Just follow your dreams.

I am so tired of hearing this sentiment, and for multiple reasons.  First, a little history.

When I was a teenager, I bought into the whole “if you think it, you can do it” mentality. I worked very hard and enjoyed doing it. I had great grades, a super grade point average, and was the favorite of all the teachers. “Stop bragging,” you may be saying. You’d be totally wrong.

I had no friends and socialized in a combination of avoidance and verbal acid. I developed a very serious anxiety disorder and several physical health problems.  I ended up dropping out of school at the end of my sophomore year.  Or maybe it was the beginning of my junior year.. I can’t remember. The thing is, I don’t remember much of that time except that I was constantly studying – and sleeping. I didn’t do anything recreationally – I just lived and breathed schoolwork.

I did my homework (and all extra work) on the bus ride to and from school, at my lunch hour, during study hall (when everyone else was napping), and at any time I was home and not eating or doing chores. I have worked hard to not regret these years as much as I used to. I keep thinking of the opportunities that passed me by: fun times with people, a part time job to help out, and maybe – just maybe – a healthier person overall.

This experiences, and the fallout afterwards, has brought me to a point in life where I can appreciate a “all is for naught” attitude. It is dangerous to delve too deeply into the depression that such an attitude can bring about. In order to counterbalance this, I turn it into kind of a philosophical state of mind. I’d talk about Nihilism and the implications of it on life, but I think that may be a bit too much for all involved (including myself).

Here’s Today’s Lesson: Yes, by all means, follow your dreams. It’s hard work to get there. Just sitting around dreaming about it won’t get you anywhere. Still, be sure to enjoy life itself.  Don’t “put your nose to the grindstone” all of the time. Talk to people and truly enjoy being in their company. Take part in solo and group recreational activities. Learn about the environment you live in (small town, big city, countryside) and come to appreciate all it has to offer.  Life is precious and it’s too short to be chasing something you think you need or want. Instead, enjoy what you already have.  It’s far more rewarding.

Mental Un-Health

I truly enjoy reading the blog of “Depression Time”. I can not only relate to what is being said, but can also take into account that I am not there anymore while part of me is still there.  By “there” I mean at that particular stage in the illness.  You know, grieving and all that it has to offer; denial, anger, numbness and at the same time a feeling of being overly sensitive.  It is hard to keep in mind these things when it is your mind that is being affected.

I especially related to his most recent post, entitled: “The Biggest Lie”.  We all do it.  Everyone with a chronic illness knows about “the lie”. That way you sort of coax and con yourself into believing that you don’t need help ‘anymore’.  That mental broken record of, “I’m better now than I was then,” or “I can wean myself off my medicine/therapy/etc and still be ok, maybe even better!”  My favorite one of all is, “I’ll just think myself healthy.” You don’t actually say this one to yourself, but it’s what you mean. When you tell yourself to use positive thinking in place of medicine or therapy, then you’re basically telling yourself that you will think your way healthy. Think.  Healthy. That might work if it wasn’t your thinking that was the problem to begin with.  Think. Unhealthy.  Hulk Smash. Me Think Unhealthy.

So the premise is that you buy into it. You get worked up in the positive-thinking module. Who wouldn’t? We all want to believe that we are in total control and can change anything about ourselves. But we can’t.  That’s right.  I’m saying the big, bad, four letter word. Can’t. Hulk Smash. Me Can’t.

I remember being in First Grade and having the teacher talk to us after story time. We were all huddled onto the cartoony styled carpet and listening with the fullest attention our minds could offer. I distinctly remember her saying that can’t is a bad word and we should never use it. She told us that we always can, if we try hard enough.  Talk about setting people up for a fall.  Our society is so big on controlling ourselves and our destinies by just thinking we can do it that we fail to see reality. We can’t.  Instead of teaching us to adapt to these difficulties, we are taught to ignore them; to conquer them like the barbaric Conan. We hear testimony after testimony of other people being able to do this and being happy to boot. There must be something wrong with us if we can’t do it, too.  There’s not.

