Category Archives: Lessons

Wishful Thinking.

If there’d been
A way
I’d have found it.
If there’d been
A choice
I’d have made it.
If there’d been
More time
I’d have held it.
If there’d been
More clarity
I’d have seen it.
If there’d been
Less confusion
I’d have been
More decisive.
If I’d seen sooner
I’d have chosen
Something different.
If there’d been
More –
More
I’d have held onto it.
It was so wrong
In all the
Right ways
But wishful
Thinking
Doesn’t create
A happier ending
From something
Started with someone
Who was never
Really
Meant to stay.

Antihero.

You were a mistake
I enjoyed making
Though if I could
Do it again,
I’d have done
It in a different
Order – let the
Growing come first
Let the healing
Precede the wound.
But perhaps it
Was only our trauma
Which between us
Grew into something
Intense and temporary.
It’s one of life’s
Dichotomies
A grand conspiracy
Which says the shortest
Stories burn the
Hottest and the doomedest
Anti-heroes are the most
Heroic.

The World is a Helpful Place.

This is a paper I wrote last semester for soc2. I could add to this recent events which bring to light systemic corruption which allowed yesterday’s events to even occur.

Remain in love and light.
❣️❣️❣️❣️❣️❣️❣️

The World is a Helpful Place.

The world is a helpful place. Our textbook presents data and research on the various failings of social institutions in the US and the resulting despair, corruption, disenfranchisement, and grim outlook. (Henslin) Although the information we study combined with myriad social issues we face today make the world appear hostile and unfair, the world, indeed, is a helpful place.

Consider the time periods in the past wherein various forms of government practiced extreme control of the people and nearly every factor in life was predetermined by status. A ruling noble family had a duty to protect and provide for the peasant farmers. A general or decorated war chief had a duty to “Queen and Country.” Men would have been obligated to provide defense for the women and children at home, provide new opportunities to expand control of resources, and to provide resources for said women and children. Men not fighting or politicking would have had a duty to a trade or profession most likely dictated by class. Women would have had a duty to educate children, create and maintain a home, and defend the home-front in the absence of a husband at war or engaged in travel or trade. Children would have known what their role and duty was well before reaching apprenticeship, marriage, or a career. (Hanagan) Indeed, the freedoms we exercise today have been largely taken for granted as society has evolved. Although wealth created certain privileges, we have no proof that the wealthy are any happier. If the wealthy enjoy a less stressful and happier life, we have no proof that the poor do not have that same happiness with life – blissfully unaware that there could ever be another way.

Documentarians who visited the third world and lived among the poorest people in the world found interesting data. The title The Happiest People on Earth says all we need to know. The people who are barely surviving compared to western culture are the happiest. During the course of the documentary, director Bello Galadanchi uncovered the contributing factors of this happiness are isolation, strong community and family ties, and an attitude of love for life and gratitude for everything life has to offer. Because the people featured had so little, they appreciated it all. Because they had so little, they relied on family and community ties to work together and care for one another. Because they were isolated, they had no technology to constantly advertise to them and so there was no desire to purchase and consume items. Value was placed on family and tradition versus “stuff.” (The Happiest People on Earth)

By contrast, industrialized capitalist nations are inundated with technology- including the technology to record video and edit the resulting footage into a documentary to show to those in wealthy communities how others live. This is helpful in designing a better future for both the industrialized and non-industrial nations. The world gives us ample opportunity to discover and explore what is really the most meaningful to us and our lives by examining a variety of cultures and how they thrive. This exploration helps us to see where we came from, how we got here, and how to better improve lives for all people on Earth.

