What I think?

“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” Confucius

As I posted on another firend’s page, a wonderful person who was worried that they could not make a difference….one little candle lit in darkness can be seen for miles away. Now, that’s figurative and not literal. It just means that we all need to do what we can do. If it’s something little, something small…like giving a hungry man something to eat, or donating ten or twenty dollars to a worthy cause, then we need to do it. We need to do it for any person, regardless of who they are, the color of their skin, the job they do, the political views which they hold….anybody, we need to do what we can do, for anybody.

If we ever get in a position where we can do something large, like a Bill Gates, or a Warren Buffet…then we do something large. Change the lives of thousands if possible. Educate people, give them sources of water to drink and food to eat.

Confucius was right, because enough small good acts done on a regular basis eventually become something great. The mountain will be moved, but only if someone starts with the small stones.

And if you don’t care for Confucius then go and read Matthew 25:31-35, and think that information over.

The 4th

It’s foggy, humid morning for the celebration of our Independence from England. I am always so amazed when I look at our history and realize our cobbled together Republic was able to defeat the most powerful country in the world at that time.

We have always been a tumultuous and divided country, but yet have managed to survive and thrive. We have fought and killed our own brethren in a War between the States, and have fought our way through two World Wars.

But, the crisis of divisiveness we now face is probably the most serious ever in our country’s history, because it is a battle which is being waged against the vast majority of Americans by a minority who want to control and dictate to all of us.

They keep us divided through media misinformation and financial manipulation. They have poisoned our minds and have brainwashed us into thinking that we…We Americans are each other’s enemies.

They have chosen divisive social issues to camouflage the fact that they are taking away our freedom. We must, we MUST quit bickering over things which matter very little and begin to take our country back from the super rich. Don’t use Fox News or MSNBC as your source of information. In this day and age we have the ability to research vast amounts of knowledge for the truth which is out there!

Don’t take what you hear on TV as the truth, nor what you see on Social media because it is the information we are being spoon fed to keep us duct.

Teac your children well

We should tell each other “I love you” not just on special days, but every day. If there is anything which will save the future of this world it will be love. It all starts with our families and radiates outward. I think there’s just not enough love one for another in our world, and that’s where many of our problems lie.

Everyone is someone’s Father, Mother, sister, brother, child or grandchild. There would be fewer crimes and acts of hate if people were raised to realize this. There’s so much complexity in our world now that it’s extremely hard to put yourself in someone else’s place, or in their situation. People tend to hate and fear those things and those people who are different.

Try and put yourself in other’s place. Try and understand before acting harshly.

Tomorrow is the day after Father’s Day, and just like the day after Mother’s Day, or Christmas…or Thanksgiving, I’m going to turn on the TV and hear about a “mass killing” somewhere. It doesn’t have to be that way in the future.

“Teach your children well
Their father’s hell did slowly go by
And feed them on your dreams
The one they pick’s the one you’ll know by”

My journey

I thought today about some of the things I believe, and about some of the things I have believed but have forsaken.

I thought about the idealism of youth and how easily it is lost in the shuffle of the “mission creep” of aging. (Oh how I love the invention of that phrase!) I thought about how aging itself affects the human psyche.. particularly my own.

My memory is becoming weird. On some things I’m razor sharp, on others I’m blunt as a brick. My mind is like a block of unsliced Swiss cheese, sitting where a good aged gouda should reside. Very holey at times, and unexpectedly dense.

So, my thinking process takes unusual paths. But it still functions.

I find I believe that happiness requires a personal commitment and cannot be handed to us by other individuals, or groups of people pushing any certain philosophy. I have waited practically all my life to have the secret of true happiness revealed to me, when all this time I have had it packed away inside.

I have been an irritant and a pest many times. I have alienated some, and confused many others. In my understanding about what passes for conformity I have become a non conformist. I’m sure I often baffle those closest to me with my actions. For that I am so sorry.

Tomorrow is a new day and I’m certain I will not be perfect. I will try harder to be happy though. Even though I hold very little in worldly goods or riches. Even though I fight daily battles with my body, and as I have stated, with my mind. Even though I realize I have fewer and fewer dawns coming. Even with the world in turmoil. Even with all these things…I am happy with the people with whom I share this journey, and these daily challenges. By having the people I am richer than a king, and by having the daily challenges I know I’m still alive and still necessary.

May the creator of all things be with you.

