Years ago, when we were traveling from New England to Florida on a family vacation, I finally gave in to two impulses that had been tamped down by my mom years before. She had been the “keeper of the budget” and if there were no funds budgeted already for some impromptu experience noticed while on the road but not planned for, there was no impromptu experience if it had a cost.
I learned quickly that those things that are marketed (See Rock City! Wall Drug Store! South of the Border!) were bypassed for experiences that yes, over time, have proven to be more significant. For example, on a visit to yet one more boring State Capitol building, we met former Governor Orval Faubus, the significant bigot of the day in the school desegregation episode in Little Rock.
So, it was with delight, as an adult, that I stopped at South of the Border, a tourist trap that teased me on multiple trips to Florida as a child. And I learned, that yes, it just was full of cheap junk, and other than being a useful potty break, there was no other value to the place.
But it is Smith’s that came to mind today when the publisher of a new “newspaper” in our county responded to my comment that his writing did not even meet the standards set by my high school journalism class. He proudly said, “Made you look.”
On that drive to Florida, I was traveling with my husband, now deceased, whose family name was Smith. So, sure, giving into newly excited impulses, we stopped at a place that was marketed through maybe 200 miles of highway billboards, “Smith’s”. When I mentioned our name to the guy who took our money for the gas purchase, his response was “If every family whose name is Smith stopped once, I would be a millionaire.”
So, Mr. New Newspaper Publisher, take note: Mr. Smith had his store on I-95, a major north-south highway with lots and lots and lots of traffic. He paid for billboards that attracted the patronymic affiliation to drop in. You, in contrast, are located in a county with a considerably smaller potential for consumer absorption. But your attitude is about the same. You really are not trying to aim for quality merchandise to attract and maintain some level of public appreciation.
Mr. Smith recognized that he would probably never see us again, but that was okay. He didn’t expect anything more than what had happened: a short interaction.
Contrast your situation, living among us. Not only will you NEVER attract the huge volume of business Mr. Smith enjoyed, but you will also learn that many of us will not waste any more time with your tourist trap fodder.
My personal beef is not your content, although there is plenty of room for critique there. My first impression remains the one I will share: You are not writing newspaper journalism. Basic rules of ethical journalism are broken just about each and every sentence.
You will have a limited readership. There will be some who admire your ability to make noise. The rest of us are just more discerning and ask for clarity and more precision, especially when we do make an effort to read content from the side of the situation we do not support. Many of us DO read across the spectrum, but this week has been long enough to not bother with yours any longer.
By the way, THIS is not a news article. THIS is an opinion statement. So are your efforts.
It really is up to each one of us. We get the government we help put into office.
If we sit back and just armchair quarterback and never take action, we then get the government others helped put into office.
Simple as that.
So, it is hard emotionally to ask people to think, especially now when so much is hitting us that is uncomfortable. How many people are medicating more now than ever before to try to dull down the input? Unfortunately, it also dulls your thinking process and may make you sluggish. Apathy has long been with us but ennui has now raised its head as well.
Our McMinnville city and Yamhill county races are nonpartisan which means it really does not matter what party affiliation a candidate has. They are SUPPOSED TO represent all of us. Decisions are supposed to be what is good for the area, for the region, nor for one set of constituents.
In order to maintain that attitude, we need people to stand up and participate.
And that means more than voting, although when our system is so easy, it is hard to understand why our voting is often lower than expected. Apathy again.
But true participation needs a bit more of your energy. Sign petitions to help candidates enter the races. If you are tired of seeing old white men, realize that others are trying to join in and participate…help them by signing petition so our elections are meaningful by supporting that all people can be candidates.
I know I march to a different drummer most of the time. I stay pretty busy, even in the past couple of years when I was in a lot of pain needing joint surgeries and eye surgeries. It’s been a long haul and I am pleased at my physical healing. But I recognize I am not “back” yet
My energy level is not where it had been. Compared to most people, my activity is high and I am involved in so so much. But I am sleeping more. Needing to sleep more. That’s okay. Early to bed and not so early to rise, unless I have to set my alarm. (That is one joy of retirement.)
But I used to wake up, for over sixty years, early, often before dawn, eager for the day. I knew what I needed to do. I had figured out how long it will take me to do each task and what all I can get ticked off the “to do” list. (You don’t so that? Chalk that up to one of our differences.)