You see, being able to recognize that you can’t do something is far more wise. You can weigh options, you can dredge yourself in self-pity, and you can try to find other people who can’t.  I think that’s a lot more significant than pushing yourself to unreasonable and inappropriate expectations and goals.  You might not be able to do what you wanted but you can learn from this.  That’s more important than trying to kill yourself in order to reach that far-fetched fairy tale.

Why do we set ourselves up? Each.And.Every.Time.  Because of the rush. You know what I mean, that adrenaline rush you get when you’ve convinced yourself you CAN.  “YEA! I can so totally do this!” you tell yourself. Cue rush. Cue denial.  It’s so easy to believe that you can when you have a myriad of hormones and chemicals pumping through your body that make you feel invincible.  That’s what it all comes back to; the way we feel.  That’s where the trouble lies.

We believe that we are supposed to feel a certain way, all the time. Happy is supposed to be 24/7 and if we’re not happy, than there’s something wrong with us. Again, there isn’t. Hulk Smash. Me Not Happy.

We are human beings designed to feel a wide range of emotions. To set ourselves up with the belief that we are supposed to be obliviously happy all the time is a con.  When you throw into the works the wrench of Mental Illness, you get a much more compounded con.  You beat yourself up for not feeling happy.  You worry to the point of anxiety attacks about it. You wonder, “What’s wrong with ME?”  It’s just not worth it.  It has taken me decades of struggle with Mental and Physical Illness before I discovered that the way I feel is valid and it’s confusing at the same time.  The best thing, for me, to do is to just accept it. Stop trying to attain that lofty goal based on how you feel NOW. Set up some realistic goals: I’m going to get out of bed and shower today.  Give yourself the luxury of feeling good about these goals. They might seem little and even laughable to others, but they are important to you.

I wanted to comment on Depression Time’s blog about all of this, but I didn’t quite know how to say it.  It’s hard to separate yourself from your illness.  In fact, it’s outright impossible. You are sharing a body and brain with these things. They are apart of you.  That doesn’t mean they have to be your only sense of identity.  It is healthy to express yourself through your other identifiers: creativity, practicality, values, etc.  They are all important, too.  As much as we fight it, these illnesses are with us for life.  It’s not a good thing, but it’s just like failure. We learn from it. We have to learn to stop beating ourselves up over failure and start going, “Oh, that didn’t work. What else?”  This is sooo hard to do when you’re not thinking or feeling in a healthy way.  The world is over when you fail.. you’re a horrible person who doesn’t deserve to live when you fail.  Worst of all, you feel like that was it.. that was your only shot. How could you do this to yourself? Again?!

You blame yourself and demand all sorts of unreasonable explanations when it’s not even your fault. You have an illness and you (like everybody else with one) are still learning about it and how to live with it.  Keep it up! You really are doing a good job.  It just doesn’t seem that way, sometimes.

Religious Viewpoints, pt.2: Feng Shui and Mom

My Mom is a Jehovah’s Witness. I’m not going to make this post all about that, however.  I go into more detail about this in Religious Viewpoints, pt.1.  Rather, this post is about how Mom and I talk about certain subjects because of her perceptions, which are greatly influenced by her religion.

Mom is big on demonism.  It’s not that she’s a Satanist (though there are many people out there with the misconception that Jehovah’s Witnesses are worshiping Satan).  Rather, Mom is big on thinking that anything she doesn’t fully understand is from the Devil.  Her reactions can be so quick and fully integrated into her thinking that it can completely inhibit any form of rational thought or problem solving skills.  I cannot fully blame being one of Jehovah’s Witnesses for this, Mom’s mental condition has something to do with it as well.

That being said, there is a great tendency to blame many things that happen in life on this mysteriously dark force that JW’s have termed as “the Devil”.  If something bad happens in their lives, then it is either a test from Jehovah or it is something the Devil has sent their way to try and trip them up.  It cannot simply be a set of circumstances put into motion by the decisions they or others have made.  That would be too easy.

