November 28th: Story Challenge- Guard Yourself

November 28, 2022, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the saying, “not my monkeys, not my circus”. What is the situation that would spawn that aphorism? Have fun with setting and characters! Go where the prompt leads!



“Son, there are two dynamics going on. Individual behaviors vs behaviors of those who make the ‘rules’. Media presents the former 24/7 in order to distract us.
The only individual whose action you control is you. “Not my monkeys, not my circus” applies to the rest.
But, in order to ensure a bright future, you must discriminate “anecdotes” from policies. Never dismiss governmental actions even if they don’t seem to apply directly to you. When sensational items are dwelled upon, look beyond them. It’s not your job to save the world from itself. Guard yourself against the world.”


https://carrotranch.com/2022/11/28/november-28-story-challenge-in-99-words/

SoCS Saturday- 5/28/22 Our Trials

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “trail/trial.” Use one, use both, use them any way you’d like. Bonus points if you use both. Have fun!

To sweep the event that has shaken all of us into an ‘isolated safe space’ as we enjoy our hard-fought freedoms with loved ones this Memorial Day Weekend, would be easier, and possibly more humane, than bringing it up but this weekend, after all, is made possible because of loss.
I’m not interested in applying a corkscrew to every broken heart with horrific details like the shameless media. I want to address how we humans have the capacity to rise above grief for an outcome that animals cannot.
The best athletes have a tool that not everyone develops. They know how to compartmentalize emotional pressures in order to bring forth their gifts and skill. We all know the phrase “they choked”. That describes any activity where a human being is overcome emotionally to the point of it affecting the ability to do his ‘best’. Hey… we all choke sometimes. We’re human.
Many folks have also developed a similar tool when it comes to critical thought and problem solving. That ability alone separates us from all other creatures. To unemotionally examine our problems, according to expansive investigation, grants us an incredible survival advantage. We need not repeat mistakes in order to learn to avoid danger.
Not every human can do this. Emotions are powerful and necessary. Our emotions actually serve us well in decision making in tandem with critical thought. We’re not robots and that’s our most crucial gift. We can figure out how to improve AND apply humanity.
I’m afraid humans have either failed to inspire critical thought skills in each new generation or our species has somehow had that ability erased from our DNA. For some reason hearts are currently ruling more often than heads. Our media surely has caught on. Tugging at heartstrings is a far better business model than investigating facts.
Those who are unable to ‘deal’ beyond emotion have become hecklers to those who care so much they want to prevent, rather than cure, troubles. News Flash: troubles almost never have a single cause nor a binary solution, yet the hecklers reduce every tragedy to that immature level. I’d wish they’d stop that!
I wonder if they actually care or just want others to see them as “those who care”?

It’s understandable if you’re numb with grief or if you feel confused and helpless but PLEASE stop demonizing everyone else awaiting factual information or blaming people who aren’t ‘the cause’ (i.e., the NRA, Republicans, the Founding Fathers…), you look foolish. Grow up or kindly just get out of the way.
Our trials desperately need critical analysis or the trail of human existence, most certainly, will be short.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!
A salute to all who have perished so that we might learn, love, and thrive another day.


THEY LIE WITHOUT REST — Citizen Tom


I’m reblogging an interesting post with a sound message.

Reporters with various forms of “fake news” from an 1894 illustration by Frederick Burr Opper (from Fake new.s – Wikipedia) A an easy riddle. Riddle: How does one lie without rest? Answer: One tells a falsehood. Isaiah put it this way. Isaiah 57:20-21 New American Standard Bible 20 But the wicked are like the tossing sea, For it […]

THEY LIE WITHOUT REST — Citizen Tom

Ignorance Perpetuates Prejudice

crow
crow (Photo credit: crowdive)

There’s so much outrage these days. Something has stirred up our emotions and I’m at a loss to find one single cause. The overall theme of this simmering pot is misunderstanding with a big helping of mistrust on top. The visible combatants, via our sensationlizing media, in these divisions are claiming the ability to divine the intent of anyone who has a differing opinion. The core element to the outrage seems to be a misguided philosophy that assumes, those who differ, do so from a purely mean-spirited inspiration.

I’d like to offer a true story that helped me to realize that most prejudice comes from ignorance not an evil agenda.
A few years ago, I witnessed one of Nature’s violent “goings on”. I was alerted to a “bird battle” in my back yard by dozens of squawking crows. As I watched the commotion, there was a flailing of wings and seeming screams coming from a gang of large birds on my lawn. One red-tailed hawk emerged from that pile, and flew off, followed by more crows than I could count. My curiosity brought me straight to the, now abandoned, crime scene to discover three dead fledglings on the ground. My human heart was saddened but I returned to my daily routine.
A few hours later, my neighbor had taken up the task of burying the victims and joined me at my doorstep with his tale of the tragedy .
Before I tell you about his understanding of the bird “murders”, I’d like to point out that most people have a small knowledge of birds, and Nature in general. In fact, until my curiosity of natural things had awakened, I was among those folks who could identify only Robins, Crows, Blue Jays and the, occasional, Cardinal. These birds are of the highly visible type that most people come to know. With that commonness , there also comes wide-spread folk-lore about them. Blue Jays are brash and bossy, Robins are sweet, Cardinals are special and Crows are murderers. In fact, a group of crows is referred to as a “murder of crows”. (In defense of crows, they are actually primarily scavengers and highly intelligent to boot. I’m sure, the common place sightings of these fellows eating carrion was the impetus of the “killer” label.)

