POINTS OF PONDERATION…..EPISODE 3.22 

A semi-regular attempt to address some of life’s minutiae that might otherwise be overlooked…..

I WILL finish what I was saying, no matter how many times you interrupt & talk over me. Some people have no clue how obnoxiously rude & low class they tend to be. 

In life you meet people & think positively about them. You want to befriend them because they’re cool or quirky or funny or have whatever kind of personality traits you find appealing. But then you discover that pursuing any sort of relationship is just too damn difficult. Underneath the positive qualities that you initially deemed fascinating there is a dark side. At best those negative attributes cause instability & frustration, at worst they make that person dangerous. Not necessarily dangerous in a deadly or even physically harmful way, but threatening to one’s peace & emotional well being. The older you get the more valuable tranquility becomes, and you learn that, despite the great potential that certain situations may offer, sometimes it’s just not worth the hassle. 

As screwed up as things have become here in the United States, I’m thankful that I don’t live in Canada, New Zealand, China, or Australia. 

I have (mostly) stayed away from reignited debates about abortion & gun control and haven’t given “Pride” Month hardly any thought. I finally realized, after many years of wasted energy, that no one gives a damn about my opinion, and all too often nowadays offering up one’s thoughts for public consumption is just asking for trouble. That’s a weird thing for a blogger to say, but it’s the truth. Five years ago I would’ve already written separate epistles on each of those subjects. They would’ve been good reads & perhaps some might have nodded in agreement as they scrolled thru the presentation while laying in bed, sitting on the “throne”, or wherever else whoever reads these things I write plants themselves while doing so. Sadly, just as many folks would be offended and attack me (or unfriend/unfollow if they subscribe to my social media platforms). I’ve simply lost my appetite for such discourse, and that’s probably a good thing. What I think or believe doesn’t really matter anyway. A former minister of mine once said, while we were studying Revelation, that he didn’t foresee America even existing in the End Times, and I agree. Anyone paying attention the past year & a half has witnessed a purposeful destruction of our nation and willful obliviousness from the masses. Trekkies understand that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one, but the fact is that too many Americans never learned the lesson, and that will be our downfall. 

Call me old fashioned, but “separated” is not divorced, so why do you already have a boyfriend/girlfriend?? 🤔

To be honest with y’all, I’m just tired. Tired of fighting unwinnable battles. Tired of being alone, ignored, unwanted, & overlooked. Tired of being abandoned. Tired of relying on unreliable people. Tired of people who talk ceaselessly but have nothing to say. Tired of realizing that so much of what I was taught & perceived to be true is no longer valid…if it ever was. Tired of people treating others like dirt then flippantly asking the injured party to not take it personally. Worn down by life. Weary of being in my own head. Bored. Disappointed in myself for multiple reasons, and disappointed by others on many levels. Unfulfilled. Sad that I’ll never be what I could have been. Disheartened that I’ll never have a wife or experience the joy of a child calling me “Daddy”. Tired of putting on a polite & brave face. Tired of having very little of what I’ve wanted & desired in part due to the fact that I never truly understood how to attain those things. Tired of people who should know me best not understanding me at all. I’m tired, and I don’t know what to do about it.

POINTS OF PONDERATION…..EPISODE 2.22 

A semi-regular attempt to address some of life’s minutiae that might otherwise be overlooked…..

What is it with admins of Facebook groups?!?!?? 90% of the groups I follow are perfectly fine. They hum along smoothly, allowing fans of a particular subject/person/show/entity to enjoy content related to the topic that page was created to promote. However, every once in awhile you’ll run across some whiny lil dictator wannabe who probably lives in their parents’ basement & has toiled in a series of low paying, dead end jobs for the duration of their adult life, but now they perceive themselves as having some level of power & control simply because they help run a relatively meaningless page on a social media platform. It’s equal parts hilarious, aggravating, & pathetic. Get over yourselves. Your life is even more empty & miserable than mine, and that’s difficult to pull off. Just stop. 

While The Sickness & related madness seems to be subsiding a bit (here in America anyway…Canada, China, & Australia are evil personified that I won’t tackle right now), it’s still a thing to a degree. I saw a post from a local establishment looking to hire part time help, and it was mentioned that employees must be vaccinated. I scoffed. Now, this place has tasty vittles, and I’ve tried to support them occasionally despite the fact that I really should be consuming veggies & fish rather than donuts, but I am against requiring vaccines for no logical reason. Not to beat a dead horse, but when the powers-that-be create a vaccine that actually prevents the malady it is purported to avert, then I will happily roll up my sleeve & take it. When fully vaxxed people stop dying, then perhaps I’ll hop onboard. In the meantime, why should some small town schlub like myself or any of my friends & neighbors have to get jabbed to prepare & sell delicious pastries or work at any other low paying service job?? It’s asinine. 

