A chance to change. 11/07/2020

Four days after the Presidential election Joe Biden has been announced the winner. I made a brief speech asking for calm and assuring all that he intends to work for that entire country. That includes everyone, those who supported him as well as those who did not.

Donald Trump is claiming voter fraud and contradicting himself. Most of his supporters naturally, are following his lead. That’s what supporters do which is why dignified leaders who understand how our government works, matter.

It’s proven that the character of the president trickles down. Sociologists have tracked it. Having personally lived through the transfer of power between radically different personality types, (President Carter to President Reagan comes to mind), I saw the changes in social climate in our country. It was definitive. More recently, with the change in personalities from president Obama to Trump we experienced a clear change in social demeanor, attitudes and behaviors toward each other. The social climate of America will change again and Joe Biden is a great person to change it. His proven track record of dignified behavior can set an example of courage in the face of adversity. The potential for healing is good looking at Joe Biden’s record of effective, non-confrontational communication with people of differing points of view. He can’t help but be a positive effect on America, simply by being an example of gracious, dignified behavior.

I hope folks who say the transition of power will be terrible will understand that it doesn’t have to be terrible if THEY don’t make it so.

In 1976, I married a black man (in Alabama!) only a few years after the civil rights law was passed. When people said

“But You will have a terrible life! People will reject you. People will reject your children. People will make life difficult for you.”
I always asked “What people? You?”

Often, people that project gloom and doom are unconsciously the perpetuators of the very gloom and doom they predict. Perhaps better than predictions based on what was would be a commitment to not participating in the attitude that created the animosity they predict.

There is a formula for progress, solving problems, bridging gaps, mending wounded egos. It’s called diplomacy; remain non confrontational and focus on the objective of making progress. Not everyone is equipped to for it. Fortunately, Joe Biden is.

We all want what’s best for the country, with different ideas of what will make that happen. Too many of us have forgotten that while our personal opinion matters, so does everyone else’s. We accept that brain surgery requires knowledge and experience beyond our every day experience but have forgotten that so does navigating the workings of government in a country as large and diverse as ours. It’s no small feat to represent and accommodate the variety of cultures, needs and communication styles in the gigantic melting pot we call America. We know, in theory that our differences are not only ok but what makes us great. We all say it, all the time. It’s become rhetoric but do we believe it or are we just talking the talk? Do we walk the walk when those differences manifest themselves, threatening to make us compromise?

We don’t need to agree on the definition of happiness to accept someone else’s. Great theory but can we accept that a different life experience results in a different point of view, equally as valid as our own?

There’s no place with the gloating now. Gloating is as almost as bad as refusing to graciously accept defeat.
This is not the time for either.

The system isn’t broken

The “system” isn’t broken. It was built to work this way. Now, suddenly for the first time in history, women and minorities have a way to be heard.
We don’t need violence, we need conviction. We don’t need anger, we need courage.
Do you remember Gandhi? Do it.
Simply refuse to participate. That’s all.
They can’t arrest us all. Speak up, every day, stand up every time.
The police can’t stop gang violence, we can.
Social workers can’t stop child abuse, we can.
Hotlines can’t stop domestic abuse, we can.
But only if we all agree to do what is right, every day.
Don’t wait until something egregious happens. Be indignant every time, every day until honesty is the norm.
The system is working as intended.
Re-write it.
Until negotiation is as valued as intimidation
Until it’s understood that embracing takes more strength than punching
And listening takes more courage than speaking.

Be the hero in your own movie.

If this were a movie you’d call it an adventure. You’d watch to see how the hero handles it. Be the hero you’d root for.

Most of us “stuck in our homes” with family, tv, internet, clean running water, Flushing toilets, Sanitation pick up and mail delivery … (List goes on) are living better than much of the world does on a good day.
Why is it so hard to sit still and stay put? Yes small children are a challenge but even that is an opportunity to teach them the value of introversion and the power of thinking independently, pursuing subjects of education that interest them rather than a mandated curriculum, looking to themselves for ideas and inspiration.
For parents who have not done that themselves, this could be a challenge. Learn it together. It will improve your relationship with your children forever.

People have been complaining for years about society’s declining values with no way to hit the pause button.
Now, faced with the opportunity to do just that, many are instead , listening to the very people who benefit from the materialistic mess, when they tell them the goal is to do everything to get back to it.
If ever there was a moment to hit the pause button, reevaluate and restructure, this is it. Companies and people who survive in hard times are always those with the ability to adapt. As need to transport people decreases, pickup and delivery of goods & groceries increases. There’s still a need to be filled.

People still need what they need to survive.
Produce is growing,
water still flowing
It’s never been money that keeps us alive


I’m Eleanor of Aquitaine
knock me down and I’m back again
Voice of reason in a world insane
While the devil’s brood fight to reign
I survive, I survive
I’m Joan of Arc, I’m Mother T
Mada’me Curie, I’m Hillary
You’ve always been afraid of me
But I survive I survive
They focus on the man with the plan,
the man with the seed
who does the deed.
Who might not even know their name
Might have gone, once he came.
(Never to be seen again)
Still I endure, like Mother Earth
My strength is love. I give my blood.
And If you turn your back on me
I’ll hold your hand and bring you tea
A woman’s strength comes from inside.
You can survive, if you will survive.

