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Monday, January 09, 2017

Meryl...

The world is filled with literally billions of people. We are all here, we are all present and accounted for. We each walk separate journey's, different lives and each have a belief system that is sometimes similar to anothers, but never identical. Each of us, told we are no less and no more important than another. Yet we know this is not exactly true. Our lives, livelihoods, connections, friends, family, neighborhoods etc, in fact divide us up in very real ways. Long before politics and religion come into play. The platform we find ourselves upon, may not be as large as the one we need; the spotlight may not shine on us in the same way it does someone else. 
If ever given the opportunity to speak in a very public way; to reach millions of people in one moment, I do hope that I would choose to make it about something other than myself. 
Meryl Streep had her moment last night. She has had a career that is one to echo greatness and delight. She has entertained us all for many years in many ways. She had a choice, she could stand there, on a stage being broadcast to literally billions of people and spend her time patting herself on the back. Throwing out wistful advice for those less experienced, or turning a phrase to just make us all laugh. 
She chose instead to recognize how fortunate she was to be standing there, in that moment, on that stage. She took that privilege and used it to highlight something much more important than herself, her career or the award she held in her hands. 
You don't have to agree with her words, you don't even have to like her movies or theater performances. That's the unique blessing of being in America, she can say and believe what she wants, and so can you. 
I, for one, thought her message was a much better use of her moment, than spewing self-professed accolades of how awesome her career has been. She chose to speak in defense of those who often can not defend themselves. She chose to remind us all that while the world is indeed troubled, we look to our leaders for guidance; that these leaders should in fact guide us and not degrade, seek to humiliate, nor bully the vulnerable. 
With the arrest of 4 Chicago youth last week for literally torturing, humiliating, degrading and bullying a young man with special needs, how can anyone NOT see the problem with our countries most important leader mocking the disabled, inciting violence, bullying and degrading. 
I do not blame him for the choices these youth made; yet we must ask ourselves what influence is it we want our children to look up to. We can choose to sit in silence or we can speak up. We can respectfully disagree and still call out disgust when we see it. It is our job as parents, citizens and human beings to call out the wrong and project the right. Being the President is not a free pass!! 
We can not become 'involved' if we do not speak up and speak out. We MUST always, always SPEAK. 
#MerylStreep #GoldenGlobes #CecilBDeMille #AmericaFalling #AllCitizens#UnitedWeStand

2017 ~ America or Bust...

So here I sat on the eve of the official winding down of the clock. The elusive time keeper that ticked away the hours, scratched off the seconds and tracked the moments of yet another year. 2016 may now seem a blur to some, while to others a long and never ending uphill crusade. Another 525,600 minutes filled with joy and tragedy. A full 8,760 hours of loss and hope.
No matter which it was for you, it was simply just another year. Another 12 months, 52 weeks and 365 days of time passing. While we flip thru our photo’s, revisit our facebook status’, let our minds wander to those moments we long to relive, and count our blessings, all we can do is move forward. Move onward into another calendar of ticking and tocking.
What we do with the time before us matters so much more than the hours that have passed us. Life is a journey to be traveled. Whether its quickly or at a snails pace, with happiness or sadness, heartbreak or celebration; we each walk, run or stumble forward as best we can with the tools and knowledge we collect along the way.
Regardless of where it is our future leads us, what awaits us around the next corner, or where it is we long to be; we simply have today. Today to make a difference. Today to gather goodness. Today to choose love over hate.
As we pack up 2016 may we take with us, all that collectively shaped our lives for the better. May we load our pockets with the pebbles of crumbled stones; not so that we remember the battle, but that we never forget we survived. May we fill our hearts with forgiveness; not for those that have wronged us, but as a reminder to be gentle with ourselves. May we stack our minds with the chapters we’ve cherished, and file away those which we’d rather forget. May we also overflow our souls with the peace of a promise, as we illuminate the darkness that looms just behind us.
May we continuously allow the warmth of tomorrow to embrace us today; and always recall with quiet grace, those that have lifted us up.
No matter what kind of year it has been, how far we have traveled or what we find waiting for us on the other side, may we all remember in this life, in this one moment of time, its all about today, and what we choose to do.