Now, though, I am sluggish. I put off getting out of bed. (one more game of sudoku….is anyone still playing that game besides me?)
But here it is 9:43 on a Saturday morning and I have stripped the bed, run the wash, made coffee (very important job in this household), grated carrots and got them into the dehydrator, put a bag of cut veggie ends I keep in my freezer into a dutch oven to simmer and make veggie broth (you can do this too!), checked emails, signed a petition, checked to see where the “emergency” protest marches are close by on Monday (Portland and Vancouver), wrote someone to ask her to do something I know she won’t want to do (hi PF!), and now yakking up my latest itch in my head. I think I’m doing okay this morning, eh?
So, I think we have two basic categories for people. Planners and reactors.
Planners are people like me, who understand the tasks that they need to do, basically, their responsibilities. They accepted these responsibilities. They know how to achieve them and they know how long the task will take, all things moving well. Planners also have contingency plans. They understand that not all things move well all the time Other issues come up that have to be considered and people have needs or wants and sometimes as much as the task is important, it is necessary to put is aside, because, well people. People win over things. But everything gets done because there is a plan.
(source: Blue Ridge Tutoring.) I used to plan like this on paper. Now I keep my calendar on my smart phone.
Reactors are people who, to me, seem to come in sometime after the movie has started. They are not there (physically or mentally) to set the stage, plan the action, decide on the actors, let alone direct the action. These are all decided by others and the reactor is sometimes in a position trying to catch up, figure it all out. Off balance much of the time. Stressed by what they don’t know is coming, but they know something is. And although there is not as much work product as the planner can get done in the same amount of time, the stress level is high.
Someone recently asked me what I do. I started telling them about Can-Do Real Food and how, in the off season (not much harvesting right now) I’m probably only putting in 30 hours a week. During harvest, between end of June and the end of October, I end up putting in about 50 hours a week.
They said, but you also are involved in Zero Waste McMinnville. Yes, and like the overachiever I have been since I can remember, where I once volunteered to write a blog once a month about garbage and the environment (you’d be surprised how much there is to share how each of us can make some small changes that will have huge effects), I am now in charge of the Facebook page, put together a website, provide marketing dissemination for all Zero Waste McMinnville events, and somehow I also am on the Events committee because i spoke up with a suggestion. (teaches me, eh? probably not…….) And, because of the public response on social media, a team of us are putting together an amazing event that I sure hope becomes an annual success, the McMinnville Recycled Arts Festival. So all that also takes about 10 hours a week. Or more. Right now, it’s about 20 hours a week just on the arts festival. (Good thing we’re off season at Can-Do so I CAN do.)
source: Mostly Inspirational Chit-Chat
So, I am busy staying busy and I recognize that I have not been outside to check out how the apple tree was trimmed by the contractor. I have not gone out to trim my raspberry canes, I have not straightened up spaces that are mine (my office and my storeroom) that got really messy over the past year because of my pain and inability to move easily. I have stuff to do……..and that problem with my energy keeps me in my desk chair in front of my computer……..
I’d ask for someone to help remind me to get my butt in gear but everyone else I know has their own level of busy and certainly won’t eagerly take on a task to manage me. LOL I also suspect that a few of the people offering to “help” may have some ulterior agenda. (Beth will do it…..)
So, yes, I am wired differently than most people. I admit it. If you want to increase your energy level (you do not have to go as nutso as me) maybe the suggestions in this article can help you. I get at least 8 hours of sleep a night, drink 3-4 tall glasses of water daily, try to cook whole foods to avoid additives that might affect my body (like artificial sweeteners and preservatives), keep my mind-altering recreational enjoyment to end of the day (when I am finished with my responsibilities), and pay attention to my body when it reports it needs attention (yes, we go to the pool exercise class AKA “geezer aerobics” 3 hours a week).
One area where I have not been a success is the financial world. But I certainly know I am not alone there. We are “paycheck to paycheck” like most people and yet, I also count my blessings. And we have many. So while there are stressors, there is no reason to be stressed out. The choice is mine. And so it goes….
