Politics

What is happening to democracy? What is driving the response to fear mongering and scapegoating? Why are caring, rational people lining up to see their tiny and biased agendas served?

Has the ‘system’ imploded? I have lots of resistance and resentment to authority in general and government big brother in particular. I am offend by her heavy hand interfering in my life and tired of over reaching policies that are created to solve/manage a relatively small problem. Every day I feel burdened by an external expectation that an elected, appointed or hired official imposes on us.

But I am not ready to throw in the towel and side with phobes. Those who are afraid and use fear to divide us and then offer a simplistic and futile suggestion to crucify someone else. If we took the legitimate criticism of democracy and reinvented Democracy V3 with more liberty and limited expectations, we would discover uncharted and inspirational territory. We are not going to find solutions or create improvement if we imagine blaming and shaming others is a forward moving tactic.

These words and actions are being used tactically in the interest (and only the interest) of those spouting the rhetoric. They have an agenda of getting elected, getting noticed, getting attention. My 19 month old grandson uses the latter two but I know he will outgrow them.

I encourage you to think about what you are choosing to listen to, what you are choosing to believe, and who you are choosing to support. It might come down to choosing fear or hope.

B

Inconclusive

What  are you sure about? What facts do you hold to be absolute? Are facts something other than a conjecture that has passed some burden of proof, today? What if the burden changes tomorrow and the ‘proof’ isn’t valid?

Many of us hold tightly to our bricks of belief because they offer a solid foundation and relying on them rather than questioning is convenient. I have my blind biases and have been exploring the what and why of my bricks for the past month. It has been uncomfortable and unsettling and exhilarating and inspiring. I chose to doubt everything I held to be true and leave open the possibility  that there was an as yet unimagined alternative explanation.

When I was most unsteady, I found a small crack that allowed me to see a different and unrelated aspect. The crack widened enough for me to peek through but not pass my commitment through. I needed to let go of gibberish, nonsense, ideology, partisan rhetoric, confirmation bias to create a door to the ‘other’ side.

The journey has offered new insight and I am not sure where I will land but am sure that it won’t be the safe haven of certainty that I departed fro. I admit to being anxious that in all this deconstruction I won’t find a shore to stand on but I am trusting that it can be as satisfying bouncing on a trampoline as it is walking a narrow balance beam.

Maybe there is something in your life that needs some examination.

 

B

Too Busy?

Are people really too busy to  show that they care? Are you?

Caring as an idea without action is an empty promise.

Pick something that you care about and begin to act with kindness, generousity and persistence. Just one thing – make a difference through your efforts, your influence and your affluence.

Keep taking small steps until what you care about has been cared for and then move on to something else.

Share the message of turning well meaning intention into impactful action.

Work That into a Sentence

Growing up the word Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious was popular, if inane, because of the movie Mary :Poppins. Julie Andrews created a lyrical way  of remembering the order and it was hear on playgrounds across the west. I thought it was the longest word in the English language and for a 10 year old it surely was.

But the record  might go to Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis which means or refers to a lung disease that is otherwise known as silicosis. While not common, you  can find it in medical journals and reports.

As a child I heard that a word isn’t a word if it isn’t in the dictionary. Well really what I heard (and stuck with me was “ain’t ain’t a word because it ain’t in the dictionary”. Just because we say it or write it doesn’t make it a word. When Lopado­temacho­selacho­galeo­kranio­leipsano­drim­hypo­trimmato­silphio­parao­melito­katakechy­meno­kichl­epi­kossypho­phatto­perister­alektryon­opte­kephallio­kigklo­peleio­lagoio­siraio­baphe­tragano­pterygon appeared in Aristophanes’ comedy Assemblywomen it was never really pronounced and never received word status.

As not to be outdone Methionylthreonylthreonylglutaminylarginyl…isoleucine with the … replacing 189919 letter purports to be the official name of a chemical ‘titin’

There are some countries that relish long place names;

Taumatawhakatangi­hangakoauauotamatea­turipukakapikimaunga­horonukupokaiwhen­uakitanatahu (85 letters) New Zealand

Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch (58 letters) Wales

There is even an American location  Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg that runs 45 letters.

Working any of these into sentence would be difficult and especially hilarious. It is even funnier when you consider that one of the most common word most of us say every day is “I”.

Make Today Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,

B

 

Good

Yesterday, I heard the word  good used at least four different ways. It was Good Friday in the Christian calendar and we attended a service. It got me thinking about what is so good about the day that Jesus was crucified? It turns out that good means Holy and that Holy Friday is more apt. The Holy of Holies fulfills His purpose and redeems the world.

I asked someone ” how is your day going” and they responded “good” but every other signal said ” I am having a crappy day and I definitely don’t want to talk about it”.