Look, I’m not a woman (in case you didn’t know), but I reject the notion that only women should have or express opinions about abortion. Both sides of the debate tend to present extreme scenarios to validate their viewpoints. If you believe all of my conservative friends then every case involves a lascivious 16 year old flippantly looking to escape the consequences of her poor decisions, or a selfish woman who is too busy with her career or carefree lifestyle to be bothered with a baby. If you believe my liberal friends then every case is a sob story situation involving a 13 year old rape victim, a mother who will die if they carry the baby to term, or a fetus that has so many deformities it’s basically a vegetable in utero with no hope for any quality of life. While I have no doubt that all of these things do happen, I’m not sure they are the majority of abortion cases. We tend to look for easy solutions to simple problems, but few things in life are that straightforward. I don’t have any answers, but I do think it’s a topic worthy of intelligent, thoughtful, gracious contemplation. Can we manage that?? Are we capable of such civility anymore??

The older I get the more I appreciate total silence. I have multiple people in my life who talk & talk & talk & talk and freakin’ talk some more, all the while saying absolutely nothing of value in any way, shape, or form. It’s maddening, and quite frankly I’m completely sick to death of it. I find these interactions legitimately depressing, as they are indications of how terribly awry my life has gone. I almost wish I could move to the woods like Walden or find a deserted island like Tom Hanks in Cast Away (sans the horrific plane crash), except for the fact that I enjoy modern conveniences like internet access, streaming TV channels, & two day shipping way too much. Y’all have no idea how many times a week I fake falling asleep or lie about having another call coming in simply to get rid of someone who is completely wasting my time & testing my patience. 

Speaking of social media…

I recently unfollowed a local bar/restaurant’s pages on Facebook & Instagram because the family that owns the place almost exclusively  posts pics & stories about their kids & their vacations. Look, I don’t give a damn about your child’s birthday party or how much fun y’all had at the beach. Put that stuff on your personal page(s). I follow a business page to get their hours of operation, view the menu, check for deals, & find out who the entertainment might be next weekend. If you want to be perceived as professional then act professional. 

Thoughts & Prayers…Part 2

If you missed Part 1 of this little ditty please take a moment to check it out…otherwise you’ll be hopelessly confused.

 

Okay, so…I don’t want to be one of those people who shriek “Do something!!” but offer no real solutions. Therefore, allow me to make a few suggestions.

 

One of the first rules of being in a supervisory position is “never ask subordinates to do something that you aren’t willing to do yourself”. In that same vein, I humbly ask all of the social justice warriors in Hollywood, the music industry, & professional sports who love to use social media and the bully pulpit of television that is readily accessible to them to self-righteously preach about gun control to lead the way. Get rid of every firearm  in your possession. Dismiss every last armed security person you employ. Every. Single. One. You’ll just have to rely on the police like the common folks here in flyover country. And finally, pledge to never again write, produce, direct, or star in any TV show or movie that depicts even a single second of gun violence. It’s a little hypocritical to criticize The Second Amendment while simultaneously making movies with a higher body count than the mass shootings about which you are shedding crocodile tears. Eliminate all music, video games, computer software, or any other product that even mentions guns. These would be more significant contributions to society than the collective glitterati have made in the past half century.

 

On a more basic level let’s talk about school security. Now I haven’t been a high school student since the first George Bush was in the White House, and have only had reason to visit a public school a couple of times in the ensuing years, but I know that things are a little more secure these days. Theoretically no one can just waltz into a school and wander around. However, I think we can do better. I am employed at a mental health facility, and we contract a security firm. On each floor of our facility there is a security guard, and much of what that person does is monitor various cameras. No one enters or exits the premises without security knowing about it. Why shouldn’t schools have the same system?? I know that most high schools have a “resource officer” that actually lives on school grounds, and that is fantastic. But especially with larger schools it seems like one person isn’t enough. Furthermore, why should a person who has no business at the school even get within sight of the building?? Why not put a check-in gate on the driveway or access road leading to the school (assuming the campus has such a thing)?? No one that shouldn’t be there would get anywhere near the students. Perhaps such things exist in some locations, but they sure don’t seem to be the norm. These two reforms alone might have saved dozens of lives the past few years.