Hello? Does anyone else besides me have an issue with the amount of lying going on in our society? Warning you now…if you dislike the way things are you MUST start calling people out on it. If you are one who finds it easier to “embellish” than play things straight, you need to examine WHY you are trying to hide from your reality. And then change your ways. The pain may be intense at first, but you probably will like yourself better.
Yes, many of us know Trump lies. His supporters do not see it though; they blame any complaints as a problem with the media. They believe the media is the one lying here.
At first, I had to wonder. After all, until recently we’ve held our leaders to a high standard of truthfulness, ethical behavior and care for all the people living here. Hmmm, would it be betraying my viewpoint to now say, Three strikes Trump! No, you know who I am….why do you know that? Because you either know me personally, or you feel my writing has had a sense of honesty about it. I am not going to pull punches now.
Now, I’m angry and I may get a bit sloppy with my writing.
This lying has reached epidemic proportions and Trump by all means is not the only one. He has surrounded himself with people with similar lack of concern about accuracy. Joseph Otting, Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Treasury’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, reportedly lied when he said on his resume that he holds a degree from the School of Credit and Financial Management at Dartmouth College. But Dartmouth does not have a school by that name nor did Otting attend and graduate with a degree in anything there. He did, however, attend a four-week seminar. Why would anyone lie about something so easily verified? And why would they WANT to lie like that? What kind of ethical consideration did they miss that persuaded them to lie for personal gain?
This lying seems to be everywhere in our society, not only with the Trump administration and wannabes. In April there was a report that student journalists did some research and discovered that their new principal did not have the credentials she had claimed to get the job. A climate denier finally understood he was wrong in his argument but will not make a public statement. The scientists who reported that some GE foods could cause tumors were disputed and for years worked to prove the study was correct but there is no sharing of that news. A woman who was head of the NAACP ended up not having any African American heritage.
Deceiving takes place all over. The Senate is discussing the new healthcare act behind closed doors. In closed session even our county commission has discussed options and conducted business that affect everyone living here. And they believe because they are the ones in power, they can get away with it.
Why is lying, this deceiving, this hiding the truth from others and even oneself so prevalent?
Psychology Today says there are two kinds of lies: white lies that we we make to maintain our social status; to preserve an image of ourselves. A strategic lie is made by one person or group to try to deceive another person or group for personal gain.
When we employ a white lie we are okay up to the moment when the person lied to discovers the effort. Then the liar has to deal with the inevitable loss of status.
When someone designs for others to fail, they are into a strategic endeavor to elevate themselves by diminishing someone else. Not only is this more serious but it then begs the question about ethics.
About six years ago I had flyers printed up at a local shop where I lived In West Virginia. I had worked with them before; they took my request over the phone and I got a quote on the job. I emailed them the file and went to pick the papers up a few days later. There was no invoice. The guy who took my call was not there and the boss laughed, saying the guy hardly ever writes up invoices. He told me they would mail one to me. A week went by, and then another and another. A couple of weeks later I went in. There STILL was no invoice but the boss charged me what I said was the quote. He then thanked me for coming back in to pay, saying most people would not do that. I said, shrugging, “It’s really simple. I try to live by the Golden Rule…..” and he jumped in and laughed “Yeah, screw them before they screw you.” I said that it seemed that if few people were paying in this kind of situation, they must follow his version, but the one I had been taught was to treat people the way I wanted to be treated. He laughed cynically.
Every night when my parents put me to bed I said two prayers. One was the Shema, a short and simple prayer said by Jews. (Here, oh Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.) And then we would say the Golden Rule. (Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.) Since attending church with Graham I hear this claimed as a major teaching by Jesus, so I expect all Christians are taught this. Few understand that in this, as in pretty much all his teaching, Jesus was sharing Jewish concepts.
Today we have more people who are “unchurched” than attend with any regularity. However, the Baby Boomers were still part of a church going population when young for the most part. Their estrangement from their organized religion and their avoidance of teaching their children any value of being part of a church family is a different issue. You need not believe in God let alone attend church to have good ethics and yet we tend to believe that people who identify as a practitioner of a religion have decent ethics. Or we hope so at least.
Ethics seem to not be instilled any longer. The Christian Right would say because Christ is not part of everyone’s life but I think they, as an overall group, need to clean up their own house. There are examples over and over again of condemnation of something they find offensive (pick one or more: racial equality, sexuality other than heterosexual, women who have sex outside of marriage, etc etc etc) and then discovery of one rabid preacher being found with (pick one or more: an underage girl, a teenage boy, multiple trips out of town with another woman, drug use, etc etc etc).