With all of this in mind, whenever I am talking to my mother about certain things, I have to choose my wording very carefully.  I also have to be prepared to break down the demonic defenses (as I call them) and whip out my critical thinking skills to explain why something makes sense without the necessary influence of a malevolent being.  I should be a lawyer.

What brings all of this about?  Well lately I have been looking up ways to improve the positive flow of energy in my life.  When I talk about this to Mom, she automatically nods her head and says that I need to pray to Jehovah for help.  Umm, no.  I need to do research to find ways to get rid of the negative energy in my life (like getting rid of negative thinking, negative people, etc.) and bring in the positive.  “Oh…”, Mom will say.  She will look confused at this point because her mind is totally anchored to prayer as the only acceptable and non-demonic way of bringing positive energy into one’s life.  As I explain other ways that counteract this belief, she becomes confused.  She begins to rationalize how the two can exist at once: how prayer to her god can be the only way while my way is also not influenced by little red imps.  This is what I believe George Orwell termed “Doublethink” in his book “1984”.  I see it in action almost everyday.

Back to the positive energies.  I have been researching ways to get more positive energy, and just more energy period, into my life.  I looked into Feng Shui to see what it was all about.  In my opinion,  Feng Shui was started as a common sense approach to keep one’s environment clean and organized.  Back in the day, they didn’t have the luxuries we have today that allow us to live in clean homes and communities that are not plagued by .. well.. plagues.  We now have running water and electricity.  The principles such as fixing things around the house, keeping things clutter free, and increasing the aesthetic appeal of the house itself all point towards keeping oneself and one’s home happy and healthy.  In other words, keeping out the nasty germs that could cause plagues.

I can see how fixing leaks saves money and, therefor, helps deter negative energies.  If I feel like I’m paying off bills faster and getting out of debt, my energy will probably be much less negative.  It’s harder to pay off debt when your utilities are high, and having leaky faucets can make your water bill high.  So fixing those leaking faucets can lead to more positive energies.  In this regard, I find that a lot of the Feng Shui principles are common sense activities to have a happy and healthy home.

Mom does not see it this way.  Feng Shui is from the Devil.  It’s what “those” people practiced.  “Those” people who did not believe her religion or in her god so were obviously from the Devil.  Her thinking is very either/or.  It’s either this way, or it’s that.  There is no grey, no in between, no other possibility.  For this reason, I have had to bring Feng Shui into the Christian faith.  I think I’ve done a damn good job too.  Click the link below to read the full article.  I would put it in here, but then this would be way too long.

Feng Shui, Christian-style

I wrote the above article (the one I linked to) while my mom was in Michigan taking care of her parents.  I really wrote it just to get my thoughts down before I tried to explain to Mom about Feng Shui.  I wanted to be able to incorporate it into her religion in a way that did not cause the whole debacle of how it was demonic and then I’d be all emotionally stressed out again.  I wanted to nip it in the bud from the beginning . I think I have done that.  I guess I’ll find out when I get the chance (read: nerve) the talk to Mom about Feng Shui.  One must be careful about the setting such things are brought up in as well.  If, for example, I begin the discussion in a public restaurant.. she will be less likely to be so vocal.  Talking about it in the car will only lead to me being more stressed out as my mind tries to deal with bad drivers and Mom.  I think public is the best bet..

Feng Shui: Christian-style

Many Jehovah’s Witnesses that I know are apprehensive about Eastern philosphies for various reasons.  I have found that some of them have a black/white view of the world and have applied evil/bad tendencies towards theses philosophies.  Some even go as far as to call them “demonic”. Other simply do not care to learn about Eastern philosophy, feeling content with their own spiritual existence.  In all fairness, this can be said of any other group of people.

