On the edge…

Here we are, eight days into this new year while the angry ghosts of a tumultuous past year linger still, certain to bang drums with their enraged rhetoric in the months ahead. 

There’s no need for me to reiterate concerning the many events, political and otherwise, which have now set the stage with a promise of unending drama for a somewhat fearful world audience.  What I hear, and see, most often is the constant commentary by others about how social media manages to bring every incident, inconsequential or tragic, to the forefront of public debate and much, much criticism.  True, that it does.   In reality, many of these occurrences have always taken place and any outrage over a particular situation was a matter of discussion at the office or around the dinner table.  Today, we have people engaging in verbal assaults on media websites and, of course, on various social media platforms.   As it’s often stated about cyberspace being a dangerous place, well, that’s an understatement!  It’s all out warfare with friendships disintegrating faster than political promises.

What I find most ironic is, while everyone has the right to state their opinions, that right bears a hefty price.  While some articulate their feelings better than others, any opposing views have created icy barriers in friendships that were created, even renewed, on sites like Facebook. How often do we read comments that state, “if you don’t like what I have to say, delete me as a friend!” or…there is a gradual distancing of any former playful banter that once was the norm between people.  Frankly, this really brings up the question of who a friend really is…or never was! Too many have regressed from being adults and now behave like tantrum-throwing children, engaging in one schoolyard brawl after another.  That’s definitely how I’ve been feeling in recent months.  I’m back in high school, always on the edge,  keeping my thoughts, dreams and damn opinions to myself.  

Well, almost always.  

After all,  this is my website and my stage…a place to have people read what I write and maybe laugh a little, cry, or simply look away.  I always hope that what I write will make someone stop and think about relationships, especially friendships. Some, well they aren’t to be taken too seriously because they are nothing more than proverbial candles in the wind. Others need nurturing so that they will thrive, helping people to stay connected and treat each other with respect.   It seems that too many of us have lost that ability to respect, even acknowledge, much of what we cannot change without launching emotional attacks on situations and those who don’t agree with their personal perspective.

Going forward, we will all deal with change and, trust me, I’m well aware that most will be highly critical of any powers-that-be who promise to be instrumental with the engineering of all things political.  It is what it is, can’t change the dynamics involved just… please…lose the despondency, the hatred, the negativity and look around at all that surrounds us; focus on the positives!  

This ride around the sun is getting shorter for many of us.  Enjoy it while you can.

 

 

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Living in interesting times…

This election process has been unprecedented.  The most negative part of it has been the surging divisiveness which reached almost epidemic proportions during this race for the presidency.

It’s over for some who feel the unthinkable has happened.  It’s just beginning for others, represented by the sweeping of red across the political map of our country.  Fear of the unknown can be paralyzing but we must all agree on the importance of much-needed change in our government on so many levels. 

As would be expected, social media is awash with comments from both sides and the projections of “no second term”, “no pity party” would have been directed at whichever candidate won this election.  The deluge of debate will continue long past this and many days ahead. 

It won’t be easy, just has it hasn’t been for the current leader of the free world.  We live in treacherous times.  While this election may be about the performance and policies of our government, truly, it is about each of us, our lives, our families and the future of all who follow behind. 

From the beginning, this campaign was about voting for the lesser of two evils, plain and simple.  The people of our great country have made that choice and there are no further options other than for everyone to move forward beyond the anger and disillusionment…and pray.

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Our government… teaches the whole people by its example. If the government becomes the lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy. ~Louis Brandeis

 

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Those sticks and stones….

Wow….Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop came up with a good one this week in a list of writing prompt ideas….The last time someone called you a name.

 

I laughed to myself and thought it would be more difficult to write about when someone didn’t call me a name! 

Let me expand on that.

First, a little self name-calling here…I tend to be a bitch.  Fairly well educated, accomplished, decent dresser, great cook but…terribly bitchy.  Hey, I’m the first to acknowledge what I am and I do it well.  I’ve earned this title!

But, harsh words coming from another direction well, that’s something else entirely.  Whether in a moment of heated discussion or any other situation, being the recipient of a nasty name can cut into your soul like a knife.  I’m guessing what hurts the most is your realization that others see you in some type of tarnished light, depending on whatever confrontation is involved.  Then again, there are people who thrive on name-calling in some effort to hold power over another.

What this brings me to are words that have stayed embedded in a corner of my mind since childhood and more than any derisive comment which has been thrown at me over the years.  Growing-up and frequently hearing “you’re just a dumb, stupid kid” from my late father have left their impact.  To this day, if I fudge some task I’m working on or make a big mistake (which happens often), his jabbing words come back like ghosts that haunt me.  Depending on the circumstance,  I’ll mutter to myself how dumb and stupid I’ve been.

Whether ignorance along with some willful bad parenting is the culprit,  calling names, in any form, leaves a lifelong hurt.   We yell at our children or call them names wrapped in negative connotations to try to get them to stop doing things we don’t like.  We make them feel bad about themselves or with whatever situation they are involved in.  And yes, I’m guilty of doing the same to my children during their formative years.  Children learn what they live and there is absolutely no excuse for perpetuating the unacceptable behaviors of one’s past.

So, the last time someone called me a name?   I did.  Just now.  Don’t ask.

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