Life is full of good things and bad things.
Sometimes good things go bad.
Sometimes bad things go good.
Sometimes a bit of both.
The good stuff doesn’t always make the bad stuff easier to take, but the bad stuff doesn’t always ruin the good stuff either.
We should try to be grateful for the good stuff, especially when there’s bad stuff.
We Could Be Grateful For:
1. Family and friends. The memory of family and friends. The possibility of family and friends.
2. Knowledge, free will, and finding respectful ways to agree to disagree.
3. Enjoying what you have, instead of always thinking about what you want.
4. Remembering both the good times and the bad – and not living in either.
5. Enjoying the everyday things. Life isn’t about the big moments.
6. Finding happiness, peace, or contentment, especially by making others happy, peace-filled, or contented.
7. Life and knowing that most people know it’s worth.
8. Being you. Don’t compare yourself to others.
9. Bad times, so you can appreciate the good times.
10. Giving – stuff, time, comfort, inspiration, hope, information…you.
Terror, in many forms has wormed it’s way into our lives, not just with violence, but with weapons such as: fear, rudeness, abuse, inequality, neglect, distractions, complacency, disrespect, self-righteousness, ignorance, intolerance, lying, scandal, gossip, corruption, manipulation, dogma, bullying, blame, and all those ‘gotcha’ moments.
We can change. Some will say we can’t, or worse, that’s just the way it is. Expect change. Be that change.
People can disagree, debate, wrangle, bicker, even argue, hopefully respectfully.
There’s also no need to agree, you have the right to disagree, again, respectfully.
Attacking anyone, verbally or physically, for their beliefs is pointless.
We can’t overcome hate with hate.
We can’t win by fighting.
Even if you feel hate, choose love or at least, forgiveness.
Even if you feel indifference, choose compassion.
Especially if you feel despair, choose hope.
I worry being ‘shocked’ every time something terrible happens, posting platitudes, changing profile pictures, holding vigils, leaving tokens, decrying the monsters, and placing blame gives the illusion of doing something when really, it’s mostly shopping, social media, socializing, and symbolism.
Wouldn’t it be more comforting to help those in need? To donate food, clothing, money for shelter and medical care instead of making piles of flowers, candles, stuffed animals, and flags that will just become garbage? I don’t understand, if we want to show respect why not help those who are still alive and suffering?
We need to find out how to change what’s happening, or brace ourselves for more of the same, or worse. The first rule of holes, when you’re in one, stop digging, and try to find a way out.
What’s coming will come, so instead of focusing on those who do harm, who spread fear and hate, let’s be grateful for those who help, who protect – those who do good in this world. They deserve our focus, not just after a tragedy, or crisis, or disaster, but all the time.
My heart goes out to the family and friends of those who have lost loved ones, death is tragic, no matter the circumstances…and to anyone suffering, everywhere.
Or is it?
While I admit I don’t understand a lot of stuff, but as long as it’s not really hurting anyone, why would I care?
Too often, the commonly held view seems to be that if we don’t agree, we’re at odds.
Like somehow 7 billion of us are suddenly going to start agreeing, or we have to battle it out Star Trek style.
For example, I find the rise of pumpkin spice alarming – apparently pumpkin spice is a season now, so the pumpkin spice must flow.
Here’s a completely incomplete list of stuff people do that I don’t ‘get’, or want to (no particular order):
1. Touching wet paint or wet cement – yes, it’s wet, move on.
2. Running water after going to the bathroom instead of actually washing your hands.
3. Lying, lying, and what was that other thing, oh yeah, lying.
4. Judging a person based on their skin tone, religion, race, nationality, whom they choose to love, clothes, home, family, etc.
5. Walking into traffic looking at a cellphone.
6. Bad driving.
7. Hurting others, especially children.
8. Loving something just because it’s endorsed by or has the name of a celebrity.
9. Using racism as a political strategy.
10. Fat shaming, and also those who say fat shaming is wrong, because they’re also calling people fat.
11. Having fictional conversations in your head with others (ok, done this).
12. Not smiling back at a child or being impatient when an elderly person is slowly walking down the stairs in front of you.
13. Yelling at furniture that jumped out and stubbed your toe (ok, I’ve totally done that).
14. Wearing uncomfortable shoes (especially with stubbed toes).
15. People who pretend they don’t fart (you do, we all do, own it).
16. Reading the instructions after you’ve done something.
17. Saying “I’m sorry” when you’re not sorry.
18. Unenvironmentalists (you know that should be a word).
19. Buying non-orange pumpkins.
20. Pretending you don’t wish some cool movie-like thing would happen to you today instead of just the usual stuff…come on, you really haven’t done this?
