The Edge


In my experience as a blogger I have been upset and bothered enough to stop only twice. Today was one of those days. Today I felt like I had a Facebook experience honestly, not my usual warm and friendly ‘community’ feeling of the blogging community.

I made the mistake of commenting on a blog recently and was rewarded with a barrage of answers from the blogger, and someone related to her, that was…well, more than I bargained for shall we say. It left me stunned. The thing I commented on actually, if found anywhere else, most likely could have been considered edging very close to a hate statement (in my opinion anyway)–and that is why I commented on it. I said something far more tame than I could have in fact.

In most instances what I saw on the blog, and might have been seen elsewhere, might have been taken down on other sites as offensive. It certainly was to me. But WordPress seems pretty lax about things. They don’t monitor much. And, worse than that, they don’t allow us the ability to block harassing people. So we must endure their comments, no matter how mean they get–self-righteous as these people think they are.

WordPress feels this is an open forum so buck up. Take it. And if you can’t, get out of the game. Make your site private (which can be very tricky).

Well, I guess I understand. But I don’t have to play.

I’ve been thinking for some time about a break anyway. The ideas have been coming hard. One of my favorite bloggers told me maybe to stop writing every day. This seems like a good idea. I just had my five-year anniversary on the site. Five years seems like a good time to try something different. So I may just write when the mood strikes me instead of forcing it all the time, every day.

Sometimes the Universe directs you a certain way. That blogger that won’t go away has directed me. If she won’t go away, then I will–at least now and again. So I say to her: thank you for helping to push me towards this decision that has been hard to make. You tipped me right over the edge…

Sorry I Just Had To…


I’m not usually very political on my blog, but it’s getting harder and harder not to be these days. I turn on the radio and listen for a few minutes and either get ill or have to turn it off. Every time I hear something to do with our president-elect (sorry but I will not give power to him by mentioning his name), and feelings of such sorrow come over me.

Today I heard a story on NPR where a Gay man was interviewed in Orlando. He is a prominent figure in that town and the reporter was recapping the Orlando massacre, how the city has handled it, how this man feels now in Orlando as a Gay man and as one in general.

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While he felt there has been an outpouring of support in the city, he said his biggest fear is in the future or this country’s attitude because of the election. Since the vote, he has experienced even more hate crimes and said there is more fear in the Gay community. My heart just sank. It doesn’t surprise me though….

The radio is just heavy with the news of death everywhere in the world: major world powers teetering on the edge of hate ready to explode, while others are in the thick of raging wars already. Innocent people trapped between warring extremes desperate to escape somewhere, anywhere safe.

And now so many places, including potentially our country, shutting our doors to these people. It sickens me. Our fellow humans! What is the difference from them and the Jews in Germany? Nothing! Since when have we become so narrow? Why is there so much hate in people’s hearts now? Hate against anyone different… But the sad irony is: we are all the same!!!

Cut us open: we all bleed, break down our cells, we all share the same DNA; hurt us, we all cry; we all have the same bodies, bones, skin, brain. It is crazy to me that some people look at cultural differences, or skin colors, gender orientations and to kill over these things? I mean, seriously: think about this….

When will we all just think about ourselves as HUMANS?

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All the chatter about Christmas…does anyone remember the first five letters in that word? What would He say about this behavior? Hey, I’m not even Christian, and I know!

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Maybe I will be wrong about this all and He-he-who-will-remain-nameless will get his act together and not start another world war. Maybe he will realize you can’t keep opening up your yap all the time and say the first thing that comes out of it just because you feel like it. Maybe congress will actually do something smart for once and realize what a blessed mess we’re in and hopefully not undo so many of the decent things that are in place just to show they can.

Any maybe Santa is real too…

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In It Together


Complacency in today’s world, in my opinion, can be a dangerous thing. It’s not the same world it was when I was a kid. Sadly, I believe this to be true, while others choose to stay in a dream world.

The Internet, along with high mobility and  huge numbers of people, easy access to weapons and drugs, the fracturing of communities and the scattering of families make it easy for humans with harmful intent to do their business. And somehow, in a world of discontent, poverty, pain and disharmony–there seem to be a fair share of these types these days.

And they are everywhere it seems: sometimes lurking within our own work places, often disguised, at first anyway, as one of us. They may appear like the rest of us, just doing their job, until the day comes that something doesn’t go their way. That’s when the darkness in them comes out: whatever pain they may feel makes their true heart appear.

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If we’re lucky, they may only steal something, like we suspect someone did at my job. And then they just won’t show up anymore. They may get away with something. This makes them big shots. Or at least they think so!

But then real trouble, in my estimation, comes into play and that’s our complacency not to act! If we have a fairly reasonable suspicion (and maybe even some proof) that some crime was committed, then to look the other way is a crime itself. Because this is how the little things become big. The petty theft that the co-worker gets away with can become something greater at the next job. And who knows how much greater? I’d imagine it can become like a dopamine rush…an addictive sort of thing even.

In these trying days we need to think like this  guy. How they are raised to hero status in some ways by the media and some of them may feel justified by their acts. “The world owes me!” For us to simply turn our heads and say: “whew, he’s gone now because he was trouble…now he’s someone else’s trouble” is not only negligent but a reflection on the world today.

This kind of myopic thinking is contributing to these horrific events we read about. How many could be stopped if people didn’t stick their heads in the sand beforehand? If people who saw these individuals engaging in unusual or specifically criminal behavior and push the point? And I mean the managers of the companies who have the real power: the ones looking at the tapes, making the phone calls, speaking with the individual and monitoring the behaviors. Just to turn away and pretend none of it happened is like participating in the crime itself.

