Unanswered Question: Who defines ‘what you *’need’?

These posts are posed as a ‘stream of consciousness’ evaluation of questions that I am asking myself.

The question I pose in the title is one that troubles me. If I were to choose a phrase that immediately ‘gets under my skin’ it is the statement from others about what ‘everyone’, or ‘someone’, ‘needs‘.
From my own sensitivity to other’s views, I’ve talked about trying to frame my comments in the arena of what I think or how I feel. I’ve learned that this is the most ‘unassuming’ and ‘fairest’ approach.
So, you may rightfully call me ‘sensitive’ to how others frame their comments. IMHO…I want to get-along and be listened to as much as anyone, but how would I know? 😉
I’ve taken exception to posts that were presented as “everyone agrees” or “everyone should” because of the pretentiousness it conveys to me.
The worst kind of statement IMHO is “they don’t need” or ‘worser’ “you don’t need” something.
I’ll admit my first internal reaction is “Who do you think you are?!” followed by the calmer, friendlier, question, “How is it that you know ‘what I need’?”

Examples of things I’ve heard are:
“People don’t need AR-15s.”
Everyone agrees we should “Go Green”.”
“You don’t need to be that busy with your grandkids.”
“You don’t need to eat meat.”
Everyone needs to take the “vaccine”.”
Everyone needs to be kinder.” [IMHO… Everyone is not routinely nor purposefully unkind. So, I ask, “Are you seeing monsters that I don’t?” Should I be afraid?]
“We all need to come together.” This last one would be nice. I know cohesiveness in our communities is a wonderful thing.
IMHO…I think the first thing that would help in the ‘coming together’, is an effort by each of us to speak for ourselves and avoid telling others “What they need.”. It’s off-putting to me and may be to others. (But you don’t need to agree. LOL)

To my fellow Americans:
Our Constitution expresses to us directly that each of us have a right to pursue what we ‘need’ but not a right to tell others what they need.

*Oh, I understand that personal ‘needs’ are subjective and different from basic survival ‘needs’ which we all may pursue as ‘we see fit’.

Unanswered Question: May I have your attention on occasion?

This post was inspired by a comment that I made on another post. It was about my opinion that our media is complicit in a larger global campaign of stealing our freedoms and futures by promoting an almost daily “crisis” and/or a new focus of outrage. You can totally disagree with my assessment and still learn from this post, so I ask you to continue reading.
Let’s start with a cute childhood riddle.
“What’s worse than discovering a worm in your apple?”
“Discovering half of a worm in your apple, of course.”
This is funny and a perfect segway to my next question:
“What’s worse than being fooled?”
“Not knowing that you’ve been fooled, of course.”
If you’ve never watched the TV series called Brain Games, I excitedly suggest it to you. It explores the human brain’s limitations and strengths. It’s science, folks!
Many of you already know how frustrated I get when I’m shutout of a conversation. Some of you expect conversations to be a competition to conclude “Who is ‘right’?” and avoid them because who has time for ‘battles’ these days?
What if conversations were a means to gain knowledge and understanding? That’s how I ‘see’ them.

