Tag Archives: differences

Shady Quip

There are people who gamble everything on their looks or personality. There are people who are not very good gamblers.

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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.

 

Wrinkles

 

A wrinkle free world

Unfettered by hate

Smoothed by the love

That people create

 

A world where the person

That stands next to you

Is the one you call friend

No matter the view

 

Our hearts are the measure

That everyone takes

And no one remembers

Those silly mistakes

 

Brothers and sisters

Is what we become

Our bond is our family

Our rule of thumb

 

Perhaps it’s a dream

That I had late one night

But I’d like to think

That I could be right

The Open Road

Fresh air, open skies, freedom. One can lift up their head and howl at the moon and no one will care. Yes, this was the way to travel. Breathe deeply the pristine air. Well pristine if you disregard the diesel fumes, acid rain and manure mist. At least out here you can’t see the air in front of you. In the city not only can you see what you are breathing, it leaves a film on your nostril hairs. Breathe deeply in the city and you’re liable to cough up a lung. Out here in the wide-open spaces there’s a tang in the air. Of course, that tang is 10,000 years of rotting plants and animal excrement. Yum!

When you walk down the open sidewalks of a busy city you can hear the sounds of laughter from small children. You can smell the tantalizing aromas from diverse cultures; fresh bread, sizzling sausages, and a myriad of spices. It is the smell of success and of life. People live here and people work here. It is the smell of comfort and love, of laughter and tears. It is the city. But the city has another side.

The laughter of small children often comes from bodies full of nothing but hunger and loss. The tantalizing smells simply reinforce the feelings of desperation from those that need but do not have the monetary means to fulfill that need. There are those who have and will not share. The city was built on the backs of the poor for the comfort of the rich and they do not wish to share today. Perhaps tomorrow will be a day to share, perhaps. There is success here for a privileged few and there is life here for those who work hard enough to support the fragile infrastructure. There is also death here for those who aren’t smart enough, or strong enough, or rich enough to succeed. Life rewards those who have and disposes of those who have not.

Away from the city the sounds you hear are the birds flitting from tree to tree, cross pollinating and snacking on the nectar of the flower. The wind rustles the leaves of the trees, gently showering you with bugs and their teeny tiny excrement. The rustling of the leaves distracts you from the rustling at your feet which may just turn out to be an annoyed rattlesnake out for lunch. It never pays to get between a snake and his version of a tasty snack. Yes there is life here, lots of it and chances are it is not all that impressed by your big feet and your insatiable appetite for nature. You are in their home and you are most likely unwelcome.

Finding a spot where one can commune with nature, far from the lights and noise of a modern city is a challenge. Just finding a spot that is not already spoken for by realtors is one thing. One must have a permit to stop, raise a tent or build a fire pit. Heaven help anyone who builds an open fire without first obtaining a permit filled out in triplicate and filed with God.

The first night spent beneath the stars is magical. The wildlife that abounds in the forest is vast. From predatory birds to carnivorous canines and the most pervasive of pests: the mosquito and friends. Sounds are amplified and smells are close. The babbling of a brook can sound like a rushing river, but soothing. The stars are bright, almost surreal. There is life all around you, just out of sight.

The first night spent beneath the stars in the city is also magical, a different kind of magic. The light from the stars is obscured by the neon lights of the city night life. The life too is abundant and varied, from pest to predator. People are dressed in their version of finery, and often act accordingly. Beautiful swans can be seen walking gracefully outside fashionable restaurants with appropriately obsequious entourages.

Then there are the weasels who will try to sell you watches that don’t tell time or bad toothed ferrets hawking the latest in pirated DVDs. And of course there are always the ever present motor vehicles. There are the little ones that scoot too close to the sidewalks and splash you with questionable liquids or the mammoth conveyors of multiple personalities that meander ponderously. There are also the pimpmobiles and muscles cars that spew forth noxious fumes just for the fun of it.

Go down a darkened alley and you just might find a seller of a different kind of magic. It is the kind of magic that can be sniffed up your nose or injected into a vein. It is a magic that is ultimately costly and deadly, figuratively and literally.

Hidden close by is a malnourished, frightened child who has tried to escape from an abusive home and a cynical street walker who just wants to finish this night without getting her throat slit and take a long, hot bath to help to forget. Forgetting is necessary for some to stay alive in this unforgiving world. Also out this dark night is a tired nightshift worker who wants to go home and get some sleep so he can start this endless cycle all over again.

Even more strange are the tourists who flock to see the nightlife that abounds in the city in the hopes of seeing something dangerous and exotic. Pictures would be even better to take home to show the lads at the local ‘Weed and Feed’. Uncle Fester will be plumed amazed!

And the city is alive with sounds. There is the hum of the traffic and the unexpected screech of a car horn, the loud reverberations of the boom box that is supposed to be the latest in fashionable music. It is personal thing. People are shouting and occasionally laughing or screaming.   The life around you is as noisy as it is bright and don’t you dare stop for too long or you might just be relieved of that loaded wallet you carry in your left rear pocket or run down by a slightly inebriated youth.

Ah yes, the city is alive and it is in your face. Don’t wander down here unless you plan to play by their rules.

The woods are alive too but they are a little more reserved about it. The inhabitants are watching you, trying to decide if you are edible or just annoying. Communing with nature can be tricky since they would really rather you did your communing elsewhere. Unless of course you do turn out to taste good with a side of shoe leather.

Choices, choices, choices. Does one cavort within the perilous precincts of the city or meander through the beautiful byways of nature’s potentially hazardous haunts? It is a difficult decision to make. Where to go, what to do?

Ah yes, the open road . . .

 

What has become of Politics?

 

It used to be an honourable race. You may not have liked a politician but he or she received and afforded respect. Now it has become mean, disrespectful and vile. People are voting for who will do the least amount of damage. We don’t know who is best for the job because all we hear is malicious rhetoric.

Nowadays scandals are more important than policies and everyone likes to twist the facts to their own agenda. What happened to honesty and honour? Political Bashing has become a favourite occupation of politicians and their voters. Why?

As a child I used to listen to my parents discuss an upcoming election. They would talk about platforms and policies and which party had the best track record of fulfilling their promises. It was a conversation that was repeated in cafés and restaurants, pubs and parks. People talked, they didn’t fight. There was no mean spirited name-calling or vile innuendos flung at each other. We listened, we discussed, we bantered and then we shook hands and moved on.

Elections used to be exciting times. Everyone wanted what was best for the country, the city, the province. We were in this together, including the politicians. The candidates were people we knew and respected even if we didn’t agree with their policies. And if your party lost, then you’d shrug your shoulders and move on. There was always next time. Now people cry ‘foul’ and scream even louder that the winning party did something wrong, sabotage!

I am tired of the bashing that has become so systemic in politics.  This reeks of desperate posturing.  I want to hear the truth about motives.  Have you lied?  What benefits and promises have you kept and if not, why?  What do you want to do realistically? Politicians have become a joke or a meme.  Change that.  Make us proud of you again.  Stop fear mongering and political bashing.

I am not the only one that wants change . . . the right change!