Tag Archives: adapting

A Blast From the Past

The Domino Effect   (January 2014)

 I want to say something profound and memorable. I wanted my first full post of 2014 to be something people spoke about to each other for days and weeks. And then I realized I had it all wrong. It’s not about the words I use. It’s not about how I feel about what I write. It’s about reaching out from the isolation of my home to the world. We are not alone. We never have been.

I’m a big believer in the importance of chance. You meet a stranger on the street and you smile in an abstract, bored sort of way. The person you smile at doesn’t realize you are bored and his spirits are lifted just a tiny bit and when he gets home to his wife he’s kinder. His wife spends a little longer getting dressed that night because she’s starting to believe she’s beautiful because her husband was kind. She speaks gently to her child that night and he goes to sleep feeling loved. The next day he goes to school and does exceptionally well on a test because he feels good about himself. His teacher is thrilled that her problem student has done well and she feels better about herself thinking she’s the reason. She goes home that night . . . All of this happened because one woman smiled at a stranger. It’s a domino effect.

We live on this little blue world made of dirt and water and people. There are a lot of us. There are wars and hunger, violence and apathy. Every day we deal with our own perceived inadequacies, our own diseases. But there’s one thing we must never forget: somewhere, someone is in much worse shape than we are. Somewhere, someone is watching their life blood seep through a gaping wound, alone and frightened. Somewhere, someone is watching as a loved one slowly succumbs to a painful and deadly disease. A woman is raped and beaten, killed. A man is shot dead by a stranger for his empty wallet. A woman feels the hands of a lover on her throat tightening. Children are shot by children, men and women are tortured, planes crash, people are dying of hunger, disease and greed.

You have a choice. I have a choice. We can give in, be victims and wallow in our own self-pity. Or we can take what quality of life we have, embrace it, relish it, enhance it if we can, and live. Reach out to the stranger next to you and smile. We are all in this together.

Recipe to Live

One foot behind

The other in front

Reverse and repeat

Please let me be blunt . . .

 

You are the pilot

In this thing we call real

But work needs to happen

In life that’s the deal . . .

 

It may not be easy

It may not be kind

But wonders are there

If looking you’ll find . . .

 

God gets the credit

For the good in my life

The devil gets the blame

For those moments of strife . . .

 

One foot behind

Now bring it in around

Keep moving forward

To the future you’re bound.

 

It’s 4:00 in the morning!

4 AM. The clock ticks inexorably towards 5 o’clock but it’s still a long way away. It is dark. It is quiet. But it is not silent. I can hear a clock ticking in the other room . . . tick tick tick. A relentless metronome. Tick tick tick. Isn’t there supposed to be a tock in there somewhere? It’s funny how we interpret what we hear.

I just heard a car, I think, it was a quiet, dull roar. Fortunately no car alarms! I can hear my refrigerator faintly humming. Not a tune I know. Silly me. I get a little punchy in the wee, wee hours of the day. Or is it still night? Technically it’s the morning but that doesn’t seem right until after dawn. But it is a quiet time.

I can hear my heart beating. Odd. It is something that has been doing the same job for more than 59 years and yet it is alien to me. My liver, my spleen. These are all important aspects of what make me but I have no relationship with them. They are the mechanics within the shell of my body. And I am no mechanic!

I am tired. But I am not sleepy. My body wants to rest but my mind insists it has something important to say. I wonder what that is. I wonder what is the meaning of life. Meaning. Mean. Such different meanings. Can you be mean to your meanings? How do we understand? Why do we not understand? We are not so different from each other and yet we insist that we are. Why? Why do we hate what we do not understand? When? When did we come to believe that it was okay to hate? Is that the meaning of life?

Understanding. Perhaps when we understand each other we will realize that only when we are acting as one can we become one. One species, one race, one people. Too few people have tried. We are raised to be individuals and we cannot comprehend how we can be a part of something bigger when we come together as a whole. We do not give up our individuality by joining a group we simply enhance the group.

I feel I’m in ranting but I also feel that it is important. I am important. You are important. But even better than all of that: WE ARE IMPORTANT!

Ode to a New Love

 

In a room full of people, I knew

That moment I truly was hooked

Together we simply must be

It wasn’t just the way that you looked.

 

Everyone needs a true love

Someone who makes your heart quiver

All through the day and into the night

You make my skin start to shiver.

 

Your breath touches my arm and I smile

You embrace my body at night

Enclose me, protect me

Make everything right.

 

The days we’re together are cool

Even though the heat can be felt

The nights once were unkind

But you have a way and they melt.

 

I wish others could know of this joy

So I have become a petitioner

My summer consort becomes

My love, my air conditioner.

Do you see what I see?

 

“It’s raining! Everything is wet and miserable. I can’t enjoy a day that is so dull!”

“It’s raining! Everything is wet and wonderful. I can’t help enjoying a day that is so vibrant!”

Ask any police officer at the scene of any crime. Each witness will have a different version. And to each one of them it is the absolute truth. Why? That’s easy: perception.

There are over 7 billion people on this planet and trust me, that means 7 billion opinions. But in all honesty the only opinion that actually matters is mine. Or, yours for you. Are you confused yet?

As I’m writing this, the day is slightly overcast and actually quite dull.   I love days like this. The pace is a little slower, I don’t have to worry about the sun being too hot or getting a sunburn.   These are bonus days for me! I even like a decent rain. To watch the water droplets caress the windows as they slowly meander downwards. It’s like diamonds on a crown. You just can’t cash them in!

How we perceive what is right in front of us is predicated on several things. Our vision of course is paramount but also the shades we wear over our eyes and I’m not talking about the ones you buy. They say that people see what they want to see or that they wear rose-coloured glasses. All this means is that we interpret what we see, differently. Someone who has lived far too long in drought conditions will love the sound and sight of a gentle rain. Someone who comes from a rainy country will not.

All our experiences will have an impact on how we perceive things. I hate some shades of pink so anything that has that shade on it is automatically going to go into my ‘not liking’ category. It may not be logical or even fair but that’s part of my makeup. We all have our idiosyncrasies, our likes and dislikes. And all of those play into how we understand things. I can honestly say it’s a bias that we all have.

People usually judge other people in the first few seconds of meeting them. It‘s almost unconsciously done. But the trick is being able to modify that opinion once more data is forthcoming. If I see someone shouting angrily at another, I’m going to immediately form the opinion that they’re not a nice person. I know nothing of the circumstances or the people involved. It may not be anger, it may be frustration. The point is, I don’t know. I formed an opinion without all the facts. Something that is happening much too often these days. Hopefully I will get the rest of the data and will then be able to amend my opinion.

It is a wise person who can admit when they are wrong.