We are not physically nor mentally equipped to pay attention to more than one thing at a time. That’s a fact. Multi-tasking is actually a state of busyness not a super-human mental ability. We may jump from one task to another with alacrity, but our efficiency suffers for it. Sorry for popping that bubble. 😉
So, what I am trying to point out is that no matter what YOU believe, you can be distracted and fooled by others who are able to get your attention. I certainly have been fooled and it not only ‘stinks’ it can be costly. The best attention getters are passionate or fear-based media reports. We’re wired to protect ourselves and preserve our values so, of course, we ‘drop’ everything else we could be paying attention to, in favor of self-preservation.
If we’re ‘busy’ in this fast-paced world, the available amount of our attention beyond our tasks is limited.
Do you know people who just read headlines and/or listen to media ‘warnings’ and leave that ‘ugly’ topic of “politics” to the zealots? I do. I can’t blame them. What bothers me is that they are being ‘played’ by censorship and misdirection when they do.
But, lucky for us there are retired, thoughtful, concerned, citizens who DO pay attention because it’s our “politics” that, whether we like it or not, directly affect our prosperity, freedom, and futures.
So, I ask, “May I have your attention on occasion?”
That request comes with no expectation of agreement or argument. It is a matter of “food for thought” in a busy world.
Below is a segment from Brain Games that may ‘open your eyes’ to how easily we can be fooled (and robbed) when our attention is diverted… many times it’s diverted for unseemly purposes. [In my humble opinion, our language, institutions, and futures are being ‘pick pocketed’ and twisted, while we’re being told in the media that we are each other’s adversaries by calling us racist, unkind, and uncaring, according to our political positions. We’re better than that. 😉 ]
We’re all in this together, friends!

Unanswered Question: Can’t we all admit that we’re silly?

I’ve had an ‘aftertaste’ that my recent posts were too repetitively ‘salty’. We all know too much of anything isn’t good for anyone. So, I decided to poke fun at myself and anyone else who may want to identify.

Gosh… there’s so much material.
My current most frequent ‘silly’ behavior is attempting to exit my car before I release the seatbelt. The gathering of my pocketbook, phone, and car keys, keeps jumping ahead of the basics. Every time I get that tug of “wait a minute pal” I start giggling. Then I spastically twist around trying not to put my ‘load’ down while gaining my freedom. In my head, that scene is hilarious.
Something I also do and immediately think, “DUH!” is stop at a railroad crossing with a single track, watch a train pass left to right, then proceed when the gates lift and look both ways before crossing. Um… a train could absolutely not be traveling right to left at that moment, silly.
How often we operate on what I call “autopilot” is something I find simultaneously frightening and comforting.
On occasion, I’ll drive a few miles (while in thought) and realize I have no visible memory of that part of my journey! My first instinct is to pull my truck over and slap myself. (I’ve yet to act on that one. lol) But not being fully aware of one’s surroundings is NOT a safe way to drive. It’s a “wake up” call when that happens.
Before you beautiful souls take up a collection for my incessant ‘thinking’ and do an intervention with “Overthinkers Anonymous”, I want you to know that my days hold a large amount of giggling precisely because of my affliction. It’s not all about “What ifs?”, it often times is “Look at that!” and takes on a humorous flavor actually more often than not. {I am a ‘silly frog’ don’t cha know.}

My granddaughter felt ill the other day and as she rushed to the bathroom to vomit, let’s say she ‘didn’t make it’. Knowing that ‘being sick’ is bad enough but being ill all over the back door is worse, I asked her what she’d had for lunch.
“Only a few blueberries and raspberries.” she gasped.
My answer was, “Wow! That’s what made this so colorful!”
Then we laughed together.

Yesterday, my mom sent me a photo of a quiche she had made labeled “Quiche Lorraine”. I responded with, “How were you able to tell it was a girl?”

You see? I’m able to annoy people with all kinds of questions and they don’t need to be the serious kind either.

Today, I would like to ask, “Can’t we all admit we’re silly?”
Incidentally, I don’t mind being ‘laughed at’. No one could do that more than I tend to do it to myself!

God bless.

Unanswered Question: Is the current definition of “kindness” actually “kind”?

When I’m online in social media sites, I’m constantly reminded to just be “kind”.

It’s occurred to me that many people currently have an oversimplified idea of “What is kind?”.

I could be mistaken but there seems to me an idea that not “making waves” is the epitome of “kindness”.
[Other than being the epitome of Marxism, I don’t think so. Marxists don’t like people who ‘think’.]

I consider myself overtly kind. I’m thoughtful, helpful, generous, and reassuring, as often as I am able.
So, I’m wondering why someone might declare my objections to policies and positions as “unkind”. They could argue that they’re flawed but calling someone ‘unkind’ requires a big leap.