 

And now the big one…my grandest idea thus far. I am not a politician and have no plans to ever run for public office. It was something I pondered for a brief moment in time many years ago, but life has not led me in that direction. However, allow me to offer…free of charge to any legislator that wants to pick up the ball & run with it…the Child Safety Act (someone can even rename it to something more poetic if they wish). Here’s how it would work. You want to talk about “common sense gun reform”?? Okay…I am open-minded. Longer waiting periods?? More extensive background checks?? Stricter licensing procedures?? I’m no expert on any of those things but there is nothing wrong with an intelligent discussion. You want to raise the age requirement to legally purchase any gun to 21…or even older?? I think I’m okay with that. Anything short of a weapons ban or altering The Second Amendment is on the table. My fellow fantasy football league owners will tell you how much I like wheelin’ & dealin’, and since this issue is obviously much more important I am prepared to be flexible. Liberals & conservatives alike are rather passionate about all of this but definitely approach the topic with differing philosophies.  I think though that we can all agree that mass shootings are horrific. Any such loss of life…especially when we’re talking about kids…is sad, depressing, & unacceptable. If we can indeed “do something” then let’s make it happen.

 

Now, politicians like to talk about “bipartisanship” & “reaching across the aisle”. They have been known to negotiate quid pro quo deals, and regularly include items in bills that aren’t necessarily related to the main idea. However, in this case there is common ground. It really is about the children isn’t it?? If so, then let’s discuss the other half of the Child Safety Act…”common sense abortion reform”. There are waiting periods for buying a gun, so let’s have a practical waiting period for an abortion (24 hours is a joke). 10 days?? 30 days?? It’s worthy of a conversation. And during that waiting period how about mandated, fair & balanced, comprehensive counseling, information about alternatives like adoption, financial advice, health care assistance & instruction, and training on parenting skills. And I’m not just talking about pamphlets. If a person really wants that abortion why shouldn’t they be required to jump thru some hoops?? How about background checks?? A medical facility should know whether or not there is a legitimate reason for someone to get an abortion. Take a look at the woman’s family situation, finances, psychological profile, etc. Is the choice to abort one of convenience?? Gun control advocates like to ask “Why does a person need to own so many guns??” & “Why does a person need to own this or that type of gun??”. Okay…then I think it’s fair to ask a person “Why do you want to abort this baby??” & “Why are you opposed to putting the child up for adoption after it is born??”. Age restrictions?? Let’s discuss. It is important to clarify that we are not talking about repealing Roe v. Wade, just as gun control advocates indicate they do not seek to eliminate The Second Amendment (;-)), and obviously we are excluding any situation where the pregnancy endangers the mother’s life, but otherwise perhaps the “choice” shouldn’t be quite so easy. I realize that the framework for some of these limitations may be in place in some states, but it is hardly universal. Let’s make the legalities consistent. The simple fact is that the right to keep & bear arms is a Constitutional right dating back nearly two & a half centuries, whereas a woman’s “right to choose” is based on a court decision younger than I am. Nearly 350 people were victims of mass shootings in America in 2017. There are 500k-1 million abortions annually in the United States, depending on which source one chooses to believe. So if all of this really is about the children then y’all can’t have it both ways. A Constitutional right cannot be restricted or abolished while a fairly new “right” remains relatively unencumbered, especially given the stark contrast in numbers.

 

One final thing…..

God’s Word, in James 5:16, says that “the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” Psalms 5:3 says “my voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord…in the morning I will direct it to You, and I will look up”. 1 John 14-15 says “this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us, and if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” God instructs us in Jeremiah 29:12 to “call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.” Philippians 4:6 says to “be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God”. We are told in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 to “rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”. James 5:13 asks “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray”. Psalms 17:6 reassures that “I have called upon You, for You will hear me, O God”. Psalms 102:17 says “He shall regard the prayer of the destitute, and shall not despise their prayer”. In Romans 12:12 we are taught to “be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer”. Psalms 145:18 says “the Lord is near to all who call upon Him”.  So if someone wants to pray for others…let them. Welcome it. And if you feel so inclined to pray for a person in need or a group of people you don’t know like the families of the victims at Stoneman Douglas High School then go right ahead. People like The View’s Joy Behar may think that Godly people are mentally ill, but we know that God is real and He hears our prayers. If you don’t happen to believe in God that is your right, and I respect it…so long as that respect is mutual.

 

I don’t have all of the answers. I wish I did. But I’m pretty sick & tired of people wanting to arrogantly toss aside our Constitution, and I’m really fed up with condescending attitudes about the power of prayer. One of the best things about America is each person’s freedom to believe or not believe in whatever they choose, especially when it comes to faith. We also have the freedom to disagree & debate when it comes to other issues. I am humbly suggesting that everyone engage in such discussions with compassion, consideration, & humility. That’s probably asking too much though.