Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Seemingly the world has taken multiple simultaneous steps toward chaos. Things seem chaotic beyond any period of time which I have experienced in my relatively short life of 56 years. I've thought long and hard about the reason why. Perhaps this perception is caused by my insistence of not watching corporate television's rating driven "news" shows. That is a relatively new thing in my life. Two years have gone by. But I fear that making this commitment has actually improved my sense of reality, the reality of wackiness that people seem immune to seeing. Reading the news and watching select clips makes me feel more connected than ever. And given the two year absence and what I have learned, it appears impossible to go back.

Madness is honestly a better descriptive term for what appears to be all around me. And I am not referring to just generalized society but my actual personal daily experiences. I cannot go into details though I would love to prove my point by doing so. However, speaking about generalities, just look at Ebola, global warming, and the war my nation started without provocation that has left an unfixable power vacuum. Ebola has been around quite some time yet we cut funding in the past due to sequestration, a seemingly mad mutually assured destruction that was to force our representatives to act which instead became a policy. The policy was to cut spending everywhere regardless of importance to our nation or goals or sanity.  The defence department, seemingly the only influential part of our government (other than the cable industry) actually listed global warming as a big threat to our national security. It is, of course but is it the Defense Department that has to tell us before we believe it? But still we won't believe it. By the time we actually start doing something to help the situation, it will likely be so advanced as to be unstoppable. Seriously, we just accept these things? More war? Utter madness.

I have so little time to write lately as I am busier than I have ever been, but it is hard to shake this feeling of madness all around me. I am more vigilant,  working more effectively and harder than ever. My heart is squarely in the right place but, my heavens, the world is throwing curve balls at a rate hitherto unknown. Previously in my life I think I blamed many of my problems upon my inability to handle the oddities of life. The difference now is that I see a distinct pattern:  I am not throwing the curve balls at myself, they are part of my surroundings. And they come at increasing frequency. Blaming myself? That would be akin to the madness of those throwing the curve balls.

For my own mental health, I decided that with my advancing age I should withdraw somewhat from worrying about the world we were leaving for the next generation. That was a start but I really must say the bad consequences for the next generation appeared to ramp up at about the same time... negating any peace of mind I might get from rosy glasses. Even rose colored glasses have limitations.

The world honestly seems to be infected with sheer madness. Perhaps it's the cell phones....

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Sweet Lady from Iraq

A lady visiting from Iraq had been coming into the library for a while. She was so kind and caring. I helped her with printouts and counting change (our coinage does not even have denominations on it, how strange is that?). She was always thankful and went out of her way to say that we had the nicest people here. She probably meant in America but we do have a nice little town here.

The last time I would see her was when she came in to print out her tickets to fly home. Again, she just told me how wonderful everyone had been to her and was saying goodbye to me. A few minutes later, some gadget in her purse went off with the audio of a Muslim prayer. I was not around her but I went to tell her she needed to turn it off (which was what I do with every cellphone that rings for a while). She apologized sincerely, was as sweet as she could be, and I thought that was that. I skipped happily back to my desk and gave a wink and a nod to my colleague.

However another woman in the room called me over to tell me that this disturbed her. She said "After the beheading some people were sensitive." I do not really understand what she wanted me to do but she was not happy. I said that I really did not associate a prayer with violence, in general. I told her I had not been keeping up with the news about the American beheading. "Well, you should read about it and then comment," she countered. I just left it there.

So, later I read an article about the beheading in America and came away with the idea that it was basically a disgruntled worker. But in all honesty, any reason a person comes up with to justify killing another person intentionally is not particularly good. One reason is no more frightening than another.

And more importantly, the weapon used can dramatically increase the number of people killed by some disgruntled person. One would have to be Conan the Barbarian to behead a bunch of folks at a time. Now an assault rifle with unlimited ammunition in a public place... that is kind of scary and it seems to be happening everywhere... without prayer audio.

So I just won't be commenting to the second lady after reading about the beheading. Someone who has an unreasonable fear needs to deal with that themselves.

As for the sweet lady from Iraq, I would like to thank her for enriching my life with her thoughtful and kind remarks. I hope she takes back a bit of love from America.

“Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.” - attributed to Buddha