear answers.  The thing that really troubles me is that it seems to me that we've become extremely polarized.  You would think that in a world with so much information available, we would be more apt to see all sides of issues. Instead, I believe that we can always find views that support our opinions and we become very confident that we are right.  We seem to be losing sight of not just the other side, but of even the middle ground.  Let's face it folks, no one is 100 percent right, 100 percent of the time.
Standing on your principles is not the same as being so arrogant and self assured that you close your mind and heart to the beliefs of others or to the struggles and pain of others.  The distance between us can be vast and the issues that face us as citizens, not just of America but of the world, can be so deep and unclear that you don't want to even think about them. I'm an old gal, I often find myself just saying, "I don't want to think about that anymore."
Think about it, are you sure that you are right? Have you even approached the center of the road and gave a look to the other side?  The old saying about if you only walked a mile in the other person's shoes---is very relevant.  How can you possibly know that you're right and others are wrong, how can you possibly know how they feel, if you've never been in their place.
One of the complicated issues of today is the various implications and complications of the transgender community.  The hubby and I have an old and dear friend that we love very much. Most of this friend's convictions are based on his faith and we greatly respect that. We all have formed our beliefs and standards on things such as religion, our upbringing and other strong influences in our lives. In a discussion about some of the recent transgender issues---public restrooms access, etc.---he expressed his feelings very clearly.
Now, everyone that knows this man knows that he's a male.  Sometimes even crass, always blunt and obvious in his appreciation of women.  Friend is a man.  So, during this conversation, I said to my friend, "I want you to think about this, seriously. You know who you are, you know your gender and your sexual prefrences---never had a doubt, right?"   
"Consider this. You're you, with all the feelings that you've always had, you're the man. But, unfortunately, when you were born you were lacking that manly equipment---oh horrors?! So, the doctor, your parents said well, obviously this is a girl.  The decision was made, you were a girl. You were dressed as a girl, raised as a girl, expected to be a GIRL.  Even with all those feelings that you have inside, you have to pretend to be a female. You are forbidden to ever live like or be a man."
How do those shoes feel?  Walk a mile in them and ask yourself again, Am I absolutely sure and right about what I would do in certain circumstances.  If I look hard enough, could I possibly see that distant other side of the argument?
There is never just one clear side, one totally right way. We need to have confidence in our beliefs and stand by our convictions, but we should never be so full of ourselves that we think we are the only righteous inhabitants of earth. If you've forgotten where even the middle ground lies, I can assure you that you are 100 percent wrong.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Where Is Your Happy Place?

Too much politics, tv and internet will beat you right down into a deep depressing hole.  You simply must abstain from all that stuff for a while and find your happy place.
If I had to say there was one secret to finding happiness, it would be to MOVE.  No matter your age or situation, activity is the very best medicine for depression and the only real answer for staying as healthy as possible.
I'm not saying you have to climb mountains or run for miles. I'm simply suggesting that you lift your butt up and change it's location and look for a fresh attitude while your doing that.  Since I write, I can very easily find that I've spent hours in front of the computer.  It's also easy to get side tracked while researching and fall into the mire of bad & sad news, crappy politics and stupid human actions. 
Of course, each of us has to find their own peaceful and joyful place. One thing for sure, you will not get there without some effort. Here are some of the simple things I do to get happy:
                  * I actually play a mindless game on the laptop or my Kindle. It's good for the old brain and can be a complete distraction.
                  * I spend anywhere from a half hour to an hour in the yard, usually early morning. I water, prune and maintain the few flowers and four tomato plants that we have. Purposefully, I fill my gallon pitcher and walk to and from each location, enjoy looking at them and caring for them. I don't feed the birds but I do have several water containers (Sorry, if mosquitos and standing water is a no-no at your place) I greatly enjoy seeing the variety of birds that come to sip. Have to fill the containers everyday.
                 * I go to the small town that is near us, park the car and walk to the $ Store or grocery store or just around for a bit.
                 * I get out my camera, walk around outside and look for an interesting pic to take.
                 * I am very organized and I keep things squared away in the house.
                 *The hubby and I like to take day trips in the area, rock hunting, off road, occasionally some shopping---a change of routine and scenery.
These activities may sound boring as all get out to you, but they are motion and distraction. You must find your own places.  I do know that the world is actually a beautiful thing for the most part.   Buy and wear something you would normally not wear, eat something that you've never tried, have a sense of humor, listen to your favorite music, allow yourself to NOT do something that you think you need to do today, say "I love you, sorry but no."  Just give yourself a break.
If  breaks from responsibility are a constant in your life, then giving yourself another won't help. But when you open up to change or different as an exception to your norm, it can be very liberating. Like one of my favorite quotes, Don't do the same thing over and over and expect different results---that's the gist of it, at least. 
Breathe, find that happy place and let yourself dance around in it for a while.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Get a Job

Black lives matter

Ban guns, ban the Confederate flag, ban memorials, monuments, history books or any public display of things that offend one particular group.