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This all is just another depressing aspect of today’s society. I’m sure this young man is suffering somehow. He may not be a true criminal, but someone who has strayed because of the usual breakdowns one faces in life’s path. We all make choices and his aren’t the good ones for sure (if indeed he’s guilty, which I do not know). But these stories are a dime a dozen today anyway.

The point is we all are partly responsible for this guy if he’s guilty: for why he did it in the first place and for ignoring it after. Because for us to be really human, we have to all be in this together.

Too Small


Inspired by the movie “The Woman In Gold,” I have begun to read the book titled “The Lady In Gold,” by Anne-Marie O’Connor. It is about a famous painting by the Viennese artist Klimt which was stolen during the Nazi invasion of Vienna by Hitler, along with many other Jewish treasures and artwork.

The book goes into much detail about the horrors of that time and it has hung heavy on my heart. And I realize, though, it seems not much different from today.

When I woke up this morning, after having dreams about German invasions of a hospital (because of my new job offer at a hospital I suppose), I turned on the radio and heard about the San Bernardino shooting.

My early walk had already been filled with thoughts of what a violent species we were, and questions about why this was so. And here it was yet again! More death, more unnecessary bloodshed.

NPR was profiling the current types of people who do these sorts of things: the outcasts, the unhappy childhood, the ones that feel separate or not a part or who have been rejected. This was even Hitler! It’s shocking. But what makes that one person turn on their fellow human and decide to harm them–sometimes en masse?

Sometimes this person is so extreme in their behavior they are able to recruit others–even change a nation to be brutal! Slavery of any kind is also a kindred kind of violence unleashed upon others and is filled with superiority and hatred.

In looking through history, what little I know of it, it seems that many indigenous people did not act in these types of ways. There may have been some tribal fighting, but the random ethnic cleansing due to insecure and hateful personalities of individuals seems to be missing.

I often wonder if we are mutating to possess some gene that carries this violence within us. I pray we do not. There are days I fear turning on the radio and simply feel numb when I hear about more dead.

How do we stop this march? How do we make these people feel more a part? Can you start to sense when someone might do a heinous thing and help them see it is not the answer? Are we all simply lost?

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Maybe work places need to provide more time for employees to meet, gather and really talk. And make sure everyone’s mental health is stable. We need to really start caring about one another: our co-workers, neighbors, family members–even people you just meet in the street.

Because if we all are going to live in this volatile world together, then we are each responsible for the action of another. The earth is getting too small to believe otherwise!

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Who Do You Want To Be?


I have two subjects to approach here today, but they are quasi related I suppose and they both have to do with people and personality traits. Not only am I a great observer of personalities, but I am often boggled by the way people can act!

Trying myself to be a fairly kind respectful person whenever possible, it never ceases to amaze me when people find these attributes beyond their grasp. Mind you, these are not people who are back-woods, uneducated, illiterate people who have never been given the opportunity to learn how to act within group situations. No, rather, they are often pretty normal (by any familiar standards) folks who apparently just never learned any manners.

I often wonder if maybe it just does come down to this, or if it runs deeper? Why is it that someone can walk into a room, walk by one person and ignore them as though they are invisible, and then greet the next person as though they are their long-lost wealthy Uncle! It baffles me!

This rudeness prevails where I work from the management down the pee-ons. Many of these people would see themselves as very self-important, sporting high paying (but uninteresting) careers. They swirl around with arrogance possibly not caring that anyone is hurt or bothered by their holier-than-thou attitudes.

But for me, while I am chided that it shouldn’t bother me, it does for the very reason that I feel that we are all on this earth together and equal. It’s a matter of justice for me and that’s the crux of the matter. None of these people are better than me or anyone else for that matter. Whatever they believe and the fact that they teach their children to feel the same way is why superiority, prejudice, hate crimes and other equally negative human seeds breed within us. And I can never just ‘not let it bother me’ for those reasons.

The other issue was a debate I had about confidence vs. arrogance. When does one turn into the other? I believe it can be a fine line, especially as perceived by others. It has much to do with how these two auras are presented.

The debate was surrounding being confident as a paramedic and never letting patients know you are not. But it was told to someone coming from someone I have always thought of as arrogant. There lies the rub. So, has he just been confident all this time? Well, if so, why have so many of us thought the other? Delivery.

One can be confident while being kind and not appearing superior to others, especially to ones peers. I think that’s key. And being confident doesn’t preclude when you don’t know something, admitting it but finding the right answer. I understand not falling apart (which can happen to the best of us), but we pull ourselves up and learn from it.

Arrogance, on the other hand, is that feeling that one is better than someone else. That they can do the job better; you’re not needed so get out-of-the-way; I’m superior and the like. This is what I have felt from this particular paramedic. We call it the “Paragod” syndrome. I’ve tried very hard not to adopt this persona in my career.

Am I always confident? Probably not. There have been calls that have stumped me for sure, but I do my best. But I can safely say, no-one would call me arrogant and for that I’m grateful.

So all in all, I suppose we are all complex and multi-layered. But in the end, we’re all really the same. We all came out with the same material. It’s up to us what we want to do with it. We can be rude and arrogant, or we can smile, say hello and be kind and respectful to everyone we meet. It’s really just up to us. So who do you want to be?