Women are Crazy (The way to lose your female readers)


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Cut and Paste Lives


If you follow politics at all you know Virginia is one of those red states that is sometimes blue, and looking to be purple.  Today, I added purple to my hair. I live in Virginia where the election rhetoric and hyperbole has exceeded even my low expectations. My eye twitches every time there is a commercial for a politician. I swore I wasn’t going to write about it or comment on it, but I can’t seem to help myself. The lies and truths have become interchangeable, or indistinguishable, and the voters are the ones who are punished. The same political ads using the same arguments are running daily here, and thank goodness I have a dvr and can fast forward through them all. Sometimes I listen to politicians and wonder where they learned how to sway people to their side?  Or, maybe that’s not a skill they have?

A lot of people are usually too busy, or too lazy, to drill down and determine the truth of a political statement. I can tell because rather than do their own homework, people plagiarize and post identical words about the same issue. It seems it must be easier to cut and paste then get to the truth. Aren’t they just repeating someone else’s words when they do that vs. forming their own opinions?

I am a person who tries very hard to respect the opinion of others. I recognize we all come with unique life experiences, and that’s what shapes our ideals. I can’t tell someone they are wrong for believing in things that are anathema to me; they came to their beliefs on a different path. But if someone can’t determine if the facts are real, why bother to hold an “opinion”?

My father and I had wildly opposite political views. He was conservative, I was liberal. As a child I would be grounded for wearing a peace sign anywhere. Now I proudly wear one every day, without fail. It’s a daily conscious decision to put one on and know I am ardently opposed to war. When I entered my teen years, he realized he couldn’t sway me. It was a tie. Through the many arguments my dad and I had, some quite powerful, the end was always the same, we agreed to disagree. Was this because we were related? Not bloody likely, that’s never held much sway with me. It’s because my essential self recognized he would never be swayed based on anything I said so why destroy the fragile peace? And if I was relentless, was that disrespecting his experiences?

I’ve always liked this characteristic of mine, agreeing to disagree, knowing it allows me to have a varied group of friends with divergent opinions and outlooks. And diverse my friends are. I have one friend who has been called evil by another set of friends; I have one friend that used the word stupid to describe another friend who is both an attorney, and a senator; I have friends who call another set of friends bleeding hearts that are tearing the country apart. It is never dull.

These disparaging remarks about my friends demand a response and always includes words of defense…in a nice way. The senator who is an attorney is in no way stupid, and as I told my friend who said she was, “She is a friend of mine, I disagree with her all the time so please disagree if you want, but do so based on facts or opinion, name-calling doesn’t further your argument, especially when it simply isn’t true. And since you haven’t met her, why would you use that word? Simply because your politics are different?” She called me the next day to thank me for calling her out and said I was right, name-calling was beneath her and she apologized for doing so when talking about my friend. It was a splendid moment for both of us. And, the person who was called evil would drop everything to come help me, all I need to do is ask. Where is the evil in that?

What we fail to recognize when we discount the opinions of others is they have different life experiences. When we cut and paste our opinions, we do a disservice to everyone. As a young man I know said today, he wants to be friends with Republicans, and he should. Imagine how dull life would be if everyone came down on the same side of every issue? That is not my idea of Utopia.

What we need to do is stop being a cut and paste society and develop our own opinions.  We can then compromise on the most important things in life. Our politicians would like us to follow like sheep but where’s the fun in that?

Peace.

Do we get to define failure for ourselves?


So, you change jobs because you feel it’s not the right job for you; you break up with your partner because it’s just not working; you move to a different crowd of friends because you feel the current group doesn’t really help you move forward. Are these actions as failure?

I recently quit a job because I felt it wasn’t the right job for me.  I like the owner so very much and I believe in the mission of the company but the job and its responsibilities just didn’t seem to fit.  Am I a failure because I took a job and didn’t stay? In this economy, should I have tried harder, stayed even though I wasn’t the right person for the job? I worried about that for a bit and then decided no. In the long run, I have to do what is best for me and it just so happened it was best for the company too.

I think as a society we determine and judge success and failure using such youthful standards. Did we get an A? Were you invited? Are you popular? Did you make a bunch of money? These all sound like the questions we asked in high school yet they are the same questions asked as adults we just use a different language.

Instead of “Did we get an A?” we may be asked, “Are you at the top of your game?” In lieu of “Did you get invited?” we may hear “Will I see you at Bill’s event?” Did you make a bunch of money can be asked in so many ways subtle and not so subtle….”What neighborhood do you live in? What car do you drive? Nice LV handbag…subtle and not so subtle.

We need, on a humanistic level, to change our questions to reflect how actions feed our souls. I personally don’t care how much money someone makes, I care if they are happy.  I don’t care where a person lives since I don’t define them by their house, I am happy for someone if they have a successful moment defined by them not by their boss or by society. I am in awe of the person who consistently starts a sentence with “I love that you…….”