Now, back to the story:
My kind neighbor broke into a tale of murderous crows who attacked a red-tailed hawk nest, leaving baby hawks littered in our shared yard. It was true that we witnessed the same event but ignorance was there too.

I proceeded to tell him my version. The dead babies were crows. I showed him the straight beak of one of “the fallen”. It was easy to understand his confusion though. Crows are big birds and are about the size of many hawks. The dead babies were very close to leaving the nest, therefore, they were almost full-sized.
My tale continued with the murderous intent shifted to the hawk. By the time I had finished, his sympathy had done a one-eighty. My tale ended with an admiration for the community and brotherhood which had brought so many crows, out of nowhere, to aid in the rescue attempt.

So you see, my neighbor was not being mean-spirited in his inaccuracy. It was his ignorance that perpetuated the prejudice.

I’m hoping this story, inspires you to take a moment to explain yourself when someone has a different opinion and refrain from judging others as mean-spirited. Overall, the most important message, here, is to stay informed and curious.

Mindless in America

A telemarketer called a few days ago. He was promoting a new organization and hoping to sell wholesome family films.

The idea was admirable. No one can argue, against the fact, that there are too many images of violence and “adult” subject matter available to children on prime time television. Soon enough, it became clear that he was reading a script.

It was a time, in my work day, when I was getting my day care charges ready to go home so I was distracted and rushed. My manners have always kept me from just hanging up, so I listened. I also always figure that the person,calling, is earning a living and deserves, at least, a few moments.

As I listened, he repeatedly said,” Studies show…” . Then, he started saying that Spongebob was an example of mindless broadcasting to be avoided because “Studies show, this is also a poor choice.”

He had my interest, at first. But frustrated from not being able to get a word in and the time constraints…after all, I was “on the job”… made me lose my patience. This is what I told him:

“I believe you are promoting a worthy cause and this call is your job, but when you have said repeatedly, “studies show” and have expected that you could convince me without telling me where the studies were conducted, who did them, and how many people were studied, suggest that you are the mindless one here or you believe that I am. I grew up watching the Three Stooges and never once was tempted to hit someone with a hammer. There is definitely too much violence on TV, sir. The greater problem, in my opinion, is the cultural break down of the American family. If you have any interest in the success of your organization, I suggest you change your speech and get real. I have no extra money to invest and I thank you for trying, good-bye.”

Now, I wonder, how many people are willing to believe the rhetoric “studies show” without pause?  I don’t really want to know because it scares me too much to consider further.

The original Three Stooges in Soup to Nuts
The original Three Stooges in Soup to Nuts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cultural Dissolve

Homecoming "He's everything I hoped for a...
Homecoming  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No political correctness
No political correctness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s a dissolve going on in our culture. Very few actions, that bear a burden of public shame, still exist. That fact, is clearly an alarming example of the erosion of our cultural foundation.

Consider what having a baby out-of-wedlock or being in tremendous debt used to mean. Our culture policed itself by frowning upon such things in years past. Now, those things have no stigma and, therefore, have become culturally acceptable.

The feminists were so zealous in their quest for workplace equality, that they ended up redefining the art of being a “lady” and the act of being a “gentleman”, which I maintain are still worthy titles. Strange how being thoughtful and polite are now viewed as weaknesses? A bad sign, me thinks.

The equal rights defenders have made the fight for justice such a racial endeavor, that it divides us, and distracts us, from our American oneness.

Fairness has replaced, justifiable, in every argument and there IS a difference. Things that seem “fair” quite often don’t justify the burden placed upon others to create such a utopia. Might I add, Utopian ideals belong in the land of unicorns where, I understand, there is no unemployment, debt or greed.

The steps to citizenship have turned into an elevator, with buttons labeled in 7 languages, rather than a goal worthy of being hard-earned.

We accept that all politicians lie, and justice is for sale, without “blinking an eye” while we squabble about semantics (political correctness) to the point of ignoring our common cultural erosion. There is not one problem, other than foreign terrorism, that cannot be explained by and blamed, partly, on our ailing culture.

We don’t recognize that by creating new laws, we also are defining new categories of criminals for an already over-burdened justice system and refuse to realize that the overburdened system, is the reason the current laws aren’t already enforced.

Our media takes advantage of our busy distractions and choreograph our outrage by carefully choosing or boycotting information according to their own tastes and addiction to sensationalism.

Parenting used to be a cultural obligation to our children. Parents who did not take their roles seriously were treated as deadbeats.  Look around, parenting has become a choice according to personal comforts, decided after kids are born. There is no backlash, no stigma, any more.

Look at our current culture and ask, “Is there no shame?”

Seems to me, that pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?