We have a tendency to apply the principles of what we know to that which we don’t know in an effort to rationalize our opinions about a subject we know so little of.  I feel that Feng Shui suffers the same fate in many people’s minds.  Fundamentally speaking, Feng Shui is an awareness of your living space to the point of maintaining rooms for the purposes they were designed for.  Ex: Keeping the bedroom for sleep by not allowing things such as TVs, PCs, exercise equipment, etc in them.  Feng Shui can take things a step further by incorporating a spiritual element to such space organization.  (This was probably done to make it more appealing to those practicing such spiritual practices at the time.)  I believe that this is where many people develop misconceptions.  The spiritual practice of Feng Shui is like reading Shakespeare.  How so?

In Elementary School, when I was first exposed to Shakespeare, I was taught to ‘translate’ the language of his works into my own language to better understand and express them.  In such a way, “Rome, where for art thou Romeo?” becomes, “Romeo, I’m lusting after you and I don’t know where you are.  You better call or text soon.”  In the same sense, understanding the spiritual origins behind Feng Shui and then translating them into your own spiritual language can allow you to practice Feng Shui with a clean conscience.

First of all, Feng Shui deals with spiritual energy called “Chi”.  This is because the Easter viewpoint on spirituality is simply and fundamentally different than Western viewpoints.  It is not wrong or worse, just different.  You must understand the spiritual history of the East.  Their philosophies were not created around an omnipotent God-like figure.  They had Emperors for that.  Rather, their spiritual philosophies are based on the belief that Man can become something better through constant observation, reflection, and study of himself and his surroundings (He can become a Buddha and move onto Nirvana).  Westernized Christianity can translate the term Chi into the positive, spiritual energy given to them from God for obedience, loyalty, etc.  So in reading about and practicing Feng Shui, a Christian is simply trying to make the most of the positive energies their god is bestowing upon them.  For example: Feng Shui teaches that the front door of the house is the gateway for Chi and should be kept clutter free and full of positive energy inducers (like pretty pictures).  This will allow Chi to flow through you and your home to bring peace.  This can be applied to the Christian lifestyle as well.

By keeping your front entrance free of clutter and, instead, full of “God energy” inducers (such as favorite scriptures framed), you are mentally and spiritually reminding yourself of the positive energies brought into your life by God.  This will spill over into the rest of your day and act as a positive starting point each time you come home.  Also, it will show others your spiritual priorities which is something of importance to most Christians I know.

In this sense, Feng Shui becomes a Christian-oriented practice.  This is, of course, what Christianity is good at.  Taking the practices of another philosophy or religion and tweaking it to fit it’s rules.  Of course, aren’t well all good at doing this?

Religious Veiwpoints, pt 1: Perception

You know the old saying, “It’s all about perception.”  This doesn’t ring more true than when talking about such topics as religion and philosophy, where people have invested a great deal of emotional energy into creating their perception.  I can truly appreciate another person’s point of view on such topics.  I generally do not agree with them because I have such non-traditional views, but this post is not about me.  Didn’t see that one coming did you?

Nope, this post is about my mom.

My mom is one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.  When I tell people this I get a lot of different reactions.  Some people don’t know a lot about the religion and so they just let it go, as if I had told them that she has brown eyes.  Some people don’t know a lot about the religion and this worries them, so they get all worked up.  They say things like, “Are those the people that don’t believe in Jesus/Hell/God/etc?”   I usually try to, very tactfully, set people aright about such things.

Now don’t misunderstand me, I am not one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.  My mother tried to raise my brother and I in that faith but we both decided it was not for us.  She has been very accepting of this and I hope that we have been just as accepting of her decision to remain in the faith.  I think that sometimes I am not.  This all sounds a bit contradictory, and for good reason.  When people make accusations against JWs, I feel they are making accusations against my mother.  It’s kind of like the whole older sibling thing.  “Hey!  You can’t beat up my younger brother.  Only I can do that!”  When people ask how I feel about the religion, I do not give glowing reviews.  I don’t like any organized religions, however, so if they asked me about Catholicism, I would probably say the same thing.