May you all have blessings to count, memories to recall, moments to embrace; and may each of us awake tomorrow with love, peace and freedom still at our front doors. 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

America Bleeds

The blood that flows from America runs thick and chaotic. The land of the free no longer so brave. I can not even wrap my head around the barrage of violence and hatred, that filters through every sound bite, of every media outlet, of millions of social media meme’s; but I’m sure there is someone I can ask, who will explain it all to me.
A persons character was once judged by their ability to face their adversaries, head on, strong and vigilant in their beliefs; willing to die for their god, their family, their country. Always lending a hand to help a neighbor, a family in need, a community. I grew up in a world where one didn’t have to pass a litmus test before they were loved, cared for and protected. Sure racism and bigotry has existed, probably since the beginning of time itself, but these were the things that I was being taught to reject, to cleanse our world of. I was being instructed to lift my fellow man up, that no one was beneath me and that we all are responsible for one another.
For a decade now, people stopped speaking up, stopped asking questions, stopped helping their brother an sisters. They no longer stood in the light of day, ready to defend their rights, they instead chose to hide behind a keyboard, held up in some obscure room in some remote place not found on a map. Tapping out hatred and bigotry. Relieving themselves of all the pent up judgments and discourse filling their hearts. Filling blog after endless blog with their conspiracies and theories of a government trying to control them, trying to obliterate their rights and stall their pursuit of happiness. Why they didn’t just demand term limits and transparency from the very government they were electing into office escapes me, but I am sure there is a politician I can ask.
Now the pot is boiling over, the steam has risen to the skies and a darkness has rolled in.  The have reappeared, slowly they have crawled from the darkness and safety of their homes and they are now running rampant on our streets, in our cities and towns. They are carrying the pitchforks of propaganda signs and spewing the rehearsed rhetoric of the day. Most have no idea what it is they really believe, but they are certain their beliefs are being trampled on, and they are looking for a leader to point the finger for them, to name a target, to give them the sacrificial lamb that will bring back what they perceive they have lost. I’m not sure what it is they have lost, but I’m sure there is a newscaster I can ask.
I do not advocate violence, though I can understand the knee-jerk thought of throat punching someone who has just spit on me. Though I am of the make love not war mindset, I have also found myself on occasion curling my fist and wishing to pummel another human being. I am after all human.  I am someone who believes in protecting all that is good in this world; our children, our elders, our freedoms and our country.  I believe that being the loudest voice in the room doesn’t make you the right voice. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m sure there is some psychologist on television I can ask.
I don’t understand the deep rooted hatred that is spilling over our country and ensnaring our citizens, like a serpent in the night. I do not subscribe to any specific religious order, but I know many who do. My favorite Aunt was born and raised in the southern vein of our country. She fiercely believed in her Christian god and prayed for me a time or two. She was never heard speaking ill of anyone, nor would she turn her back on someone in need. I’m sure there were people she didn’t particularly care for, and am certain there were many ideals in this world she would have never subscribed to though she never said so. She was of the belief that if it did not serve her god it was not worth her time. She didn’t live as though she were above anyone, nor would she ever accept she was less than anyone else. If you were of a different belief she still prayed for you and she still embraced you. After all, the son of her god regularly embraced thieves, prostitutes, adulterers and liars. It was not her job to change others, it was merely her calling to live life in such a way as to emulate the god she worshipped.