Hey what About Me!

Most of us at one time or another are going to face the job of taking care of elderly parents. And most of us feel guilty for dreading it. It’s not a fun job but these are our parents. We owe them, don’t we? My answer is no. We think of all they’ve done for us. Some parents have even made a point of telling their children what they’ve sacrificed and expect gratitude, like it’s owed. Crock. People have children when they are young, sexual and looking forward to life. We (the baby boomers) can’t even claim our kids weren’t planned. We had birth control. No it was drugs sex, rock & roll for most of us. Children were the result of a good time (usually) and until we’re sure about reincarnation we’ve gotta say, they don’t ask to be born.  

Our children owe us no more than they owe every other human being on earth. Respect and mutual consideration. Folks don’t seem to have mastered that yet. 

If you want to relationship with your adult children, you’ve got 18 years to earn one. 
Get busy..

Baptists, Catholics and Jehovah’s Witnesses

I don’t see much difference between the message of Buddha and Jesus but there’s night and day difference in the delivery. I’ve always been intensely curious about religion. Fortunately, my parents were Agnostics. They allowed me to make up my own mind and I’ll be eternally grateful. (perhaps eternally damned but the pun still works)
My best friend’s family were deeply devoted Baptists. They weren’t Sunday Christians. They attended church 3-5 nights a week. Even as teenagers, the kid’s social life centered around the church. As good Christians, they were always interested in saving stray souls when they found them. Naturally, they couldn’t help noticing a religiously unattached child. They often invited me to attend church and I was happy to go. My own family had no social life. No road trips, no overnight vacations. My mother didn’t join clubs or have friends. My father belonged to a barbershop quartet which held Monday night meetings but we weren’t invited. So when my neighbor invited me to church, I was glad to go. The only time I ever went to summer camp was with my friend to the Baptist Bible camp. It didn’t stick for me but it’s hard to criticize something that has worked so well for them. To this day, my friend, her siblings and their spouses, (who they met through church) remain deeply involved with their religion. I can’t help but believe it works for them is that they are rare people who believe what they say they believe and so really live by it. I don’t understand how folks can believe the bible, literally but I have to respect anyone who says what they mean and means what they say. I love integrity.

Then there was my Uncle, my mother’s brother, who married a Catholic girl and agreed to raise his children (my cousins) as Catholic. It drove my grandfather nuts. I was curious enough to attend church with them too. I went more than a few times but it didn’t take long to figure out why it bothered my grandfather for his son to be Catholic but it wasn’t until I grew older that I understood the whole story. My grandfather had been raised in the Catholic Church. A natural skeptic, he had nonetheless been dutiful and raised his family in the church. They worked hard and have a little to show for it except for his 12 children. This same uncle had been a twin and they were the pride of my grandfathers life. When the boys were about seven, scarlet fever took my Uncle’s twin brother. My grandfather was distraught. He sought help from the priest told him it was God’s punishment but the child could be released from purgatory for a sum. Now this was during the great depression when even a small sum was an impossible feat. My grandfather felt betrayed and out raged by the extortion. As often happens with people who’ve reformed, it’s hard to see loved ones who haven’t seen the light. 

When I was about seven, I came home from school to find a nice lady sitting at the dining room table. My mother introduced her saying “This is Miss Lear. She’s a Jehovah’s Witness and she’s going to come every week to study with you.” Turns out, Miss Lear had knocked on the door and my mother, uncomfortable saying no, pawned her off on me. She came weekly for seven years. It wasn’t all bad. jehovah’s Witnesses have annual conventions and she took me on my first trip to New York where I learned to use the automat. A few years later the convention was in Alantic city where I ate my first hoagie.

I think I’m more objective than most when it comes to religion. I know there’s something more than what we know but I don’t for the life of me understand how people can be sure they know exactly what. Seems to me, when we die we will know everything or nothing so why waste all our time arguing over who’s guess is right. Since we can’t prove it, we have no choice but to wait and see so why not try being nice to each other?   

OK, Here’s what I want to know – 

  1. Why did Christianity allow the church to wedge itself between Jesus’ message and the people it was meant for? 
  2. How has Buddhism been able to (more so than Christianity) prevent that? 
  3. Is it a cultural thing? 
  4. If so, what part of the cultural difference is it ?

By Anita Moorjani – Dying To Be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing… https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HTJTZMO/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_api_GxEyxb…

Be as Unique as everyone else

Do we love unique, really?  Seems like we need to be special AND we need to belong. Maybe what we really want is to belong to a group that’s “special”.  It’s probably why everybody thinks they want to be a rockstar. We see them as special but we know they belong too. 

We want to be seen and appreciated for who we truly are “our authentic self” (as Opera says) but we want appreciation so much, we forget about the “for who we are” part. We try to fit in.
We want to be special like the stars on TV who say “be yourself”. Nobody we know is interested in that. Poor us. We’re special too. How did she get so lucky? We forget about the years that “star” we love was alone, ridiculed and rejected for being “different. That was before she was the new thing. After all, we have to wait to embrace unique artists until the media tells us to. If they’re not on TV or radio they must not be special.

We’re standing in the forest.

Where are the darn trees?