I’ve heard that affirming children in their quizzical conclusions on ‘adult’ topics is the ‘kind’ thing to do. Really? Do kids have the knowledge and life experience necessary to make ‘informed’ decisions? Are they born with the ability to navigate the world? If so, why would parents even be necessary? Also, why have parents been held ‘legally’ responsible for what their kids do if kids are independent beings?

IMHO… not offering your kids your values and opinions (aka free-range parenting) is as ‘cruel’ as not offering a ‘blind’ person a ‘helping hand’ to cross the street safely. (Curiously, people who suggest raising kids as ‘free range’ is ‘kind’ often consider anyone not making their cat an ‘indoor animal’ ‘unkind’ because of ‘at large’ dangers.)
Keep in mind, the ‘blind’ person still has the ‘free will’ not to accept the ‘helping hand’. Your kids may not accept your guidance either but it’s likely they may if you are a fair and thoughtful parent. It’s cool how fair and thoughtful parents tend to raise their kids to be fair and thoughtful adults, isn’t it? Can we attribute that only to ‘kinder’ genetics or possibly something else? 😉

Another thing suggested as “unkind” is objecting to people “who want to better themselves” flooding our country ‘illegally’. Really?
First, if we allow that, we are encouraging people- who may have been ‘law abiding’ and generous all of their lives -to break the law and take something that doesn’t belong to them. The ‘unkindness’ of ‘breaking into a country’ also is an affront and ‘cutting of the line’ of other good people who chose not to break the law to become American citizens. Now that we know horrific things are happening to people uprooted by ‘false hope’ of being absolved of their ‘unkind’ methods, might ‘putting our foot down’ (as parents do) save them from themselves?

The ultimate unkind act comes from people who know ‘unkind things’ are happening and think it’s ‘kinder’ not to ‘speak up’.
No, the act of not trying to stop bad things from happening is NEVER kind. It is absolutely unkind, and IMHO is either cowardly or in some way self-serving.

Take heart! People calling others “unkind” are happily not the ultimate arbiters of ‘kindness’ neither are social media memes. Every individual heart determines what is kind. The people telling others to be generically ‘kind’ might want to examine if their own actions fit a “kindness definition” because I don’t think the current ubiquitous definition of “What kindness is?” is universally ‘kind’, at all.

Unanswered Questions: Do we exist to learn or to teach?

There’s an interesting prompt in another thread. It pertains to the use of ‘sarcasm’.
I like that prompt but the person offering it proposed that sarcasm was akin to negativity.

My first thought was “Really? How could something so much fun and humorous be a bastion of negativity?”
It was then I realized that the bias of that presentation was just a personal sensibility.
No harm, no foul, of course. We’re allowed personal viewpoints. The creepy part is that some people frame their views as absolute, inarguable, truths.
Do they believe that or are they just being a bit inartful?
It’s hard to tell. I’m not a ‘mind reader’.

That whole thought process made me continue to examine the propensity of human beings to define the ‘world’ according to their personal sensibilities. I think the leadership of the U.S. have on many unfortunate occasions decided to impose American values on other cultures. I believe many times (not all) it came from an altruistic arrogance on the premise that we had found the ‘correct’ course and assumed the role as a ‘teacher’ to all humanity. Well, if countries do that, I’m sure individuals are capable of that approach too.
Reagan’s “Shining City on the Hill” speech may have been the best way to ‘teach’… by example. “Because I say so.” is a poorer way to influence others than “Look at how well I’ve done.” As we learn, any lessons we have to offer are clear from our successes or failures.
[Our current predicaments are attributable IMHO to an outrageous disregard for our Constitution which had made our prosperous progress possible. When will we (our leadership) learn?]

Expanding the stream of consciousness brought me to the broadest question, “Do we exist to learn or to teach?”

As a self-described ‘student of life’, my tendency is to want to learn. You’ve already noticed that I enjoy asking questions.
But there is a ‘teacher’ in each of us too. Especially those who are parents and mentors of children.