I find that there are times when it takes a lot of effort on my part to mentally and emotionally untwist my perceptions about organized religion from Mom.  I have gotten better at it, but I guess I can commiserate with the bigots a little on this one.  I don’t excuse it at all, in fact I think it’s awful.  It’s something about myself I am trying to change and I wish other people would too.

Generally speaking, people who know my mother first and then find out that she is one of Jehovah’s Witnesses are alright with it.  This is because my mother is awesome.  I am not comparing her to any other mothers, so get your knickers out of a bunch.  Mom just likes to help people.  She became a single mother very quickly, and at a young age so it spurred in her a sense of putting others before herself.  This lasts til this day, where my mother will give her last dollar to another stranger in need.  She loves to be around people with a good sense of humor, and has a great one herself.  She makes the best damned chicken and rice and her desserts are to die for.  Last of all, Mom rocks out to alternative music and has even played Rock Band on the Wii.  Mom is cool.

With all of this in mind, people who are meeting my mother for the first time (people who do not know about her “coolness”) will judge her solely based on their perceptions of Jehovah’s Witnesses.  They will label her as weird, Jesus-hating, and unAmerican.  It is strange because the Jehovah’s Witnesses are a very Jesus-based religion.  In fact, the only holiday they are permitted to celebrate is that of the Memorial, or of Jesus’ passing from mortal back to Heaven to join his father.  Yes, their beliefs are a little different when you put JWs under a microscope next to another, generalized Christianity.  However, they are fundamentally the same.  They all function on the same basic principles: Treat everyone with respect, put God first, find salvation through Jesus, and learn to appreciate life through the love God gives you.  These are the basic principles of most any religion (if you tweak the God and Jesus parts a bit) so I find it very strange that people get so bent out of shape.  I find it unAmerican.  I find it one of the uglier parts about myself that I am, as I have stated, working very hard on changing.

I’d like to enjoy a lasting and positive relationship with my mom and I don’t want to let any little complexes I might have get in the way.  The only option I can see is to eradicate them, or “fix” them.  I am trying to do this by spending more time with Mom, trying to see things from other people’s perspectives, and reminding myself that just because I listen to someone else’s viewpoint and acknowledge it, does not make it my own.  I do not have to argue everyone else into submission of my viewpoints.  Mine are not the only ones, mine are not the correct ones.

We all create our perceptions out of the various and unique experiences in our lives.  By sharing our ideas and emotions with other people, we are trying to impart not only those experiences, but the impact that they have had on us.  I think being more receptive to what Mom has been through and how it has impacted her will help to ensure that we have a loving mother-daughter bond.  Here’s to you Mom, thanks for all you do and keep up the good work!

If my face doesn’t say “go away”, you aren’t looking hard enough.

I’ve lived a hard life, it’s true.  I know what you’re thinking.. “Oh sure, everyone has lived a hard life.”  I truly detest when people use the circumstances of their past or present life to try and feel superior or get attention, so please be advised that I am trying very hard to not do either of these.  I simply need to vent.  I need to get all of this commotion out of my head and see if I am or am not, in fact, alone in this line of thinking.  If I am, it’s not really any skin off my back.  Onto the main course!

You see, I’ve been around the block and I know how it goes.  That’s such a cliched saying, but the older I get.. the more vaguely accurate I find it to be.  It alludes to nothing at all but leaves the listener with the understanding that you know a thing or two about the subject.  I suppose it is very fitting for discussing a subject that many do not like to think about.  It’s unpleasant to lose one’s mind, and even more so for other people to have to hear about it.  It’s like chronic pain – if people just keep the ‘loonies’ on the lower rung of the ladder, then that must mean said people will never suffer such a tragedy.  Afterall, you must do something horrible to lose your mind.

No, you just have to go through some pretty horrible things.  I won’t get into the details that drip with secrecy.  The ones that would be coveted by any fiction author worth their merit in ink.  I keep those things to myself.  Instead, let’s open another can of worms today.