The recent tragedies around Black Lives Matter and the murders of African Americans, (mostly males) by law enforcement have brought to the forefront issues which previously lived in the shadows and went ignored. If it had not been for the shutdown of COVID and resulting dependence on media for entertainment, many people would not have seen the horrific video evidence of George Floyd’s murder. It was a tragedy that shocked so many and yet, the world is a helpful place. We finally had irrefutable evidence in our newsfeeds and on TV of a system of institutionalized racism which spurred important conversations among families, religion, political representatives, scholars, and researchers. We uncovered groups of people who perpetuate racist ideals and we identified possible solutions to reeducate people and weaknesses in our system. (Hill, et al)

The world is a helpful place. Prior to COVID-19 we had a growing number of viral and bacterial outbreaks which were largely ignored by the American public because they did not seem to affect too many people. (WHO) A simple Google search returns article after article where we still see places with low population concentration where “anti-maskers” have shown a rebellious outrage at the idea of the Government trying to protect their health and the health of the nation by enforcing mask regulations. Prior to COVID, the education system in the US had been brought under scrutiny. With the wild uneducated speculation and resulting movements which deny science, we see that American ignorance is deadly. (Henslin) Another Google search will return many articles reporting spikes in numbers after many social gatherings by young adults. Famously, spring break in Florida and the reopening of the Disney World Theme Parks caused enormous spikes which were immediately dismissed by those “anti-maskers.” And despite media attention, many Americans, regardless of political affiliation, still believe COVID-19 to be a hoax. One article reports as many of 75% of Americans believe a conspiracy theory about the legitimacy of COVID-19. (Schaffer) My sister is a nurse. It is not a hoax. COVID-19 has shown us our failings and weaknesses. Our dependence on media has brought this and other failings into the limelight.

The world is a helpful place. If you look at numbers throughout US history, the statistics are clear: War, crime, poverty, and other social issues are on the decline. (Henslin) We believe they are getting worse due to the constant stream of media attention on the problem and very few positive reports of change and actions which benefit Americans. Indeed, human beings are habitually wired to seek out the problem and only do something about it when it is loud enough. The fight or flight instinct has conditioned us to look for danger. On the other side of fight or flight are reason, creativity, innovation, and play (work for enjoyment versus pressure to perform). These four elements are abundant in the world but have been conditioned to emphasize attention to problems. Even our US system of dissent dictates that the squeaky wheels get greased.

Once upon a time, I believed that companies had vested interest in keeping a highly educated and happy workforce. The exchange of money was important to the company to stimulate the economy by creating a cycle of payment to employees who will then spend money buying from their own employer and other companies who their employer may also have investments in. Infusing the economy with educated and skilled workers who are adequately compensated reduces crime and poor health which reduces costs to everyone – especially companies who spend enormous amounts of money to protect themselves from cyber and real-life theft and on employee health insurance. A better paid workforce is good for everyone.

I used to believe that politicians entered the political arena to make change for the better. Lawyers, judges, bureaucrats, police, and the military were viewed as being there for our own good. Corporate billionaires were believed to be caring people who relied on the teeming masses to support their lavish lifestyles and thus viewed this relationship as harmonious and beneficial to their personal interests as well.

Today, public opinion is highly skeptical and low on trust. We are shown evidence of corruption and theft and we believe that those who are corrupt perpetuate the entire group. One bad billionaire spoils the bunch! With world poverty, climate change, and war being unnecessary now due to technology, we see the wasteful habits of the middle-class and the overindulgences by the upper classes as being criminal when there are others still suffering – despite the numbers which show that we are doing a lot of good in the world. If it were in the best interest of companies to invest in these social issues, we could eliminate them easily with little loss by the wealthy. The impetus to continue to do things in the old ways die out as social ideologies change; and dissent demands change.

The world is a helpful place. And it continues to grow in its helpfulness. As we evolve our ideologies evolve. Humans have been through revolution after revolution wherein “the people” have wrestled the freedoms over their own lives and destinies from the “powers that be.” The prisoner’s dilemma dictates that due to low trust, people will always choose their own self-interest versus the interests of the people. High trust creates community, cooperation, and love for life as witnessed by documentarians.

