The Blind Eye

It occurred to me this morning that being an apologist is a frustrating endeavor. In fact, I didn’t know the meaning of apologist, until my mother labeled me one, and I had to look it up.

apol·o·gist

noun \ə-ˈpä-lə-jist\

: a person who defends or supports something (such as a religion, cause, or organization) that is being criticized or attacked by other people

I’m often making arguments on Facebook about political issues. Seems many of our country’s core values and institutions have been under fire these days. Mostly, I endeavor to use humor and “tongue-in-cheek” phrases to point things out but, once in a while, I just say it.

I don’t consider that I am anti anything. I am pro on lots of things, though. It’s no coincidence, in my mind, that protect, starts with pro.

I’m not going to alienate, or bore you, with my causes. I want to point out that there’s a recurring theme that arises in the comments from others whom, insist upon, defining me as an alarmist.

My status, today, reads:

That moment when you perceive a “train wreck” event on the horizon…shout a warning… and are told you are paranoid. It’s befuddling, at the least, because you want to avoid the tragedy and also hope, on another level, that it can’t happen. Makes a lot of sense, to me now, why no one wants to talk about our national debt and the bankruptcy of our country.

This is the trouble with sounding alarms about difficult subjects. The people, one wants to “wake up”, often don’t want to know AND the ones, pointing things out, really hope they are not true.

screenshot-med-27

Now I ask you, the reader, how will any of our “issues” be resolved if we let those who have a “blind eye”, when it comes to trouble, shut us up or call our ideas (dismissively) paranoid?

Seems to me, the labeling of arguments, people, even sources, as wrong, is at the core of everything stagnating our country’s progress. Fear of labels has brought discussion and brotherhood to a standstill!

Our media, in my opinion, is the biggest troublemaker in all of this. The second biggest, are the busy, “sound bite”, consumers of the news.

My alarm today is a “wake-up call” in order to protect and produce active problem-solving which will foster our country’s progress.

Within Reason 2: A Conservative Opinion

Tulips
Tulips (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

New England, and anywhere, where the seasons change, is a place which offers a microcosm of life in general. The lessons learned in this climate, are quite valuable to those who recognize them.

Again, my conservative leaning is influenced by Nature. My own opinion of  liberalism is that it is weighed down by a too generous amount of emotion and ,in their extremes, both liberals and conservatives are inhibited by their own opinions that they somehow know exactly what is correct. Knowing everything definitely puts a hitch in the listening and learning and the solving process, no matter who you are.

When we consider a surgeon for a delicate corrective surgery. We do hope that he/she cares about the patient but I would have a great deal more faith in one who was cautious and analytical than one who was moved to tears at the sight of blood or the anticipation of pain. Some people might translate the surgeon’s calm as evidence that he/she didn’t care but calmness and forethought are necessary for success and the assumption that the finely tuned surgeon doesn’t care has no merit. Also, as much as anyone wants the operation to be over and the healing to begin, no individual wants the surgeon rushing through the procedure.

In New England, we learn how quickly change happens. The New England gardener/ farmer has to plan ahead because they’ve suffered every time they have gotten caught up in one season to the point of not preparing for the next.

Do overs just don’t work as well as preplanned, especially in Nature.

I noticed some lovely outdoor tulip pots at a local supermarket, a few days ago. They contained forced tulips for the gardeners who hoped to have a lovely spring garden but did not plant bulbs the previous Fall. I remember the Fall assortment that was passed by while folks were planning for Halloween. Those who did buy the bulbs are now casually passing by those forced tulips with a confidence that their garden has the better chance of success. The people buying up the potted tulips want a tulip garden, just as much, as the bulb planters but the forced tulips are counting on events beyond anyone’s control for their success. The weather must warm, the plants must adapt and the ground must soften. Timing is critical to the success of this year’s tulip garden for the unprepared. I want everyone to have gardening success and I’ll bet the gardeners with the potted tulips will be unhappy if things don’t work out. Personal responsibility is owned by those bulb planters and cry, as the late gardeners may, many won’t understand that they had had other choices.

Wanting success is everyone’s goal but setting ourselves up for success takes a calm, analytical approach and the firm belief that just wanting something does not outweigh the power of figuring out how best to get it.

My Thoughts… My Sympathies

English: the picture consist of articles on bu...
English: the picture consist of articles on bullying, I obtained it from public domain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since this blog is primarily a journal of my thoughts, I’m exploring my internal philosopher again and you are invited to listen and comment.

I had an energized discussion yesterday (on Facebook) over my previous post. Bullying is an emotionally charged subject that brought many varying opinions and experiences to light. While considering what I learned yesterday, I kept returning to my own life experiences. I’ve been very blessed by having positive role models in my life.

 There were many times that “bad” things happened to me, though. My reaction to them, seems to me, the only power I had then and to this day. It is a power we all have.
First, I do not believe in a pre-written design to anyone’s life.

Second, I have not had “troubles” any greater than others,in fact, I’ve been fortunate and my troubles have been lesser than most, so far.

My questions remain the same:

Do any of a person’s troubles come from their own attitude? Does any of their good fortune come from their own attitude?

I’d like to believe it does, otherwise, why bother to try? We would be without any responsibility in the direction of our journey. People would be like balls in a pinball arcade game, subject to only outside forces.

When I see a family of underprivileged kids and witness some of them “do well” and others get hopelessly lost, I ask myself, was it only because the forces of luck favored the successful ones or was it, in part, their own doing?

 Success is defined, in this context, as leading lives of good citizenship, harming no one and pursuing happiness. We discussed that bullies often come from bad environments. Why don’t all kids from “bad environments” become bullies? My search for these answers is often mistaken as an insensitivity to the problem. I am looking for answers because I believe there are solutions to discover and we are capable of affecting changes. I also believe we (people) can only control our own actions and reactions in any situation. Sorry, making laws, rules, regulations don’t cure problems…murders are illegal, ya know.

Yes, I do have sympathy for bullies, as well as, victims of bullies. Once I state that bullies are created not born (sociopaths excluded), don’t they deserve my sympathy? I don’t understand why my sympathy for the abuser takes away from my wishes to protect the victims?

There is an extraordinary effort to reduce bullying in schools. Victims of bullies become scarred for life and there is not one moment that it should be tolerated!
My cause is to make victims harder for bullies to locate and maintain. One way, is to arm kids with skills to ward off bullies.I will call these skills “social”.

“To behaviorists, social skills are learned behavior that allow people to achieve social reinforcement.”

Labeling every kid who hits, or says something cruel, or takes part in a group motivated unkindness, as a bully, is as detrimental to the effort as ignoring that bullies DO exist. I think the “over labeling” is a real, imminent, threat in schools. Over-crowded and understaffed, schools have little time to investigate every report and will have to err in favor of the “victims”. It’s the only choice.

I’m convinced that the gusto and emotion this problem invokes will cause another problem if we aren’t careful. I’ll call it “free-range victimship”.

What do all kids want…attention. They learn very early that attention is most swiftly attained when they are wronged or believe to have been wronged. I hope adults will weigh each and every complaint carefully. Wouldn’t want to end up like our court system which we all know is overflowing with “victims”.