Ethics seem to not be instilled any longer. There is very real concern that there are multiple generations of families where public assistance is needed. Whether it is Social Security Disability and/or Section 8 housing and/or SNAP benefits, the people who control the purse strings of this nation see the problem and their solution is to stop funding programs. They seem to forget there are root causes that need attention before people can be helped, truly helped. Why do they avoid those issues? It comes down to the decision to keep some people down; the belief that truly not everyone is created equally.
Ethics seem to not be instilled any longer. About five years ago I offered to watch a friend’s 10-year-old while she worked at times the girl was not in school. I discovered pretty quickly that she was behind grade level. I started working with her for a couple of hours, trying to bring her up to speed. One day in the car with them both I pointed at a yellow orange traffic sign and asked the girl if she could figure out why it was yellow. Not only did she not, but she started crying. And her mother yelled at me “You need to make everything a teaching moment?” Since I treated this young girl the way I had raised my three kids, I say “YES! That is my job as a loving adult in her life. To teach her everything I possibly can to help her succeed in life.” The mom opted not to have her child stay with me (for free, by the way) any longer since I was “not fun”. I saw a photo recently of the girl, now dressed for the prom. Gorgeous and completely inappropriate with a dress split up to within four inches of her crotch. I think that’s another one who is missing something.
But society encourages it. Most people have the tv on most hours of the day and are bombarded with an image of a life they want. Ads, of course yes, try to make us want something they promise will make life better. But also the programs watched promise if only you can do this, than all will be yours.
Most people see images of what is lauded for beauty and then feel depressed they fall short. Most people see images of new kitchens with stainless steel appliances, large closets, master “ensuite” bathrooms with separate shower stalls with rainshower heads and deep whirlpool tubs and then feel depressed when they realize they can’t afford that. Most people watch comedy shows with a laughing soundtrack that teaches them what is supposed to be funny and then what happens is people who don’t watch tv don’t get the joke and are told them are too serious.
Most people say they are too busy to get involved in their children’s school. Most people say they are too busy or too scared or too whatever to help with some community issue, whether it is the homeless or reading to a kid in kindergarden. Most people say they are too busy to read about the issue of genetically modified foods, or why the landfill is a problem leaching pollution into the river.
Most people react in anger. Few people act to repair a problem. Why the difference?
Why are some people able to enjoy looking beyond their own personal needs and perceive they are but a small link in the machine that is community and society. That that small link can turn a problem into a solution in progress with the companionship of similar minded people.
Why do some never see beyond themselves? Don’t they realize when they condemn how bad society has gotten that they ARE society and if they want a change, it is up to them.
Sitting back, no matter how loudly you bitch, does nothing. They don’t want to believe that.
I start my mornings, when I have time, with a cup of coffee and the Internet. First, emails. Then, Facebook. I’m sitting here today in embroidered blue jeans and my tie dyed tee with fringes on its sleeves….about as “hippie” as my attire can get, I guess. I select something from Pandora and find my attention caught by this music. It got me thinking.
Thinking about the way our nation, our communities were in the late 1960s and early 1970s. We were as split and splintered as perhaps no other time since the Civil War. It was a time, like now, when a person’s political stance fractured families and friendships. Even in myself, understanding the sense of patriotic pride that pushed some guys I knew to enlist and go off to what was most assuredly a blood bath, I had trouble balancing that sense of pride with the horror of what the war was doing to the people in VietNam and more importantly, the people who came back damaged by their experience. We were cruel to our veterans who returned and many remain burnt out to this day. Others were proud of their service and resumed life. Still others were angry at the anger and so the split continued.
There has always been a crowd chanting
and others proclaiming
We talked about a generation gap but no one really worked on healing the other divide. And so we who were teenagers when college students who were peacefully protesting were murdered have now become senior citizens. And the divide seems to be greater than ever.
When I heard the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young song Ohio playing on Pandora it made me pause and I then had a very disturbing thought…and that is why I turned here to try to find a pathway through it.