I had to laugh during a recent vacation day spent with my granddaughter and a day care friend. We humorously caught on to a theme that developed quickly as we visited. There was a lesson in every topic I proposed! We got to the point when I said something we’d chime, “Here comes the lesson!” LOL

Yes, I wanted to ‘teach’ the kids. But the manner I chose wasn’t at all in the form of a lecture. It could be better described as a series of “Let’s think about that together.” moments. I told stories about difficult situations I had been confronted with in my life then invited them to examine “Why?” I made my decisions and “If?” they would have decided the same. I didn’t impose my values; I showed the kids how I had applied them. A few times, I asked their opinions on whether I may have been wrong. I truly wanted their opinion!

So, I did assume a ‘teaching’ role, but my lessons were to be found in an uncertain ‘testing’ of my values. I had remained primarily a ‘student’. IMHO… if more of us asked questions and perceived ourselves as fellow ‘students’, there would be far fewer righteous judgements (conclusions) made and more questions asked.
By reading the comments on the ‘biased’ prompt that I opened with, it appears to me that some ‘adults’ think their roles in this life are primarily as ‘teachers’ of how others should behave. It’s curiously always implied that ‘decency‘ depends on their ‘rules’ too. [I’m starting to imagine that the ubiquitous concerns over “bullying” have given them this authority in their own minds. To that I would ask which mimics ‘bullying’ more? Telling others “How they should behave.” or asking “Why they behave the way they do?”]

It just occurred to me that my interest in writing stories and poems comes directly from my desire to offer my viewpoint for others to consider and learn from for better or worse. They are still free to decide. Freedom is awesome!

Unanswered Question: President’s Day Edition: What’s wrong with playing a role?

I was surprised to find out that some people don’t believe we need to play a ‘role’ in life. In fact, some think that playing a role is directly opposed to being yourself.

Oh yes. Being (and knowing) yourself is important. We’re each gifted with different skills and temperaments, and I don’t think we can be truly happy without embracing and using them. But what about the ‘roles’ we play?

In the 1960s, I witnessed the birth of the ‘feminist movement’. Women, who had been generically excluded from many job opportunities, were legitimately upset. The societal roles of men and women had become so tightly defined that it was oppressive to all our ‘greater goods’. We were overlooking that the “best man for the job” could be a woman too. But, IMHO, there was a detrimental ‘overreaction’ that accompanied that movement toward change.

All roles were about to be reexamined and deemed too confining for ‘personal’ growth. The first to go was the oppressive role of ‘homemaker’. Women were told that they could, and should, do better. It’s almost funny that women seeking more, and broader, opportunity started turning on each other. Homemakers, those who loved their ‘roles’ as wives and mothers, became the new ‘punchline’. Women who didn’t ‘get with the new program’ were also treated like traitors.

Let’s get this straight, this was also the point where ‘being a woman’ started being more harshly defined than ever. All in the interest of liberation. LOL
You were suddenly ’empowered’ to look out for ‘only’ yourself if you didn’t have a Y chromosome. When you got up in the morning your gender supposedly defined everything you were. The ‘roles’ of mother, homemaker, and caregiver became a subliminal taboo. The feminist movement had made their ‘legitimate cause’ into a new ‘religion’ with the deity being their own definition of ‘womanhood’. Instead of looking for ‘equality of opportunities’ the mission took an ugly turn toward (a then undefined idea) what we know today as ‘equity’.

This was the biggest giant step toward destroying the nuclear family and most of the ‘players’ had no idea that they were the ‘tools’.
TV and Hollywood were happy to fan the flames! Compare the TV show “Leave it to Beaver” to “Maude”. Our culture was being nudged toward an end. {It didn’t work on me. Even as a child, Maude was always more of an embarrassing character than June Cleaver. Both were exaggerations of course.}

Where are we now? All traditional ‘roles’ are under attack. We’re even at the ridiculous place where ‘womanhood’ has no definition!
It’s also funny to me that the ‘role’ of CEO, feminist, activist, is okay for a “woman” (if you still know it’s an adult human female) but the ‘role’ of Mother is unfulfilling one’s potential, uninspired, and somewhat demeaning. [Here you might want to ponder, “Whose potential?” did the promoters of ‘mothers in the workforce’ have their ‘eye’ on.]

