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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A matter of opinion…

We all have those special moments with our children, and grandkids, that are golden; times that bring a smile and rest gently in our memories.

I had the pleasure of going to a play this afternoon with my soon-to-be-14 granddaughter, Emma, who invited me to join her and it was a perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.  A local youth theater group put on a production of Once On This Island and I don’t know what I enjoyed more, the play or watching Emma’s expressions as each act unfolded.  I leaned over and whispered to her that I felt she should register for the next workshop but Emma giggled, saying “Grandma…I can’t sing!  I’ve heard myself and I sound just awful!” 

No she doesn’t.  Well, only when she sings along to Pierce the Veil but…that’s a story for another time. 

Back to the play…

Two of the talented young people in this performance, Brad Taylor and Dylan Meehan,  recently became an internet sensation when they were voted “Cutest Couple” in our local high school’s yearbook and I was pleased about the validation each received from the student body, faculty and majority of our community.  Even the comments left about this same-sex couple on news articles posted on the web were mostly positive on the boy’s behalf.  Mostly.  As expected from various internet trolls, some statements weren’t worth spending the time to read.  But, that’s what opinions are, personal beliefs, right or wrong, which everyone is entitled to express.

The play ended and Emma went up on stage to congratulate a few friends, including Brad;  I watched the exchange of heartfelt hugs that had all the young people swaying as if they were dancing to a favorite song.  During the ride back home, Emma shared how there had been a discussion at school when the high school yearbook made the news; most students in her 8th grade class spoke supportively and with acceptance.  One..did not.  When the classmate was asked why, they stated that Brad and Dylan’s relationship was not God’s way

Emma felt the attitude of this person was ridiculous and I quickly agreed but had to remind her about those…opinions.  My brilliant grandchild related that she, along with her classmates, simply listened to what this one person had to say, smiled, and chose not to respond or feed into a debate where negativity was sitting by itself at a desk.  Each, in their own way, held onto their positive opinions about gay relationships while respecting those of another. 

The wisdom, and maturity, of an almost 14 year old to gather up support and acceptance for others, standing firm in her beliefs, warmed my heart.  Emma will never be a bully and she certainly won’t back down in face of anyone who seeks to challenge her, on any level.  She is so different from how I was raised and educated.   I often laugh to myself when she asks me to teach her things, knowing that someday soon, I’ll have to tell her that I’ve learned so much more…from her.

And…she can sing.

A little.     

A matter of opinion.    

Mine.

 

 

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