Today, if we had a similar shooting by a government ordered militia of four kids on a college campus who were peacefully demonstrating would it stop the atrocity that they were protesting?
And I don’t think the answer would be yes today. Not any longer.
When a man gets dragged out of his reserved and purchased airline seat and people start posting things that are not perfect about his life as a way to discredit HIM, someone has lost their values.
When grieving parents of a fallen soldier offer the Presidential candidate a copy of the Constitution and then they are attacked for not being perfect, someone has lost their values.
When Congressional Representatives refuse to meet with their Constituents during a recess when time to schedule town halls is normal, someone has lost their values.
When there is growing evidence that our President is focused on personal gain and benefits for his peers in the uber wealthy, and his supporters criticize the messengers, someone has lost their values.
When friends stop talking to long term friends because there are differences of opinion, someone has lost their values.
My mom called the Baby Boomers the “me” generation. From her view she saw a lot of young people who wanted to break with conventional behavior and do “their own thing.” She felt this kind of individualism would move us into a broken community and while there are many benefits for people pursuing their pathway even when unconventional, there is a truism that if the focus is ONLY on the individual, the community loses.
As I drove south last week to go to the Shakespeare Festival held in Ashland, Oregon, I passed through the beautiful green fields of the Willamette Valley. One town, Junction City is a conservative stronghold in this very mixed region. At the southern edge of town in front of a tire dealership, the owner often posts political statements. This one caught my eye and I laughed. “Snowflakes ahead” referring to the city of Eugene, a very strong liberal community.
Being called a snowflake is a trendy insult used by conservatives generally against anyone who thinks individuals have rights. They say we are responding this way because our feelings are hurt and so they belittle us. They don’t understand that it is not our own personal feelings that are hurt but an empathetic response for members in our community who have been hurt. To me it implies short-term issues and perhaps a lack of intelligence. I tend to feel irritated when someone refers to me as a snowflake because I have been this way for …hmmmmm at least 5 decades that I can claim to my own thinking and reasoning.
The problem, though, is not what my cohort is called, but the fact that people prefer to demean and detract instead of trying to understand.
It gets down to core values.
If you feel people who suggest you read something and think about it makes you feel dumb, you have a self esteem problem.
If you feel people who expect women/Blacks/Latinos/LGBTQ/handicapped to have equal access and equal opportunity are causing you pain, you have a vision problem.
If you feel that there is only one way that is right, you have a navigator problem.
If you feel that people who are not wealthy are better than everyone else who then is worthless and there for you to use, you have a humanity problem.
If you feel that the homeless have done something bad and deserve their hard times, you have a cardiac illness.
As a society, as a community, we are sick and most of all, it is our heart that needs to repair.
Can we do it?
All I know is that if something horrendous like Kent State happens today, I wonder if will we react as a unified community, realizing we ALL must move off our spots to work together?
The short answer is….no. We did not act unified about Standing Rock. We did not act unified about Flint. We did not act unified about how Congress is dismantling laws that hold corporations responsible to make sure the water they spill into and the air they emit into stay clean. We have not acted unified about the idea that our government has been influenced by anther country over an election (as we have influenced countless other countries’ elections). We did band together pretty well a few weeks ago about health insurance but the power mongers are still wanting more more more and this fight is not over yet. We have not acted united about how this President ignores rules and conventions of his office.
The longer answer is……perhaps we can. If we don’t lose our way even more first.
What do you think? Your comments show you are thinking…a very good sign.
Believe it or not there are over 300,000 churches in the United States, with affiliation to about 217 different Christian Protestant denominations. While about 60% of people say they attend church each week, the number is really about 20%, thereby showing us the first crack: not walking the walk. After all, the Ten Commandments includes Thou Shall Not Bear False Witness…..in other words, DO NOT LIE.
So, what we have here is a situation where a lot of people claim they are Christian, but in reality do not even attempt to walk the walk. A lot of people claim Jesus as their Savior but few attend church any time other than Christmas and Easter and even then, attendance is not as full as in past decades.
America is no longer a Christian nation. It is a Secular Christian nation.
