Archives for March 2016

20Mar

She Was Crying

She was crying and at least part of what she was feeling was relief that she could cry.  She hadn’t cried in over a year and was beginning to wonder what had happened to her feelings.  Crying was a kind of reassurance that her feelings still worked.

All of her beliefs about herself had centered around being the strong one.  She was this in spite of a hostile environment that promised to ravage her.  She felt like she had worked her way through that environment into a more friendly and genteel place.  This was an enormous accomplishment: to leave the world of the single divorced mother struggling with a son with addiction problems.  Her world had become so small as to include only this one son and nothing else, of course, he was the one who ravaged her checkbook.

She left that world to become a married woman and importantly, to leave behind those intense economic struggles that left her without enough resources to make it through to the next paycheck.  Of course, there is nothing wrong with eating peanut butter and jelly for dinner…

She had to make a commitment that the kids who had left childhood many, many years ago, did not need her, nor her pitiful economic sacrifice.  They were fully adults who actually did much better on their own.  It was a strange commitment because, once again, it was her identity that she was losing, her life’s work, her purpose.  She was making the necessary adjustments for healthy living for everyone, but it wasn’t making her happy.  For a few years, she felt afloat.  It was her husband who anchored her life and her feelings now.  This was a new phenomenon for her.  Her husband was one person, and yet, he fascinated her, took all of her attention and even made her efforts worthwhile.  Once again, it was meaningful to cook, to do laundry, to nurture and nourish another person besides herself.   Thus fulfilled, she flourished.

Many years ago she had accepted the fact that she was a bit different.  For the most part, she felt that this centered around IQ.  Sometimes, her being different had caused discord in her life.  She always felt smug about these encounters and moved on from them.  She was always the boss or the boss’s wife and could move through any self doubts quite easily.  There is so much in life and in popular culture that attacks a person’s individuality that she could look beyond it all and point to her happiness.  That historic happiness had always centered around her children.

She was never someone who could transition from one mode of life to another with any degree of ease.  Life brings transitions a plenty and they just keep coming whether we want them or not.  This latest transition from “mommy” to “not-mommy” seemed to be the harshest life transition of all.

She had successfully navigated that transition and in her new life she no longer had the coping mechanism of happiness with her kids.  She was forced to find her own happiness in other places.  Loving her husband was very fulfilling, but seemed like a guilty pleasure rather than a purposeful activity and she suffered some guilt in exchange for her happiness.

So now loomed those discordant differences in her personality: with no backdrop of purposive happiness.  She had to question why people did not like her.  For the most part, she didn’t care, not everyone has to like you for you to have happiness.  She dismissed those that she labeled Philistines and those who would never impact her life, and still, still there were those who are close who did not care for her.

In a hostile world, one does one’s best to keep self intact without pain or injury.  The problem being that a caring person, (she thought) could get her feelings hurt with this dislike and discord.  She had some defense mechanisms, she kept her husband’s love close to her chest and when she needed strength, she would wear a piece of jewelry that he had purchased for her, or perhaps stare at her wedding rings…

There are times, when perhaps, it is all just too much.  The world snarls at you one too many times, your close person dislikes you and wants to be sure that you know that you are disliked.  It is at those moments when it falls down, when personal difficulty is bountiful and it is finally possible to cry.

15Mar

Trump is a Liar

Donald Trump – I saw something on TV about trying to respond to Trump without stooping to his level…Why?  And why not?  Being polite is important, yet it is also important to understand that we are in a battle for the future of our country and when in a battle certain impoliteness can be forgiven and even overlooked.

Donald Trump is the perfect example of a person who has never been questioned about his ‘rightness’.  Over and over again, indeed, dare we say thousands and thousands of times, his staff, his family all agree with him.  He has pushed that envelope so far that now he actually believes himself to be completely right, no matter what.  We have seen this behavior before with kings and queens and monarchies the world over.  The behavior of the monarch is so outrageous that it begs the question of how did we Americans allow this to happen?

How did we Americans allow any of this to happen?  We believe in equality, yet we are fighting against increasing the minimum wage.  How did it happen that we Americans believe that we should increase service charges to the Wells Fargo bank, but we must keep wages depressed for more than two decades?

What happened?

Where did our steps falter and how did we falter in our steps?

We have a monarch who is outrageously daring us to elect him as president and we have peasants who are fighting for a long overdue raise in wages and we won’t consider it without a fight.

Somewhere along the line, Americans have kept the belief that money is the same as personal worth.  We have allowed the loud mouth, rude and officious Trumps to rule our world.  We don’t have to continue this.  Many of Trump’s defenders say that Trump tells the truth or that “he tells it like it is”.  I too yearn for full disclosure of the political process, I too feel betrayed by world leaders who only run for office for personal gain, yet I guarantee you, my need for truth and justice will NEVER be fulfilled by a liar like Donald Trump.

Donald Trump is sincerely a nasty man who is a liar and a cheater.  He has never been questioned and has been able to deny his failures because he has so much money.  It’s true that in America, a multitude of sins can be hidden away with money and this is a skill that Trump uses well.

Unless you are wealthy and uncaring about human beings, you will be well served to vote for anyone else…

15Mar

Poverty in the United States, a Commentary

Poverty in the United States is completely unnecessary and contrived.  It is well documented how the elite take gross advantage of the poor.  Of course, this is not an all American way of life, it occurs all over the world.  In America, we pretend otherwise and have made walking all over the poor into an art that goes unrecognized.

Walmart began this practice at least 40 years ago by finding ways to work around labor laws that require employers to care for their employees.  Walmart was the leader of the labor rape movement by keeping employees under 40 hours so that they could avoid providing benefits and by lobbying deeply and profitably against an increase in the minimum wage.  That depression of the minimum wage has been extremely profitable for Walmart shareholders and what better description is there than to say, the wealthy stand on the backs of the poor?

When I speak about the Fightfor15, people are dubious.  They say things like, what about an education?  Or, I worked my whole life for $17.00 an hour!  I just want to cry when I hear, normal, everyday salt of the earth people speaking against a living wage.

It is well documented that no one can live on the minimum wage.  It is also clear that of the 20 million people who still have no health insurance, the majority of them work full time jobs.

Who believes that if they work full time they still should not afford to live and can have no health care?  Who believes that this should be the way of the world?   The truth is no one believes that this is true or right, but folks do not take the time to understand what is truly going on in our culture.  At some point in America we made the decision to worship money and those who can make money.  We even allow the ends to justify the means, if you are wealthy, you must be doing something right.  It is quite the joke on us – America.  The wealthy have only used our culture to trick us into being satisfied with what we have or by punishing ourselves with credit card debt.  Because we are a “responsible” culture we blame it all on our own selves and don’t question the powers that enforce our marginalization and falsely depressed economic state.

Yes, the majority of America is marginalized.  There are the poverty stricken, the marginalized middle class, those who have lost their wealth to cheaters and swindlers.  There are very few who can say they have done well and continue to do well.  Those that have done well are a small number, perhaps afraid and wishing to protect what they have.

Bernie Sanders speaks truly, if not believably.  I am deeply grateful to hear that this conversation is finally becoming national.  Thank you Bernie.