When I see Christians today chanting for the death of someone they don’t even know, or advocating for violence against anyone who does not believe as they do, I am baffled and confused. This is not the example of Christianity I was raised with, and I can not begin to comprehend whom this serves; I wish she were still here so I could ask.
There is this one cousin of mine, she and I are a lot  alike. We help those in need, advocate for peace and love our families fiercely.  I have never heard her utter a word against America. She doesn’t dribble the remnants of hate from her lips nor does she plot against anyone. She was born and raised in this country, she comes from a family of strong women. She also happens to be Muslim. I know there are radicals in this country and in others, that use their religion like armor and stand behind it in some twisted, unrealistic way to justify their need to murder. The Muslims I know, are not like that. Just as all the Christians I know are not bigoted. I am not sure why some are, but I’m certain there is a conspiracy theorist I can ask.
My daughters are young adults, they are strong and independent in their own ways. They know and believe in hard work and sacrifice. They aren’t sitting around waiting for the government to hand them a life, they were raised better than that. Yet they, like so many others,  are tired of the status quo in this country. They know that when government began subsidizing college it gave the Universities free reign to jack their tuitions up. With guaranteed funds from the government ensuring anyone could go to college, the schools had nothing to lose. Now the costs are so exorbitant the only way, our children can further their education is to submit to a life time of debt, for a degree that no longer guarantees them a job. 
I know people believe this group of 20 somethings have no clue about life, working hard and building a life for themselves. Yet those that came before didn’t leave them a piece of the American Dream, we left them with a crumbling government, no industry, no decent paying blue collar jobs, and no paths to pave to greatness. They face a country that is forcing them into suffocating amounts of debt, into purchasing health care that they will never benefit from, all so those that refuse to work can have complete health care coverage at no cost to them.  They know that working hard doesn’t mean rising up. They know a system that rewards the lazy and punishes the self-sufficient. They are facing neighbors that recite hate on a daily basis, they can’t escape the constant machine of the 24 hour news cycle. As they sit in a classroom trying to learn, they are made to practice drills in case of a shooter. They know more than any other generation how quickly things can change, how swiftly their lives can be over. They have no idea why things are like this, but I’m sure there is a political party they can ask.
I grew up shooting guns, working hard, making sacrifices.  I have many life experiences with which I can learn from. I have never believed America owes me a thing. I have watched this country go from great respect around the world to a laughing stock, and I don’t believe a single President caused that. A country is made up of millions of people, each of us representing what it stands for, and more importantly what it stands against.  No President has ever taken my guns, nor threatened too. I have never lost a job I wanted to an immigrant, legal or otherwise. My life has never been minimized because of someone else’s marriage, or choice in life partner. I have never been denied the right to have children or not, nor have I been forced to worship a particular god or sect. I have never raised my voice in hate toward my fellow man , while standing behind religion to justify my own failings. Everyday it seems the relentless back and forth of blame, discontent and loathing need only a shot of whiskey to be the next hit country song. I don’t know why people are proclaiming the things that make us different, will be the downfall of America, but I’m sure there is a songwriter I can ask.

