A Quatern is a sixteen line French form composed of four quatrains. It is similar to the Kyrielle and the Retourne. It has a refrain that is in a different place in each quatrain. The first line of stanza one is the second line of stanza two, third line of stanza three, and fourth line of stanza four.
Manhood belongs not to the meek. All honor is won at a cost. A reticent life unworthy. All you value easily lost.
I was once unsure just like you. Manhood belongs not to the meek. So, stand tall when facing this world. Cowards never find what they seek.
My hands are broken, my back is bent, And my job is most nearly done. Manhood belongs not to the meek. Time to fight your battles, my son.
Those gentle eyes and chiseled chin, Are signs that you’ll reach your own peak. Kind men guard the common ‘good’, ‘Cuz, Manhood belongs not to the meek.
Yes, I am angry. I am also disgusted. I’d mind my own business but there’s a concerted effort to ‘infect’ our children with bad ideas. My granddaughters are going to be exposed to them too. They simply can’t go unchallenged any longer. If I hear about “equity” anymore, I may explode. LOL Below is a picture meant to express the ‘marvelous nature’ of “equity”. Let’s examine the messages.
Well, there are three children of different races and sexes in this diagram and an imaginary dotted line. What’s the line mean? I would guess it has something to do with reaching ‘success’. Everything presented in this diagram has a purpose. The white male child is the tallest, the female child is shorter, and the black child is too short to reach the ‘success’ line in the first picture. Oh, I see diplomas in the hands of the “successful”. Could it be the getting of a diploma is a perfect goal? Seems odd that the taller boy can more easily reach the goal when more women are graduating with college degrees these days. Seems repulsively racist that the diagram depicts the black child as needing help to achieve the same goal. I hope they aren’t suggesting black children are not as smart as white kids! Somebody ought to tell Dr. Ben Carson or Barrack Obama about that a.s.a.p. The black child not only seems to need ‘help’, but he’s also depicted as needing the most help. That’s a sorry message, I hope it was not intentional. [wink] So, when it comes to “equality” it seems giving everyone a fair “equal” chance isn’t enough but giving ‘selected people’ according to their ‘appearance’ better unequaled advantages is shown as a ‘good’ thing. Don’t forget…that ‘good’ thing is a diploma. They don’t regard (in this diagram) success as being achievable any other way. That’s okay. They can’t cram all the possible ways we achieve in only one diagram because we know they are endless, right?
Now, let’s look at the heading. “Apply Equity to Women’s Advancement”. I’ve established many reasons that “equity” is condescending and unfair. How might the application of it advance women? What possible measurement does the artist use for “advancement”? I already said more women are getting degrees than men. I can tell you, the women I know without degrees are advancing in there “life goals” nicely too. All motivated people strive to advance themselves toward goals. I surely hope being a devoted mother and/or caregiver or an excellent free-lance writer meets that undefined (but subliminally suggestive) advancement criteria.
I could go on… But I’ll just ask, “What in the world is going on?” WHO are polluting our children’s minds and WHY are they doing this?
Depicting white males as already ‘advanced’ when I’ve seen so many work tirelessly to achieve their goals. Depicting women and blacks as “less-than”. Wow! That’s a stupid and racist message. Depicting ‘advancement’ narrowly as the “buying of a degree” (That’s all it amounts to in most cases.) Depicting that our needs for assistance should be measured by our immutable traits not by our individual situations.
Why don’t we think for a change? Let’s consider who benefits from such messages. Not white males… they’re ‘privileged’, so “you’re on your own guys”. We’ll even let people cut in line before you for jobs. Not females…if they embrace the nonsense in the diagram, they may resent men especially ‘white men’ for having some made-up advantages. Oh yes, and ‘educated’ women resoundingly consider black people as so disadvantaged without them, that they are empowered to “tell them just what they need” because they know better. How condescendingly ‘kind’ are those ‘educated women? Not black children… they’re harmed the most. They can’t (and told they shouldn’t) believe in their own potential when it’s clear they’re going to need a lot of help. Some may not even try with those ‘oppressive’ odds.
The only people who benefit are those who want to expand government and control outcomes. They don’t even use their own money but thinking up ‘equity’ programs while using taxpayer funds (and hiring family members) is their favorite pastime. It makes people appreciate the NEED for them, you know. They (government bureaucrats and Marxist activists) purposefully disrupt our constitutional order of an “equal chance” to “pursue happiness” and sell a divisive message ending with “You need our help. We’re here to help.” because we’re the ‘nice’ guys.