We have a lot of people storming the stores and knocking down anyone in their way on Black Friday to capture the deals, the better to pile presents under the Christmas tree. We have people who know one verse and the chorus to Christmas carols but not the subsequent verses nor the story of the origin of the song. We have a lot of people who have elaborate trees and lighting, not realizing these are traditions that are based in other belief systems. We have millions of people who truly believe the baby Jesus was born with cows looking over Mary’s shoulder and Mary, of course being perfect, did not have labor pains. Oh, they probably never thought of that.
We have people who stuff candy treats into baskets for their kids on Easter. We have millions of kids who love the Easter Bunny and have no idea that anything else is being celebrated that day.
We have people whose comprehension of their religion is limited to the Sunday School stories they were told when they were little. They don’t have the time or inclination for any Bible study and might really be amazed to try to reconcile the differences in the gospels if they ever did a side-by-side evaluation.
There are many people who believe there is a war on Christians because over the past few decades there has been a rising awareness that not everyone here in the United States is Christian. There are Jews. There are Muslims, There are Buddhists. There are Jehovah Witnesses. There are Mormons. There are (gasp!) atheists. And in recognition of those other people, some communities realize that pushing JUST the Christian symbols is not the right thing. And so, Happy Holidays, which has been a saying that has been a part of American culture since the late 1800s, has recently become a nastygram to many. We have some people who believe snowmen on coffee cups are a sign that Corporate America is the Devil…it may be, but red and white decor is not the sign of that.
Why are Christians feeling under assault where there is no problem? I have no idea…maybe an inferiority complex that starts with color and sexual identity and goes on into church attendance and understand Jesus’ teachings.
Okay, who am I to be calling the kettle black right now? I am a secular Jew who has been attending church for 10 years with my Christian husband. When he asked me if I would go with him I told him I would as long as I was respected. And his response was perfect, “If you are not respected we are in the wrong place.”
In the past 10 years I have attended 4 churches with him. One for 6 months when we were on sabbatical in Pueblo, Colorado was my big introduction. There the choir members welcomed us and helped me understand the rituals. I focused on the similarities of the mass and of course, it made sense; Judaism is the root. If any church misses the Jewish root in their practice, they are not practicing anything close to what Jesus did.
The next seven years was in a church in Huntington, West Virginia. There were a few people who were a bit hesitant accepting me, but over a short time they saw I was not there to mock. The priest, when I attended a class, misinterpreted that I would want to be baptized afterwards. I told her learning is part of life, but did not necessarily mean complete acceptance of doctrine.
When we moved to Oregon we started in one church but moved to another because there was a lack of music as well as no real warmth of community. We found it more comfortable with another congregation across town.
So, four different settings. I’ll bet you I pay attention more than many. It is rote to most other congregants.
I have learned enough to be “dangerous”. I have attended about ten different study groups where I have caused lively conversation because my viewpoint is different. I have been told we are all imperfect so I should not expect people to walk the walk all the time.
I don’t expect people to be perfect. But I do expect people who loudly and publicly profess to be Christians to at least be NICE.
In reality, I have met only a few people I feel live their faith. They exhibit true acceptance and understanding of others without imposing their viewpoints on others.
However, I have also been told I am doomed to Hell by more that I care to count. My husband has been pulled aside and told he is responsible for saving my soul. This is not the message that wins. This is a message that alienates.
And it alienates more than me. It alienates other people who claim to be Christian but just do not do something exactly as someone else thinks they should. And so, people stop attending church.
Numerous studies in this country indicate the biggest reason that Christianity is losing membership, active or passive, are the behavior of the “do it my way or you are doomed” people, most of them fundamentalists.
And many of them do not know the soul of their religion. They can spout chapter and verse but can not find the love.
And so, pass the fruitcake. The eggnog is ready. Christmas is here.
Like many others I was hoping, but not expecting, the Electoral College to act in an unprecedented but authorized way to negate the Trump presidency. Had that happened, however, it would have opened other doors of unknown outcome, so maybe this is the best way.
This way, we can hold the incoming President to his Constitutional duties and responsibilities. We do have guidelines for that and will know when he inappropriately strays. I expect he will stray, as his prior comments indicate he is not clear on much of what is ahead of him.
Meanwhile, enough angst. Each of us either feels distress now or will soon. Each one of us. The efforts of a Republican Congress backed up by this President will mean we have big changes ahead. It is the anticipation of some of those changes that have people already upset. However, the rest will join the fray when program cuts begin to affect them. When campaign promises go by the wayside. When life does not get better for the many many people who expect the Federal government to fix things for them.