The world is a helpful place and when viewed as such we see a clearer picture. Free public education, state sponsored college education for the poor, entitlement and wealth transfer programs, large-scale food production, efficiencies in all production, telecom, the cell phone; all just a few examples of the helpful world in which we live. (Henslin) And if we foster these relationships around trust and helpfulness, we eliminate the need for dissent and public disruption. And the world is so very helpful that we are learning that now, as we navigate both the bright and darker sides of 2020.

The world is a helpful place. It’s our job to shift our perspectives and see it that way again so that we will walk in the direction of unity and community versus division and disenfranchisement.

References
Hanagan, Michael. “Ruling Families and Dominant Classes in Modern European History.” Sociological Forum 1990. Periodical. 2020. .
Henslin, James M. Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. Parson, 2012. Texbook.
Hill, Evan and Christiaan Triebert, Drew Jordan, Haley Willis and Robin Stein Ainara Tiefenthäler. “How George Floyd Was Killed in Police Custody.” NY Times (2020). 2020. .
Schaffer, Katherine. A look at the Americans who believe there is some truth to the conspiracy theory that COVID-19 was planned. n.d. 2020. .
The Happiest People on Earth. Dir. Bello Galadanchi. Dolar Pictures. 2015. 2020. .
World, Health Organization. WHO.org. n.d. Website. 2020. .

Harvest.

I’ll not tell you
Not to clip your wings,
For I’ve done the same
For the love it might bring.
I’ll not tell you
Not to muffle your song,
For I’ve done the same
Thinking it was for love all along.
I’ll not tell you
Not to hide your light,
For I’ve done the same,
Thinking it would brighten love’s flame.
I’ll not tell you
Not to silence your voice,
For I’ve done the same,
Thinking love’s best choice.
I’ll not tell you
Not to give your whole heart,
For I’ve done the same
Thinking love’s playing its part.
I’ll not tell you
Your love is a crime,
For I’d choose the same
For love I’d take any punishment –
I’d do the time.
I’ll not tell you,
Not to bend, crawl, or stoop;
For I’ve done the same
Thinking love would deliver, true.
Love as you choose,
Like the breath in your chest,
Holding it inside
Becomes as toxic as not inhaling at all.
Allow it to flow in and out,
As natural as a breeze,
Attempt not to control
Lest it die to be free.
But when the love you offer dies
As fruit on the vine,
Do not blame the wild tree
For another’s crime.
Uproot and seek fertile
And rich earth to replant,
And watch as new love flowers
And all that was spent
Is returned in full.
See how in due season
Richly harvested fruit
Pressed into wine of the divine
In the fullness of time.

Love and Light.

Love and light
I send unto you,
Not for you but
For me.
Though there is
No fault nor
Blame,
Though there is
No cause to feel
Shame –
I send love and
Light because
All disruption
Lives within
Me.
There’s no
Pain you’ve
Caused me nor
Hurt that I’ve felt
That you could ever
Undo.
If anyone is
Holding onto the
Poison,
It’s me.
I may have every
Reason
And every justified
Excuse,
But my soul
Longs to sing
A higher pitch.
I cannot return
To the heights that
I crave
With this anchor
I’m holding
Within.
I remember the
Wound and the
Wounding,
And anger returns with
A fire –
So I stoke the
Embers and
Utilize
Their ferocity to
Carry the light.
I smile and send
Love.
I send light because
That’s my right.
I’m connected
By my soul’s
DNA to the
Infinite source of
Love –
There’s never an
Empty well,
There’s never a
Dark night.
I cannot exhaust
What flows freely,
What’s given without
Condition or
Due.
So when I think
Of how another’s
Wronged me,
I send love
And light
And feel my spirit
Return to her
Place of
Peace within.

Tension.