Giving Thanks

When we do not learn our lessons of love and kindness for others, life will keep banging us in the face with chances and opportunities TO learn. My face is very bruised but I think I am learning. To the little girls I gave handmade necklaces that my wife had made this weekend because they loved them but had no money. To the man who I bought “Church” hamburgers and cokes because he couldn’t afford them, to the lady that I bought worthless trinkets from, because she had not sold very much and she needed the money. To the folks who nearly ran me off the road, and I didn’t give them the “ugly” sign, but said a prayer for them, to the guy who nearly rammed his SUV up my rear end and I just smiled and said “thanks God” I didn’t go to Church yesterday, but I thanked God for 15 minutes in praise for his gorgeous sunrise and the fact that he was letting me live another day to see it, and for all the blessings he has given me. I don’t consider myself a great man…or even a good man, and my face is still bruised and battered from being hit with the opportunities to show love that I did not take, but….even though I am a slow learner I believe I AM learning and I give thanks for waking up today and trying to learn some more today. It’s not always the great BIG and glorious things you do that mean the most, sometimes it’s the tiny things. And if I have not taken opportunities to show that to any of my friends or family, PLEASE forgive me. I am trying…I am trying harder than ever…

Cyborgs

As we baby boomers age and die, we will likely be the last generation of human beings who would/could if we chose, put away our computers, our smart phones, and other advanced technology, and still be able to survive without the use of them.

If I chose to, and many times I wish I would, but if I made a concerted and extraneous effort, I could live the rest of my life without personally using advanced technology. That’s not to rule out the fact that it could still be used on me.

I might move to Alaska, build a cabin, and live out my life as a survivalist. It wouldn’t be pretty, probably not very long, but I could do it.

In the future, as technology and the biology of humanity continue to merge…humans will be so dependent on technology, that we would not be able to function, or simply die without it. Our phones may one day soon be so “smart” that they will be implanted in us, and will interface with us through our nervous and autonomous systems. (They will be a lot smaller, not larger as they are now)

Other aspects of technology will take over, or assist our biological systems, and we will become part human/ part computer. My son points out that we are already “Cyborgs” because machines now do much of our thinking for us.

So, I am glad I have lived in the age in which I have lived. I am happy to have been guided by my own human emotions, which have been in daily interaction with other humans like me. I am glad to be 66 years old, and not 6 or even 16. All of the coming changes, the new paradigm of which I have been speaking for so many years, may be seen as beneficial and needed for our race to survive. The coming super humans may be able to solve problems and differences which now plague us, and they may finally be able to be at peace with each other, and reach out to the mysteries of the Cosmos.

Yet, I’m glad I will have already taken my place in history.

Grandpa Died Broke

When I was a kid, I used to sit out on my grandpa’s front porch with him a lot. It was a great view. He lived at the end of a dirt road, called “snake nation road”. There were a lotta snakes out there. I remember Grandpa killing a bunch of them. He had a long handled hoe that he kept the blade sharpened on, especially for that purpose. If he spotted a copperhead or a rattler, he’d corner it and down that hoe would come “whack”. Off with his head, like the Queen of Hearts would have said. But, all snakes aside, the view off the front porch of his old house was grand.

There was a fast creek just across the dirt road, where I’d often go spend hours catching crawfish and spring lizards. Just stand on the edge, or in the middle of the “crik” and turn over big rocks, and see what was underneath them hiding. You wouldn’t believe the size of some of those critters. But, back to the front porch sitting.

Grandpa would sit there in one of the rocking chairs, looking out at old “Johnny” mountain rising up in front of him, right behind Uncle Lark Davenport’s house. It was a beautiful little mountain back then. Grandpa had killed a lot of deer up there over the years. The antlers hung up on the upper rail of the front porch, along with some rattlesnake rattlers, and various other hunting souvenirs.

Every day at least once a day, Grandpa would get his wallet out of the upper pocket of his overalls, and proceed to count his money. Sometimes he’d have a good bit in there. He wasn’t planning on going anywhere and buying anything, he just liked to count his money. I always thought it was the Scots in him, as he was a pretty tight old man with a dollar. He once told me he “Didn’t want to die broke”.

As he got older, his memory went. I don’t know what type of dementia it was, but he couldn’t remember who he was, where he was, who anybody else was, and couldn’t put together a lucid sentence. Most of the time when we went to see him in the nursing home they put him in, he seemed happy to see us, but nothing he said made sense. It coulda been all the moonshine he’d drank over the years, or poor circulation. I don’t know. He didn’t have his wallet anymore in his overalls, didn’t have any money after a while either. Guess the nursing home got it. He ended up with nothing in the end. He lived to be 98 years old, and the last time I saw him he was in kidney failure, and dying. He died broke, but worse yet died without knowing that I still loved him. I told him, but he didn’t know what I was saying. Money was no longer an issue.

Occasionally, I think about that habit of his when I get my wallet out to see if there’s any cash there. Sometimes there is, sometimes not. I can assure you at this point, there’s never going to be much. But, I do have love. As I sat in the little swing out on our patio this afternoon with Evie and Ellie, and looked out at Lookout mountain, I realized I’m so rich I could never count how rich I really am. I’ve got a wonderful family….children, grandchildren…and even if I someday lose my memories, at least I will have had them. My grandfather never told me he loved me. Far as I can remember, I never heard him tell anyone that. That’s not the case with me.