I can’t understand how people find the time or energy to judge, fight, or generally care so much about everyone else’s business. Does this have to do with our fight or flight response? Not running from sabre-tooth tigers (mostly), our fear response is now triggered by shopping (prices are terrifying), finding info on the internet (bloodcurdling), and politicians (I’ll take the tiger). Obviously our fear of scarcity has survived, so maybe those who are different or disagree feed into that fear. I’m just guessing, frankly, I’m baffled.
The internet just seethes with fear and loathing which is why I’m happy when I find bloggers who make me smile. David Prosser, a wonderful, funny, and caring blogger from Wales offered the world his Buthidars philosophy https://lorddavidprosser1.wordpress.com/ – a hug, a good deed, a simple gesture, a smile…forging a path toward peace.
And he shares his life each week at: https://barsetshirediaries.wordpress.com/ and kindly shared one of his novels, The Queen’s Envoy, with the caveat, it wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Perhaps, but I emphatically enjoyed the fanciful flight of fictitious foibles. It reminded me of watching Bond movies with my Dad. As a child I didn’t understand what Pussy Galore, Holly Goodhead, and “Oh James!” really meant, but the spirit of adventure always made me feel like anything was possible. I like that feeling, wherever I can find it.
It’s Thanksgiving this weekend in Canada; I’m thankful we can all agree to disagree, eh. I don’t tell people they’re stupid for their beliefs and I don’t expect them to understand my complicated relationships with: chocolate, spiders, TV, sleep, housekeeping, kale, Jane Austen, gravity, technology, toenail clippers, Christmas, pools (you know, cause of sharks), clowns, Thanksgiving, meat, and life in general.
We don’t have to agree to have fun, be respectful, and add love and hope to the world.
All we are saying is give
peas peace a chance.
There are people in this world that build it, grow it, strengthen it, enhance it. They bring principles. They bring love. They bring compassion. They bring hope. Nelson Mandela believed in justice for all and fought for it.
Known by many as Madiba (his Xhosa clan name) or Tata (Father), Mandela gave more to this world than he took. Was he a Saint? No. Was he a champion? Yes, in the truest sense of the word. A hero who showed that strength and power come not from force and oppression, but from hope, kindness, love, and peace.
Nelson Mandela had this poem on a scrap of paper during his long, unwarranted incarceration…the strength of Mandela (and the poet, William Ernest Henley) are truly inspiring and have inspired others.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
The world is a sadder place today because he is no longer here. It is a better place that he was here.
Goodnight Nelson Mandela. Thank you for showing the world that nothing is impossible.
Soldiers fought for their families, friends, and countries. Democracy has been won in many other ways as well, but agree or disagree, their sacrifice is amazing.
Soldiers left their homes, their families and friends and they went to war. Some didn’t agree. Many didn’t understand. Most didn’t want to go. Most were scared.
All came back changed if they came back at all. Some were physically altered, some mentally. But they all gave something of themselves to keep our country free.
Veterans should be treated with dignity and respect. Given help, support, work, and should never be discharged just before they’re about to receive their pensions.
As for the white poppies, they’ve been around in one form or another for over 80 years. I love that they stand for peace. I just disagree with giving them out around Remembrance Day. That time is the for those who fought. You don’t have to agree, but what’s done is done. Give them out some other time.
So next time you see a veteran, buy a poppy, buy a few for family and friends and remember, they fought so you could be free. Whether or not you agree with war, this is a time for respect.
Remembrance Day and Veterans Day are about honouring those who fought for their countries, for others.
You don’t have to agree with war or the reasons for it to remember those that fought and those that died.
I’m saddened and disappointed to see stores, malls, and streets decorated for Christmas before Remembrance Day has been respected.
The commercialism of Christmas is bad enough, but this is rude and disrespectful.
In Tacky Stores
In stores Christmas decorations flow
between the candy canes, row on row,
With disrespect to soldiers gone
Christmas cheer doth early don
Cries scarce heard amid the carols blow.
They are the Shoppers. Short days ago
Was Halloween and now before the snow,
Bought and were bought, and now they shop
In Tacky Stores.
Take up the quarrel with the stores:
Pushing Christmas tackiness galores
The dignity of those we’ve lost.
If ye break faith and ignore the cost
If Christmas before Remembrance tore
In Tacky Stores.
With all due respect to John McCrae and all those who fought, were wounded, and died in service to their countries.
Christmas comes after Remembrance Day.