See this gilded
Door part-open,
The world to which
It leads is a
Universe
Within.
The keeper of
Entry does
Not require
Payment,
For no price
Could ever afford.
It is a question –
Answer true –
Is this what
You wish to
Bring with you
As you walk into
The holy
Of holies?
What is it that
This vortex
Shall deliver
On cue?
Bring only
That which is worthy;
What’s wanted,
What’s desired,
And what’s healthy –
That which blushes
With love’s hue.
Leave out
All pretense
And half measure,
Abandon that which
Cannot be a
Boon and add value,
Cast away
Those who would
See you damaged
Or used.
This cherished grand
Entry is your
Access –
Private portal
To a tidal flood
Of creation,
Of a life
Lived fully
And expressed
In multidimensional
Hue.
See the tapestry
Of life
Flowing through you,
And see cords
Bringing heaven to
Gaia
Green and blue.
Whatever is asked
For is given,
It’s not even
A matter of faith.
The law is
Your birthright,
Your companion,
As you manifest
Life’s treasures;
All that’s requested
Is surrendered
Without adieu.
So take
Time
Beyond this
Moment,
You have an abundant
Measure –
More than you know;
And consider
Deeply
What your gentle
Heart inspires
Before entering
With every
Stray thought and
Emotion
Which therein
Does seed and
Grow.
Recall the days
When you used an
Imposter
To fill
Fantastic daydreams,
Playing a part
Written for another
From the start.
Recall how you
Created your
Own dramatic
Attraction
By allowing emotion
To build on faulty
Foundation
Without cooperation
Or consent.
You created a paper
Doll
Pulled on heartstrings –
Devoid of anything
Resembling
The truth.
Fantasy stories are
Fun for movies
Books and gameplay,
The excitement gives
An otherwise mundane
Life some
Pizazz;
But when what’s longed
For is
Real and
Lasting,
No fairytale
Fantasy will do.
You see now
How to manipulate
Your own
Inner tension
How to create
The passion
You choose,
So you’re
Now your own
Captain and master,
Your life belongs
Fully to you.

Return.

When it was
Black or white
There were
Two choices,
Obey or
Else it’s a
Sin.
All of the horrors
That came from
Other’s
Voices
“Thou shalt not”s
“You are born
Corrupt
Within!”
Birthed into a
World filled with
Evil,
Where every devilish
Delight
Looks a friend,
Fading to
Nothing
To somehow
Fit in.
Beaten
By other’s
Yardsticks,
Stopping so
The punishment
Might end.
Learn to navigate
Life
Lived lonely,
Where even friends
Are playing
Pretend.
Learn to study
And measure
The cracks to
Fall through
As defense.
Learn to
Sneak
And slither,
Learn to watch
Others fall,
Learn to wait
With patience,
Learn to
Listen to all.
Hear words
With pure meanings
And see actions
As they are,
Learn to hang back
And wait
Watching
As the storybook
Rules
Are broken by
New laws.
Lean against
The tree of
Their savior
And feel what it
Was to give
Everything
To thier unanswered
Call.
Then turn to
Your own gentle
Neighbor
And see the confusion,
Minds spinning
To solve –
Each and every
Dilemma
Through rules
Meant for
Ancients;
Hear the words
“I die
So you may live.”
Whose life
Are you living?
To whom are you
Giving?
What’s your
Choice now?
What do you
Desire?
If it’s wealth
That you seek
Go and get it.
If it’s peace,
Lay down your
Arms.
If it’s love
You want
Be open,
If it’s happiness
Then that’s
Also your job!
The world is
Helpful and
Changing
Ever to accommodate
Our desires.
The question
Was lost in
Translation
It was never
“What will you
Give?”
The question
That life begs
To pardon:
“What is it that
Your loving
Heart desires?”
Blacks and whites
Work for those
Who want nothing,
Who need little
From life but
To feel safe.
Blacks and whites
Give comfort
To scared
Children
Who cannot
Believe in
Themselves.
Play the game
Of my daddy
Can beat
Yours,
Or play the
Game of
This is my choice.
My father
Is a
Gentle man
Of peace,
And we all
Preferred it
That way.
“Billy said his
Dad can beat you
But I told him
You’re the best”
My father chuckled
And shook his
Head
“I don’t want
To beat anyone up.
I probably could
But that’s not
My job.”
Next time Billy
Spoke of my father,
I told him
“My dad doesn’t
Want to beat yours.”
Billy said my dad
Was too scared
Hoping to keep
Me engaged.
I walked away.
Those who
Only know
Violence
Can imagine life
No other way,
And those who
Live life gentle
Are free to choose
How to play.
Love started
Freely given
To others at war
With all haste
Thinking they would
Love me peaceful
If only shown
There’s no need
To be afraid.
It was never
About an exchange,
Love was never
A commodity.
But the love
I desired
Was empty
And so I
Patiently wait.
My mother was
My own secret
Weapon
For those who
Would not
Hear the whisper
Of peace.
She’s quieter now
As we both
Stand on this
Shore
And wait for
The return
Of brave and gentle
Noble King.