The Early Years with Mom

My memories of my Mother start very early. I remember when we lived on 6th Street in Trion. It had to be before 1956, because we moved to a new house on Simmons street that year.

I remember in the hot summers, Mom would get the hose pipe and put the sprayer on the end of it, and turn it on “spray”….that fine setting where the water is almost a mist. She would spray that water for what seemed liked hours while I ran laughing out and back through it, imagining I was running through a giant waterfall, or a wall of water. She would let me help her put the sheets in the old washing machine, and then make me move back when she put the bleach into the clothes. I remember that smell as being something pleasant even til this day. We’d hang them out on the clothes line to dry. I never realized how young Mom was.

She was only 20 years old when I was born so she was really never much “older” than me. She would always get me a jar with a lid during the late summer evenings, and watch me as I ran around catching and filling that jar with lightning bugs. Mom didn’t work back then so she would sit around with me during the day and watch “Howdy Doody” and “Captain Kangaroo” on the tiny little TV we had….the one I remember had a screen about the size of today’s computer screen. You had to get up close to see the picture, but boy was the volume loud! I had oatmeal for breakfast most days…with raisins in it. A sandwich for lunch….usually peanut butter or bologna…sometimes fried. Then Mom would fix a big supper in the evenings for when Dad came home from work. A lot of potatoes and beans, cornbread or biscuits, and some meatloaf or fried chicken.

She was a good cook. She learned from my Grandma Stewart, who was the best cook ever. Mom wasn’t sick back then…not yet. She still smiled a lot, and laughed….things she didn’t do as much after the mental illness started creeping in on her and making her thoughts turn dark and turning the bright lights down to dim in her eyes. I’m surprised by those long ago things I can remember, because some days I can’t remember what I had for breakfast. I guess it’s just because Mom was happy…and I am fortunate to remember the days of her happiness.

What we need to do.

Hoping for change without doing something about it is useless. Our country is at a crossroads now and it’s hard to believe sometimes the way things have changed. I saw a discussion about how this country has become “hypersensitive” to many things. Take something as inane as the Ashton Kucher commercial with him playing a Ballywood producer. It was comedy, but quickly got pulled for the way he did the portrayal. Groundbreaking shows of years past, like “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons” would NEVER make it on TV nowadays. Their are all kinds of “police” groups out there now. Word police, race police, sex police, gender police, etc., etc. It’s hard to say anything publicly without worrying about it being “politically correct” We talk about how great things are in this country, but there are still very dark corners. We are so divisively split down the middle on so many issues, it almost seems like we are living in two different countries sometimes.

We want to publicly meddle in way too many private issues and tell people what to do about them. And I’m not talking about just the government, but other institutions and individuals also wanting to do the meddling and the telling, and the condemning. We need to find where the middle ground is, and RACE for it. We need to quit telling people how they MUST live their lives.

We need to stop being so stupidly sensitive about things which do not matter. We need to embrace our family relationships, and our friendships and give when help is needed, not matter if a person is of a different race, or sexual persuasion, or political party, or religious affiliation. Most of all we need to love each other regardless of these aforementioned differences in ourselves. I’m not sure if we can do it, but at least we can try.

The Currents of War

Every evening when I see the nightly news, I am deeply saddened and even shocked over the war which is being conducted in Ukraine by Russia under the leadership of Putin. I am incredulous at the loss of human life, comprised by Ukrainians who are mostly civilian. Watching rows of body bags being thrown into ditches and covered by dirt is infuriating as well as incredibly sad. Those bags contain someone’s Father, Mother, Grandparent, child, brother or sister, aunt or uncle. It may seem quite sanitized to see it in videos, or in photos, but to me it invokes the black and white images from a generation ago of the Nazi’s treatment of the Jews at the concentration camps all across Europe. During that war the entire world stepped up to combat those horrors…. although the United States was dragged into the war only because of the aggression of the Japanese at Pearl Harbor.

Now, we…. the United States of America, has the chance to defend another country in a situation which is as righteous as any I have seen in my lifetime. I cannot understand how politicians who voted to give President W. Bush the authority to wage an unrighteous war against Iraq, based on lies and innuendos, cannot now take the chance to defend another country which is being butchered by the Russians. Our current president was at the forefront of the authorization of then President Bush to go to war against Iraq. Thousands of civilians in Iraq were slaughtered by our military forces during that totally unnecessary and unrighteous war. Many hundreds were tortured and falsely imprisoned. Many lives of our soldiers were sacrificed in the sands of Iraq for the greed of a few politicians. We can never set that conflict right, but if we try, we can perhaps find some atonement for what we did then.

I realize we are pouring a lot of money into military aid for Ukraine. There have been billions authorized so far and the weapons are being sent there as fast as possible. I believe this has helped keep Russia from crushing Ukraine immediately. However, I don’t believe it will be enough in the long run. We will eventually be forced to directly confront Russia and Putin. I think we should do it sooner rather than later.