I have said often on my Facebook feed that I will stay vigilant and be as active as I can to help retain the rights won by all of us to give equal access and protection of the law to all our citizens. I will stay vigilant and be as active as I can to make sure the least of us continue to be helped regardless of any political stance. I will stay vigilant and be as active as I can to make a positive difference.
Back in 1970 when Earth Day was initiated I heard a slogan that resonated. “Think globally but act locally.” We know the earth has overwhelming issues, not only environmental but in every aspect of life.
We have a choice, each one of us.
We can ignore and carry on, dong what we do that may help or hinder any situation, self-centered and choosing to stay apart from the community of the world.
We can get stirred by all the need in the world and affected so deeply we can’t deal with it, so we freeze, stuck in despair.
We can opt to get involved in one or two issues that deeply resonate. We may send money or sign petitions or write letters or emails or even show up at our state capitol to join a protest.
We can chose to get active in our own communities, making our voice and action count where it will show a difference.
I’ve done each of these. Earlier in my life I was focused on my own young adulthood and all that involved including building a career and raising a family. I had a nodding relationship with a few issues but not much money and not much time, so not much involvement.
I’ve been on listservs that overwhelm me with need. It seems that I receive more than 20 a day with hands outstretched asking for $1, $5, $25 or more. It was with extreme pleasure that I unsubscribed from almost all recently.
I sign petitions and sometimes post them on Facebook urging others to take the minute to add their support. It seems to be the LEAST anyone can do.
Mostly, I am active here in my town. I have chosen three main areas and participate as much as I can. I do what I can, offer my skills to forward the mission of the group. I self impose a limit on what I feel I can do and ask for the group to respect that. (If the group doesn’t, as some have in the past, I moved my energy elsewhere.)
I hope by this example you can see how you might work through the coming years when so many of us feel what we have known about the United States of America will be changing. I plan to keep on keeping on. Joining with other like minded people empowers all of us.
I believe we need police. There are people whose ethics are so debased that they do what they do whenever they want to do it and so, take advantage of people, destroy property, assault people and more. We need police to help protect us from them. To identify them and to hold them apart from society in order to protect society.
In the past year the police themselves have been targeted because of anger over unequal treatment by police of minorities. However, it is right and proper to condemn the attackers and support the people in blue who serve us. To mourn their killings and support their families in their loss.
But….sometimes, it becomes clear that law enforcement is serving private interests, not the law. We saw it during the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s and now, we are seeing it again against the Indigenous People who are protecting the Missouri River. Because the pipeline is being constructed by a corporation with profit forever as the primary motive, those people care more about their pockets than their future ability to obtain clean water, we are seeing the subversion of police to serve private needs over the public good.
Many of you know about the stand-off at the Dakota Access Pipeline. Many of you do not because it generally is not covered by the major media. Here is a New York Times article from the end of August which will present the issues at that time.
The protesters initially were from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, located just south of the planned Missouri River crossing. They are protesting not only the destruction of some ancient heritage sites, but the very real possibility of an oil leak polluting the water so many people depend on for drinking. Now, called Protectors, the people there include not only Indigenous People from all around the country but many allies of all races, cultures and religions that arrived even with cold weather to stand with them against the wrongness of police standing to protect private interests.
So now we have nonviolent protesters who have set up their camp in the way of the proposed pipeline. We have nonviolent protesters who stand at make-shift barricades blocking the pathway.
Facing them we have police from law enforcement agencies that are not only local but from across the country, suited up in riot gear. They have used water cannons (similar to what was used to knock down peaceful protesters in the 1960s) in sub-freezing temperatures, causing many people to require hospitalization because of hypothermia.
They have used rubber bullets to shoot at people, causing injuries. The most heinous occurred two days ago when a young woman was hit in the arm which may need to be amputated.
The way this protest is being handled is in stark contrast to that of the Bundy group who invaded and took over a federally owned wildlife refuge. Not only did law enforcement officials give them a lot of room to move on and off the property, but it ended shortly after the police shot and killed one of the protesters. The trial exonerated all the protesters, leaving us Oregonians scratching our heads, wondering why we tax payers need to cover all the damage they caused to the site itself.