I love that my friends don’t define me by any of the “normal” standards.

How do we get caught up?


I took a class on the basics of blogging.  I wrote a few entries and now it appears a year has gone by and while I was caught up in work, life and other stuff, words have flown by and I missed their very existence.  Who knew I would miss this so much and yet be unable to find my way back for so long?  I am saddened by my own indifference.

 I believe the written word is the lifeblood of humanity.  Whether the words mean something personal to us or not, someone wrote those words we read and expressed something of value.  We don’t have to agree, comment or even like the words we read but they are there.  We live in times where a simple sentence can bring a person to tears; can make someone laugh or be a pivotal moment of change.  Words are our history and the future.

 So I am back, reading and hopefully writing and even if my words hold no value for others, they are mine and have meaning.

What’s Your Superpower?


At happy hour tonight, a “Group of 4” gathered for a recap of the week with topics, in typical fashion, all over the map.  I love these women.  As we tangent talked, having no problem following the discussion, Maggie tried to get the attention of our server, to no avail.  She then announced to us that her superpower was invisibility; but she swore to us she would only use it for good.  Which then brought Susan to tell us ”there was a study that said men chose flying as their superpower and women chose invisibility”  Not sure if the only choices were flying and invisibility, but that got me thinking about the superpowers most people have.

As kids, we play at invisibility, as adults we may adopt it to retreat from center stage.  We dream as little kids about going to the moon and how easy it would be if we could just fly.  As adults we dream of flying just to get us away from it all.  As children we dream of the superpower strength to move that tree house to another tree, as adults we dream of strength to get through the day.

In reality, we all have a superpower, we just don’t recognize it.  Someone may be a fabulous parent and not recognize the superpower nature of that.  Others may feed the hungry and say it’s simply what they do.  Someone may call a friend everyday to make sure everything is OK and miss how that is the superpower of caring.

The world has become such a large place that everyday superpowers are lost in the mix.  I have mentioned before my friend Nancy, she has so many superpowers, I can’t name them all.  If it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t have made it through half the things in my life.  Her superpowers show themselves in a myriad of ways… as a wonderful parent, a caring and generous friend, a wicked sense of humor no matter how bad things may be, a caregiver extraordinaire, the list goes on. 

I hold her up as a person with superpowers because she encompasses so much of what is discounted today.  She doesn’t think she has superpowers but I swear, if I put on my special superpower glasses, she practically glows with power. 

Everyone has at least one superpower, some area of their life they excel at but view it as just something they do.  Volunteering for a soup kitchen, collecting funds for a family in need, giving those canned goods you will never eat to someone with nothing to eat, giving that person without transportation a ride, listening to someone who simply needs a chance to give voice to their feelings.

So recognize your superpower and know that you may think it is nothing at all but to someone else, it may be the lifeline that gets them through the day.

I’ll be selling superpower glasses very soon.

Welcome to the Bloggisphere


So, I attended a blogging workshop today and homework is to create a blog and post at least two times prior to next week’s class.  I was going to write about leaning “left” in Winchester, but a friend already took that theme and ran with it which leaves me floundering a bit to pick something to write about that won’t create ennui and allows me to express myself. 

I could talk about healthcare in America, or lack thereof, but I am pretty sure Barney Frank already did that.

I could talk about gender inequality in America, but I am just a woman in a small town and who would listen?

I could talk about racial and ethnic discrimination in America, but my word, we have an African-American President, we are so over that…or wait, are we?

Saw a friend of mine this week who happens to be black.  He has a wicked sense of humor about the entire race thing.  He uses vernacular that makes my head want to explode, and it makes him laugh whenever he does it because he knows it bothers me to no end.  I am more offended by racial inequities than he is.  I got to pondering why he was so cavalier about what would, and does outrage me.  He said he just doesn’t have the time to get worked up over it.  He is working, has a beautiful daughter and simply can’t be bothered to right wrongs.

I assumed that when we elected our first Black president, things would shift in our society and they are shifting, just not the way I assumed.  Before President Obama was elected I actually had people say to me, “I can’t vote for a black man”.  After he was elected, I have heard him referred to as every negative word tagged to a black person.  And they aren’t just using racial slurs…….

I saw some” protesters” in front of our main post office last weekend while driving to a Coalition for Racial Unity meeting and they had a large picture of Barack Obama with a Hitler mustache.  I almost ran into a parked car gawking at the thing, all the while thinking “I didn’t just see that”.  I actually turned around to drive by it again because I just couldn’t believe it.

I was embarrassed for these people thinking how sad their small world was so unenlightened. That here in my small, friendly town there were people who compared Obama to a Nazi who exterminated hundreds of thousands of people. 

I have spent my entire life working to make a difference.  I am just not sure it makes a difference.

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