When you lose your mind the first time, it’s quite scary.  Oh yes, you can do it more than once.  Trust me. The first time though, you become aware of the frail existence of humanity.  It’s like having a near death experience – you begin to take a new appreciation for life.  You can even get a high off this newly found zeal, but it can be dangerous.  It’s kind of like going full-tilt Manic.  Somehow, instead of all the “care givers” telling you to calm down and balance out, they encourage such behavior.  They have the misguided notion that someone with such exuberance must be on the road to health and recovery.  They are mental illness workers and they still fall for the age old, ladder rung mentality.  It’s kind of funny, in a dark ages sort of way.  It’s a grim reminder of the realities you will face once you leave the comforting walls of recovery.  But you soon leave, and return, and leave, and return, etc.. etc.. etc.

Finally, a crossroads is met upon.  A life-changing, near death crossroads.  This is it, make it or break it.  You have to fight your way out of yourself and fight off those very people who are claiming to help you.  The healthcare workers that scream at you for being too depressed to get out of bed to go to the non-mandatory group therapy session.  Literally stand beside your bed, and scream.  Or the therapist that starts to play with himself mid session, and kept doing so even as you walked out – leaving the door wide open for the whole waiting room to see.  These  people got into the mental health profession for a reason, and they still have that reason.  They thought they could fix themselves only to find it the equivalent of a car changing it’s own oil.  It just doesn’t work that way.

Instead of buying into their path to recovery, you have to build your own.  AND you have to do so while convincing them that you are still on their path.  It’s a strange little tight rope walk, but I’ve learned to do it well over the years.  It makes me think of what it must be like to live in a Communist or Dictatorship society.  Instead of modern therapies, I have found that intense meditation, exercise and diet, and a healthy dose of objectivity go far longer than paying someone else to give you their “professional opinion”.  It didn’t take long for me to get tired of other people trying to run my life.  I wish it had taken less time.

At any rate, here I am again.  I have already faced the many demons that exist in the nooks and crannies of my psyche.  I had to, to survive.  The same demons that others run from, I eye suspiciously and they crawl back in their holes.  To say they are gone or are better would be absurd.  They are demons, they don’t go away.  They don’t get better.  You just get used to living with them and find better ways to cope.  One of those ways is being able to accept reality for what it is.  Being able to see and trying to accept the objective reality versus the subjective one.  I have found it difficult as of late.  I can feel every fiber in my being screaming to me from my subjective reality.  I can hear my sense of entitlement flare up, my ego playing background chorus.  It’s hard to try and see the reality of a situation with such din ringing in my ears.  I still try, though.  I often succeed, after much struggle and often banging my head against a wall.  And when I see what is going on (and not the exaggerated version everyone else is trying to commit to), and compromise with other people’s perceptions of the current situation – I feel better.  Better than I would if I had sung my own perceptions at the top of my lungs, drowning out all the rest.  Still, despite being able to do these things, I can feel it.

It’s in the background, but it’s always there.  It’s like one of those dull, constant headaches.  Those are the worst ones because they eventually wear you down, threadbare.  I’d really hate to get to that point again, so I’m taking precautions.  Again, acceptance is key.  I am making sure not to play ladder games with myself.  Poo-pooing my intuitiveness would surely mean a major setback.  So I listen.  I hear that pesky demon creeping out of it’s dark crevice in my mind.  I hear you over there.  I know what you are up to.  We’ve been through this a dozen times and I know all your tricks.  All of them.  I am not going through that again so we can do this the hard way, or you can crawl back in your hole.

They usually crawl back in their hole.  This time, though.. the headache keeps throbbing.  Always in the background but always there.  Tenacious little devil.