Christmas Eve.

The hour draws near
And there are tests
Yet to take
And the test maker
Is away from her
Post.
The substitute has
Charms,
More than a few,
And the time is
Growing late.
There are distractions
Beguiling
And tempting,
Diversions
Plentiful await,
But the rewards
Are intrinsic aplenty
And pure intention
Carry me
Through.
So I retreat
To familiar
Abode –
Second home
When childhood
Was drifting
Afar –
And seeking the
Calm and the silence
Just before the test
Is due.
It’s dim here
The light is fading,
So I’ll locate
The switch
On the wall,
And just as miraculous
As electricity,
The new perspective
Reveals
A Christmas Surprise!
Balloons come to life
By lamplight
And rise to meet
Heaven’s walls
And in the
Excitement and flurry
Distract from the
Fancily wrapped
Gifts scattered
Inside.
I rush to the nearest
And most festive
And lift the label
To read
And there scrawled
In blue ink:
From a dear
Friend’s widower
To one who once
Was my all.
Surveying the other
Packages,
I knew instant
And immediately
No labels bore
My name;
No gifts here
Were meant for me.
I wanted to play
With those others
But chose myself
Instead,
And gifts
Offered for another
Seemed almost to
Derail.
Now awake I
Ponder my vision,
What could the omen
Mean?
The instrument
Of my labor
Was never intended for
Me.
It was a joy
To be paid to
Play,
It was a thrill
To craft and hone,
But most importantly
It was a testament
To the power
Of what a tiny
Measure of belief
Can do.
For one who’d forgotten
To dream,
For one whose
Pragmatism
Was a smokescreen
For judgement and blame,
For one who
Believed himself
In prison,
I showed him
To freedom
By other means.
I never doubted what
I’d not learned to
Doubt,
It never occurred
To me I’d
Ever fail.
I chose the environment
For my studies –
I chose to prepare
To test well.
I chose the comfort
Of familiar,
I chose to doubt
Anything could be
For me.
I chose to be
About my own
Business,
I chose to see
To my own
Concerns,
And when I was
Confronted
By misgiven gifters,
I nearly
Allowed myself
To sink into
Self-pity;
I nearly chose to
Forsake it all.
The secret about
Gifts is in the
Sharing –
None benefit from
Binding them
In wrapping and
Bows.
Even gifts addressed
To another
Create magic
To be felt
And exquisitely
Expressed
By all.
No gifts can
Ever be misgiven,
No time is ever
A waste;
No choice can
Be the wrong one,
No love is
Ever in vain.
Back onto
Bigger and better,
I’ve grander
Business to see to.
My choice is
Value and substance,
Trifles
Never will do.

Christmas eve morning my son woke me up mid-dream just as I was reading the label on a blue gift which was wrapped with very gaudy foil-wrap. I spent a good part of the day deciphering what the dream meant to me.