Our God given “right to choose” is always about what ‘role’ we’ll play. We can play many at once. Our ‘roles’ are not our immutable traits. You are a “black man”. You are a “woman”. You are “physically challenged”. But what ‘role’ you choose is where your ‘meaning’ is. By the volume of unhappiness and frustration now present in our society, it seems ‘meaning’ has gone desperately missing. It’s time to ask everyone, “What’s wrong with playing a ‘role’ in life?”

I suggest we start unapologetically reviving roles from our past and add them back to our ‘library’ of choices. Your true ‘liberation’ is all about the ‘roles’ you’re free to choose.
Abraham Lincoln said it best:

I want to leave you with more ‘food for thought’. It’s clear that the option to be a “stay at home mother” is obstructed by our current financial “needs”. If you think it was an accident that once mothers flooded the workforce looking for ‘equality’ they got ‘fenced in’ making it harder to return to being ‘homemakers’, you ought to watch the video below. The destruction of the bonds of the nuclear family is a basic tenant in Communism, as well as, making the population dependent upon government.

Unanswered Question: Am I supposed to be ashamed of being political?

Let’s face it. Most people are well-intentioned.
And many well-intentioned people ask themselves hard questions on a regular basis such as “Should I do or say something?” or “Am I being considerate enough of others?”.

Well, this ‘soul searching’ is good, and IMHO, we are wise to keep those things in mind. So, for me, the number of my opinion posts that ‘lean’ into politics made me ask myself, “Am I supposed to be ashamed of being political?”.

We know that people are ‘sensitive’ about political topics so perhaps I should keep that volume down a bit because there are obviously many other things to discuss, right?

Gardening, family, Nature, Pop culture, celebrities, sports, my future plans, etc. came to mind. What a surprise! Every one of those topics, and every other one that I ‘grabbed’ at, had a political thread if discussed to any level past ‘small talk’.

Don’t believe me?

Gardening and Nature get straight to Climate Change and the economy.
Family? Many (to most) of us have members with ‘gender issues’, have kids in *public education, have members with ‘drug’ and/or ‘medical’ concerns and have members who are experiencing a ‘financial’ pinch.
Pop culture? We know how quickly that goes political!
Sports? This too has been ‘tainted’ so much that a former football junkie like me hasn’t watched a game in 6 years.
Future plans? Don’t those things almost entirely depend on the political ‘management’ of our country?!

Are you seeing the same trend that I am?
It wasn’t me who did that.
I’ll leave the investigation of “Who did that?” for another thread.

Then I asked myself another question once I made that ‘everything’s political’ discovery. So, is keeping an ‘eye’ on politics a ‘bad thing’?

My answer is basically “No” (It can be overdone on a personal level.). It’s becoming abundantly clear that if a country doesn’t have a base-line cultural value system it’s in trouble. If many things actually have a thread of ‘politics’ (as I have revealed) then having healthy political systems are one of the MOST important things and the citizenry has to pursue a consensus for everyone’s sake.

Last question, “But what about everyone’s sensitive feelings about politics, shouldn’t I protect them?”

Brace yourself…
That’s a great big “Nope”. Staying silent (or being silenced) is not an option in a “free society” if you want to keep it.

I still don’t know if I’m supposed to be ashamed of “being political” according to some modern etiquette plan?
What I DO know is my own value system won’t let me even consider complying with that idea.

* Whether you agree with “woke” school policies or not, the point of this post is “everything is political”. Talking about schooling leads to “woke” policies quickly.