I don’t usually talk about these things.  People automatically assume the exaggerated, media-hyped worse.  It must be voices or paranoid delusions!  They don’t know what it is really like.  They don’t understand that it is simply a fight to keep myself civilized.  I can very easily become testy, moody, and down right unbearable to be around.  I try, and often succeed, to be polite and empathetic.  I’ve had to practice it because it’s not something I would do if I had the choice.  I would love nothing more than to forget all the absurd and unnecessary squabbling of the people around me and to find a nice little deserted island to settle down on.  I guess we live in an age where a longing for solitude is a mental condition.

Of course, I get the opposite as well.  People who do the whole ladder thing.  “Oh everyone gets that way, dear..”  *pat pat* on the head.  Spare me.  Everyone does not get this way.  If they did, there would be no Facebook.  There would be no social media.  Because there would be no social. And it’s funny I am really this way.  Many people tell me how nice I am, or how thoughtful.  I have to be.  It is my sanity.  It is how I stay alive in this supersaturated social world.  I do not require people’s opinions, information about their day, or even a passing hello.  But everyone else does and if I don’t ask opinions, how someone’s day went, or smile and say, “Hello” in passing, then I would probably be a very mean person indeed. Not because they would think such minor social faux pas as mean, but  only because it would allow the other not-so-social aspects of myself to emerge. In fact, when I am not being social I can begin to feel a sort of panic overtake me.  I begin to force myself to converse with the people around me to prevent myself from lapsing back into isolation and anti-social behavior.  Being social, in many aspects, is my therapy.  I guess that’s why I hate it so much.  Taking medicine is never fun.

My problem is that I am at a loss for words why other people cannot simply use their own minds to figure out situations or solve (what seem to me to be) basic problems before they become larger.  But no, people seem to thrive off of exaggeration and misinformation.  They actually create problems to get dramatic attention.  It’s so tiresome.  It comes in many forms.. People that have a misplaced sense of entitlement and feel they are most important. People that exaggerate the circumstances in their lives to manipulate others around them. People that think they must cowtail to everyone else around them (codependency).  People that think they have to do everything for everyone in order for it to get done right.  People that think only their way of thinking is right and they must proclaim their religious, political, etc etc way of thinking to everyone else to save them.  People, people, people.. manipulating, gossiping, backstabbing.  Ugh, I am so over it.  If there is a round object in front of me,  I would like to investigate it to see if it’s a ball, or an egg.. can I eat it?  I would love that. I love to eat.  But so many other people would do negative things.  Become territorial over the object without even knowing what it is in the first place, not know how to use it but claim to be an expert, destroy it because they claim it meant harm even though it didn’t.. etc etc.  You can replace “round object” with just about anything and get the same response.  Hell, I’ve had coworkers get into cat fights over cardboard boxes.  Cardboard.. boxes.  I am at a loss lately.

Thankfully, I find reprieve in the small things.  Books, music, crafts.  Furry little friends.  Without these things in my life, I think I would have become like the other old hags I see on a daily basis.  Always sour faced, nothing positive to say, and ever quick to try and make others do things they know they don’t want to do.  Must. Not. Be. A. Bitch.  Deep breaths.  Breathing is good for you.  Be social, be polite, and above all else – be yourself.  Ah, but that is an oxymoron for me. I guess I’ll just have to settle for being as much of myself as I am allowed to be.

A Petition for Accountability

http://www.change.org/petitions/facebook-ban-misogynistic-pages-even-those-labeled-controversial-humor#share

Yes, this is the Internet and people will post whatever they want.  That is no excuse to not be able to demand that certain pages that are targeted at specific groups and disguised as “humor” be taken down.  This includes such groups as race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, gender, etc.

Demand that FaceBook hold these people accountable for the pages they create and that FB does not, in turn, perpetuate such nonsense.  There is a difference between entitlement and right.  These people have the right to free speech.  Unfortunately, like most of us Americans, they believe that entitles them to select groups of people to harass.  It does not.  These pages are the equivalent to the “Whites Only” signs from our murkier days past.  It is important to keep up the fight for EQUALITY.  For all, and in all respects.

Thanks.