Non citizens of the United States are entitled to the same privileges and rights as citizens.

Everyone is entitled to go to college and everyone should go for free, paid for by tax dollars. As a matter of fact, everyone should have equal everything. Even though we will all have nothing, that's right because no one will have more than you.

These are just a few of the outrageous and very loud demands and beliefs that are being promoted in our free country these days.  These are not the words of democracy, these are not part of the guaranteed liberties in our constitution...these are socialist ideas and these are alarmingly similar to creeds of the Nazis. 
Here are some of the bone chilling quotes of Adolph Hitler:
Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it and eventually they will believe it.
The very first essential for success is a perpetually constant and regular employment of violence.
It is not truth that matters but victory.
The day of individual happiness has passed.

How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don't think.

Do any of these statements remind you of the events and  rantings of today? We are in danger of losing our beautiful land of the brave and free. We're being ruled by the very small minorities and our long held values are being de-valued. We're being smothered in the falseness and mass hysteria of polictical correctness and we're being manipulated and cheated by corrupt government law makers.

The true freedom loving citizens of America need to wake up and those that would divide us in able to conquer us, need to back up. To those destructive dividers and the self serving liars I say...
       "Get a job, get a life. Find a purpose for your existence and don't blame the world for your failure to thrive. Pursue your own happiness and quit trying to tear down the very principles that allow you that right. Your guaranteed liberties never included the right for you to deprive others of their rights. The United States only has one grand promise, freedom for all. The politicians that are promising you all the things you think you need and deserve in life,  THEY ARE LYING TO YOU. You were never guaranteed a college education, a job or success and prosperity. You were only guaranteed the equal right to work for those things. Your fellow citizens do not owe you for long ago injustices, you are not entitled to a prosperous life, it has to be earned. Get over yourself, get some guts and stop whining. Get out of my country unless you want to get on with the business of living together in OUR country."


Saturday, July 30, 2016

Cause and Courage

I just watched a twenty year old movie, Rough Riders.  It was a very well made film and from what I can find, historically correct in it's portrayal of the Spanish American War.
Was the reason for the war, simply America's Imperialistic desire, our wish for power and territory and resources or was it to rescue Cuba from oppressive brutality? The oppression was real and happening, but the benefit for our country on a national and global level was also without argument.
Watching this movie, with stars such as Tom Berenger in an excellent recreation of Theodore Roosevelt, as well as many other talented actors---Sam Elliot, Gary Busey, Buck Taylor and more---made me have lots of thoughts about courage and bravery.
Another of my favorite movies is Glory. This is the story of Colonel Robert G. Shaw and his black regiment of soldiers in the Civil War, the 54th of Massachusetts. They were famous for their part in the unsuccessful charge at Fort Wagner where Shaw and a high number of his soldiers were killed. Shaw was 26 years old.
These stories of valor are but a drop in the ocean of the thousands and thousands of men and women who have acted with extreme gallantry and honor in the defense of a heart felt cause. Is the cause always just and right?  No, it's not.  The cause isn't always right, but the courage is always real.
I don't believe that courage, true heroism is deliberate or planned. It comes from something deep within and propels a human to make, often the ultimate sacrifices.  In a moment of certainity in the rightness of cause, a person will stand up, speak up or move forward and completely disregard their own self preservation.  These acts of bravery renew my belief in the goodness that exists in mankind.
 John F. Kennedy said, The courage of life is often a less dramatic spectacle than the courage of a final moment; but it is no less a magnificent mixture of triumph and tragedy.  Bravery and honor are present in our everyday lives and also in our last moments. 
In our world and country today, we need courage. Perhaps we can find ours in the actions of those that came before.

We can have no '50-50' allegiance in this country. Either a man is an American and nothing else, or he is not an American at all. --Theodore Roosevelt.