You need only turn on the television, open your laptop or tap your phone to know that America is in trouble; and its not going to be saved by dividing it further. Building walls and dictating change won’t make it happen. Greatness has never been built when hate is your foundation. I can only deeply hope and pray that when this upheaval is over, we all awaken along this winding road with freedom still at our front doors.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Gotta Have Faith...

While 2010 left much to be desired it seems it has spilled over into 2011 as though the calendar has not changed at all.
We went to bed on December 31st an awoke on January one with the same arguments, fights and mudslinging we have darted and dodged for the last 10 years. One side claiming they are better and more deserving than the other to reap the benefits of America's Freedoms, both sides forgetting that ALL of us are deserving. One side claims it wants less government but wants the government to control that decision. The other side claims it wants more government under the guise of 'regulation' but wants the people to control that decision.
One side wants their 'god' to make the laws and the other insists 'god' has no place in government yet incites the Christian bible everytime they think it will further their cause.
The fact is we all need Faith! Faith is what builds us up, without it everything can tear you down. I am not talking about religion people! Religion has its place and its not in politics, but Faith... our government could use a lot more of that and so could the American people!
According to Webster Faith is: allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty b (1) : fidelity to one's promises (2) : sincerity of intentions.
"sincerity of intentions" "loyalty" "fidelity to one's promises".....ponder that a moment!
When was the last time anyone in office had some FAITH??
8 days into the year an already tragedy slaps the American people upside the head....again. Behind the scene of another rampage shooting is another young man with another gun and 6 dead with others wounded. Among the dead a Judge and a 9yr old girl. Among the wounded the main target of the event, Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford who remains in ICU in critical condition from a gunshot to the back of the head.
Within minutes of the breaking news people everywhere were scrambling to make sense of it, twist it, monopolize it, sensationalize it an of course point blame. Here, however, the key word would be 'point', as hundreds of people began linking up video footage of Gifford reprimanding Sarah Palin for her website which included the image of a snipers scope displayed over Gifford's district, along with all the other 'democratic' districts out there. Gifford was going on about it being dangerous and frightening. Now Gifford has been shot. Coincidence? well that would depend on how you view coincidence.
As seems to be the new American way the masses gathered on the left to point blame at the right and insist it was Palin's fault this all happened. The right gathered in a defensive line that became split down the middle. Half defending Palin's right to free speech the other half cowering in the corner an saying anything to distance themselves from her.
I was intrigued by Palin's website, no denying it had a great effect on those who follow her cracked pot beliefs and negative energy. But I don't blame her for what the boy did.
Alot of people were doing an saying alot of things and pointing alot of fingers, but what no one seemed to be doing was seeing this situation for exactly what it was, a horrific tragedy!
A horrendous display of a young mans snap from reality and the lives that were lost and no one was saying that we as a country should come together and end the hatred that is enveloping us and causing us to turn on one another. No one was preaching FAITH!
Do I think Palin should've taken the site down? Out of respect for the families involved yes she should've and yes she did do exactly that.
Do I think Palin should be blamed for an entire country filled with hate, discontent and a bubbling uprising of a revolt against ourselves? Absolutely!
Should she be blamed alone? HELL NO!! This is not one persons creation! One person did not cause this upheaval. One person did not plant these seeds of negativity. That my friend took an entire Nation.
None of us can control how others will or wont react to the things we do or say, but we all must realize our words and actions have consequences. What we do have control over is what we as individuals say and do. We can't stop others from spreading the fire the has enflamed our country but we have complete control over whether or not we PUT IT OUT!
We all MUST have and practice FAITH! mean what we say and say only what we mean, then stand behind it!!
We are a nation fully absorbed by the 24hour news cycle that technology has afforded us, we all bathe in the constant flowing waters of the media. If we submerge ourselves in negativity, hatred, prejudice and biggotry it is only a matter of time before we drowned.
Here's hoping this winding road of 2011 takes away from the crossroads and into a world of FAITH!~

Friday, October 29, 2010

They Claim They Want Small Government!~Really?

When the GOP rally's its forces, it's follower's and its many radical fear mongers it does so all in the name of 'Small Government'. Really?
Perhaps the Republican party should define exactly what it means by 'small government', as its actions often speak loudly contradictory to that platform.
They claim they do not want Government Run Healthcare, yet they clearly WANT the Government to dictate a woman's right to choose what she can and can't do with her own body!
They don't want the government dictating our healthcare and want to stop spending yet eagerly except the large financial contributions of pharmaceutical companies, insurance giants and the like. I guess its hard to spend OUR money on the things that contradict all the money they are taking in!
They claim they believe in transparency yet allow Monsanto to continue to poison our food supply while NOT having to label GMO foods! As well as NOT requiring rigorous testing of these same foods BEFORE they allowed them into our grocery store!
America is getting sicker every year and this little formula only leads to more money for the pharmaceutical an insurance companies. Think this is just coincidence?
They claim they want small government and free enterprise, yet they fail to mention that they refuse to protect the rights of women to earn equal pay. They are quite content with 'men' being superior to women. Really?
They claim they don't want the government running people's lives, yet want to amend our Constitution to deny basic rights to ALL Americans! They want small government but they want it to ONLY give rights to the 'groups' they select as worthy enough.
In Iowa there is a group desperately trying to oust our Justices for legalizing same-sex marriage in our state. They are claiming these judges are 'activists' and have no right to morally corrupt our society. Really?
How does upholding the Constitution makes you an 'activist'? The Constitution CLEARLY states that All men are created equal, that every American has the RIGHT to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It does NOT then define what that 'happiness' HAS to be.
They claim same-sex marriage is a moral issue. Really? Then that more reason we can NOT allow our Constitution to be amended to deny rights to one group of people based on a religious moral issue. As NO law must be envoked based upon one religions belief.
If 'same-sex marriage' is a religious and moral issue then ALL marriage is a religious and moral issue and NONE should be 'legally recognized' by our government period!
This election season I do hope you all 'hear' the entire message the GOP is putting out there. They are selling more than they are claiming!