The law enforcement presence in North Dakota is not being as strongly aggressive as they could be, thank goodness. If the bullets become standard and people start dying I believe this protest will not end. It will become even larger.
A line of police move towards a roadblock and encampment of Native American and environmental protesters near an oil pipeline construction site, near the town of Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S. October 27, 2016. REUTERS/Rob Wilson
Now we hear that the Corps of Engineers will require the camp to be moved to a location south of the river to “protect” civilians from being hurt. Is that a veiled threat to say “you stay, you will pay”. They were told they must vacate by December 5th.
My son-in-law is on his way there now. He has learned there are over 15,000 people with the Protectors. This is not some small protest. This is water versus gold.
In an earlier chapter of my life I was married to a man whose parents had met in high school. Like many teens, their libidos ruled and there was no easy access to birth control in those days. Eventually they learned she was pregnant and their families supported them by permitting them to marry. In those days pregnant girls(even if married) did not attend school, so she earned her GED while he went on to graduate. The cards were stacked against them but they managed and both went to college, even as their family grew to include three kids by the mid 1950s.
They earned decent money and once all their kids had gone on to their own adult lives, they celebrated by buying a large house for huge family gatherings and they also got to travel. They were, by all measures, successful and living the American Dream.
I married one of those kids and found my in-laws to be a bundle of contradictions. They were surface loving and underneath judgmental. Once, my mother-in-law asked me if I wanted this or that for dinner and not being a fan of one, I said I would enjoy the other. I got a sour face and was told she wanted to make the first. I thought, but didn’t ask, why she had bothered to ask me my opinion. Okay, you get the picture.
But they were very giving. They purchased tons of things for their children and grandchildren. If it was needed, or even just whined for, it was soon made available.
Money was easy
Ethical behavior was not.
So, we all probably know someone like that. They give a gift…with strings attached. They do a favor for you once and you hear about it for years. If they are an acquaintance, you can distance yourself. If they are family, you can’t.
And if it is your President Elect, you certainly can not turn a blind eye hoping things will improve. The man is who he is. It is easier for him to pay out 25 million dollars than admit he has been part of a fraudulent activity to take people’s money by offering them less than promised and purchased.
Think about it: 25 million dollars is chump change.
We’re only starting here, folks. Be vigilant…and ready to act.
By the way, I am NOT saying all people who have money are unethical. There are poor people who are unethical. Middle income people who are unethical. All kinds of people with all kinds of money have all kinds of ethics.
I’m just saying I have seen this before, and it never improves. You’ve seen it too.
As I go about my day, happy that we finally have some “free” time that we can pay attention to some delayed house cleaning, I found myself thinking of my friends who are on hard and rocky slopes right now. I want to send healing energy to
a man I have never met but I know of his good works. He suffered a devastating blow yesterday..maybe an aneurysm, the info on Facebook is not complete….and his wife and family and close friends are trying to hold him up through his pathway, in the hopes he circles back to them. I wish I could be there to nurture them as they help him.
a man I have never met but we connected through a mutual friend on Facebook and have been celebrating our commonalities and exploring our differences with love is also fighting a potentially life ending illness. His attitude is as upbeat as can be expected being in pain. I wish I was close enough to hold his hand, but he is not alone on his pathway, held by a loving wife.
a woman not too far away who seems to live under a dark cloud. She has had a number of hard blows in her life and the hits, unfortunately, still keep coming. I wish I had the means to make her dream possible, but I can’t do much to boost her pathway other than what seems to be empty hugs and platitudes.
another woman nearby who struggled to make her marriage work and was devastated this week when her husband moved out with no discussion. She knows I will be here as much as possible for her.
one of my sisters who after learning her landlord wanted to sell her longterm rental sought housing and lost first one and then seemingly a second house to purchase to unethical behavior of sellers. She finally has made her move and is in the throes of unpacking and finding a place for everything and sounds exhausted.
my other sister who also is figuring on moving and has to make considerable arrangements just to handle the packing and storage issue as she works out of town.
my children who have their own personal issues of delayed dreams as well as dealing with the turmoil caused by a family member. You always have a haven here.
There are so many people in pain, so many people whose pathways have so many roots and rocks tripping them.
People, realize we have no idea what strangers may be going through. Be kind.