That’s the best description of “authoritarian” control I’ve ever heard. Please “wake-up”. We’re not each other’s adversaries but those suggesting we are, aren’t looking out for you. Beware of the term “equity”, it’s a trick.
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”.” “Everyoneneeds 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?] And “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’.
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.
Sadje’s Sunday Poser brought to my mind a beautiful memory along with the usual ‘food for thought’.
Doing generous acts of kindness feels SO satisfying. I’ve often wondered if getting such satisfaction from it wasn’t a little self-serving because I get so much pleasure from it.
I’ve described doing such things as similar to Johnny Appleseed who spread his seeds hoping that some would grow. He didn’t need to stand around waiting for that ‘fruit’ because he had faith that some would take root. It wasn’t in his hands to tend them or even find out which ones grew. He got enough satisfaction from the act.
That’s how I see “Paying it forward”.
A few, maybe 5 now, years ago, a lady was walking through our grocery store wearing a gentle smile and carrying a bouquet of roses. She was about 60 years old. When our eyes met, she walked up to me and asked would I like a rose? (I love flowers but wondered what ‘the catch’ was yet there was something about her that made me graciously accept a rose.) Then she made my whole day and gave me a memory that still warms my heart.
She explained that she was the caretaker for an elderly woman who no longer was mobile enough to come to the grocery herself. The woman said that the elderly lady asked her to purchase a bunch of roses and hand out some ‘sunshine’ for her. (I’m tearing up as I write this.) I never asked for that beautiful soul’s name, but I assure you that her act of kindness has not been forgotten. I’m proud I am able to share it further with all of you.
Sometimes I wonder if that lady has passed on to Heaven. We all know that she would be welcomed home there. I hope she somehow knows how far that kind gesture has traveled.
I compare myself to no one. Each day I count my blessings and set my sights on being a better version of myself. There’s always room for improvement, IMHO. I struggle, though, with trying to remain tolerant of others while feeling the need to ‘speak up’ in the face of evil and wrongdoing. The phrase “In order for evil to flourish it requires good men to do nothing.” looms large in my heart. On a personal level, I try to be kind, forgiving, and tolerant and I save my ‘speaking out’ for topics, ideologies, and policies. I can ‘love’ individual people but in no way feel that I have any requirement to approve of their actions or philosophies. I can be influenced by well-reasoned arguments, but I can never be bought, shamed or intimidated into doing (or believing in) anything I feel is unethical or immoral. Ultimately this makes me sometimes sound opinionated and/or intolerant of those who believe ‘making waves’ is ‘hate’ and uniform compliance is ‘kindness’. With all due respect, I don’t allow the opinions of others to define me or threaten me, because I never lose sight of my faithfulness to God and being able to live with myself. As far as forgiving myself, here’s a song I taught my day care kids many years ago. I still live by it. Enjoy!
Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “collect.” Use the word “collect” any way you’d like.
If I could wave a magic wand and turn every kind word or deed in this world into a delicate butterfly, the sky would be alive with beauty. That collection would be far larger than any other! Why has this absolute real humanity and beauty become so hard to notice? Affluent people (not those scraping for daily survival) are currently far more interested in collecting (and carrying the weight of) outrage than just looking around. That’s why. The media has us collecting problems and despair, and those are rocks! Rocks are useful for building but you must look down to see them. Have you ever watched people who never lift their heads as they walk? They seem focused but they’re prone to missing out on things, such as, many beautiful sights, and some might even be changed by lifting their eyes, once in awhile, avoiding a fall. (Of course we must not only look up or we would stumble too.) We would do well to get back to a balance, don’t you think? Let’s start collecting many of our impressions directly from our ‘fellow man’ and from what we actually experience while noting that ‘reporting’ and ‘headlines’ are snippets of information that are most often out of context. And media opinion? Well, we’re capable of creating our own, thank-you, so let’s respect that diversity for change.
My heart is sad when I hear so much outrage, vitriol, and condescension from people across political divides. The stench of constant outrage has them looking at their feet and holding their noses. The 24/7 media is most culpable for creating imaginary monsters out of our human brothers and sisters by grouping and defining them in the most shallow and unimportant terms. We aren’t going to make the manipulation of the media stop but we can lift our heads and notice the butterflies… they’re everywhere!
Happy Saturday friends. To my United States brothers and sisters, Happy Memorial Day Weekend.
Since so many other online writers have blogs dedicated to their writings, I’ve decided to jump onto the bandwagon. All posts published here will be either fiction or poetry, some new, and some previously published on various places on the Internet. Some of my works are conventional, and some are quirky. All fiction posted here, except for fan fiction, will include the letters "rose" somewhere, as a tribute to my Baba.