I had a delicious meal that was oh so good. The operative good here was tasty, pleasing to the eye and palate and of exceptional quality.

Most common “good” I heard was mediocre or ‘better than yesterday.’ Should we press someone when they say good with a tinge of acceptance? Do you say good and mean “good enough”? How can your good be great? What would I need to do to help make your good remarkable?

Have you asked a friend to elaborate on how their day, their trip, their appointment was good? Do you need someone pressing you to disclose that your good isn’t so good at all?

 

Make Today Truly Good,

B

Start a Prototype

Today – right now begin planning and rolling out a pilot. Something new and maybe a bit weird but still remarkably creative is waiting for your permission to release it. It will be interesting and possibly amazing.

Try a new cookie recipe – I know you are on a diet, or reducing gluten, or trying to resist sugar but you can still mix and drop and bake. One small cookie is your reward (someone needs to do quality control). If you bake 13 cookies you can give a dozen to a friend, 25 you make a pair of them smile. Most patches are likely 4 dozen so you can bring joy to a small group of people or do a bake and take. Your coworkers would really love the treat.

The prototype is an Easter modification. Give of your time and love and feel the joy of others fill your heart.

 

Be Blessed,

B

Giving Back

This post is about an organization I am supporting and a request for you to support them too.

A couple of weeks ago I attended 100 Men Who Give a Damn and present The Doorway to the group. The process is that once a quarter we come together for a beer and some appies and hear from 3 members representing 3 local agencies. We hear about why the organization needs and deserves our support and then we vote. I was successful in pitching The Doorway and they were awarded about $10,000. If you have a chapter of 100 Men Who Give a Damn or 100 Women Who Care, I suggest you consider joining. If not I encourage you to start one in your community.

I am running for the The Doorway on April 10 and have a goal to raise $500 (I am about 1/2 way) The Steps Off the Street Run will support dozens of young people who have made the decision to go from the street to main street. I would appreciate any support you can offer.

B

 

Am I Human?

A post by The Bloggess on Captcha and the need to fill in numbers, symbols and words that are indiscernible at least 50% of the time sent me on a wild brain chase about weird tests  we are subjected to. I confess that my ability to ‘see’ the numbers in the window is less than half the time but just because that is how my optic nerve and brain interact doesn’t mean I’m not an upright homo  sapien.

I was voting in Hockeyville, where they allow unlimited votes but after 10 or so you need to answer picto questions. “Identify all the pictures with eggs”, ” Find all the heavy machinery”, ” Click all the men”. I thought that most of the instructions were trick questions but was again able to prove my reality by guessing on some of them.

Then there all the ‘waste of time’ personality and description tests. What kind of dog are you? Which Star Wars character are you?  What color is your mood? These are great ways to kill 5 minutes and provide some phishing info to an eventual Facebook stalker.

These common challenges seem to be pervasive and some take viral to a new meaning – “Is the dress blue or gold?” Are we seeking to define our individuality, prove some distinct trait or cling to the safety of sameness?

I got this far into my rabbit trail and realized that there really wasn’t a full post here so I offer you a couple of quotes to test your humanity.

The Lord commonly gives riches to foolish people, to whom he gives nothing else.~  Martin Luther

A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer. ~ Bruce Lee

Did I Hear What You Heard?

We  have a conflict brewing between a social agency and a community that will likely end up in the courts after four years of engagement. The Director of the agency said” It is amazing how many times we can say the same thing and we still aren’t understood.” This is a sad state and I am sure both sides have not understood the same things being said over and over.

debate

It got me wondering how many times, each day, I say something that someone else hears differently. I wonder how many times I hear what I expect to hear rather than what is being said. I wonder how much of the conflict in our world is through misinterpretation.

I recognize that my ears aren’t biased but my brain sure can be. The sum total of my experiences determine how I understand words; especially ones that carry potential for strong emotions. In the conflict above- homeless, drug treatment, Nimbyism, are three that have become inflammatory and there is likely little that will change the impressions. In this case there were lots of earlier actions that one of the parties could have taken but they entered into the ‘discussion’ believing they had ‘right’ on their side and they didn’t need to be transparent.

In my life, not only do I carry the past into my understanding of the present but I bring my current state as well. If I am cranky I am less amenable and my ear to brain pathway gets narrow and prejudiced.  If I am hungry, happy, tired, or ill they path changes again.

I am not a brain expert but it seems to me that I need to ask, in situations where the debate is circular, ” Am I hearing what you are saying?” and then honestly realize that I’m not. It is my responsibility to understand so I need to ask questions to clarify rather than questions to win. If I suspect that my words aren’t landing then, again, it is my responsibility to restate the position so as to be understood without anger, arrogance or malice. If I am not ‘hearing’ of ‘being heard’ it is up to me to set it right.

Make Today Remarkable, by Rehearing,

B