Thursday, September 30, 2010

Growing Pains

Dynamics of family life can be some of the most frustrating issues in one's lifetime. I have learned one thing in my sixty years on this earth. I have no control over the future. I finally admit it. I give up and release the future to those who are going to live it. While on earth, I will pray for the characters of the dramas to come, and if God allows me to oversee them after my death, I will do so after I die. However, for now, I release them, so I can go forward in life.

My mother is very ill again. I am ill or would be at her side. I am concentrating on now and getting well, so I can be there in the near future to hold her hand as she battles between life and death. According to statistics, she has at 80 lived 8 years longer than her mother, and statistically this might be the end. I am praying that it isn't, but mentally preparing myself for whatever God has in mind. A loved one's crisis always brings out the good, the bad, and the ugly. Unfortunately, the ugly seems to describe me at times like these. I am always flabbergasted at the lack of compassion exhibited by individuals when someone is just at their lowest point, whether it is caused by health, emotional, or financial issues.

I have observed that the compassion gene just hasn't been passed on to generations following mine. I sometimes wonder if the humanism of schools provided this venue. I am constantly surprised at actions that seem to kick the dead horse. People who swoop in when someone is easily manipulated are particularly repulsive to me, and the ugly in me lets them know it.

I have also observed that in my family, "the honesty is the best policy," truth in living has just been tossed aside. Liars can't even keep their stories straight anymore. I have lied at times in my life, and asked forgiveness when discovered. I didn't try to justify why I lied. When I chose to lie, I knew why, and just accepted the fact that I had been busted if the truth came up in conversation. I am not this saint, but I can count the times in my life that I felt it necessary to lie, and both hands aren't full yet. A lie four years ago, no you aren't going to die, not while you are in my charge. That lie gave hope. Don't know if it will work this time.

My family seems to have built a life of using lies to manipulate each other, and it has truly become a tangled web. Maybe my ugly side is the reason, I am always the last to know. If liars would just change, then they could be spared what I call my righteous wrath. I have discovered, when family dynamics are off, that sometimes it forces basically honest people to also follow suite with the lies. I find myself in a position that forces me to protect my family in legal ways. Then, if asked about it, I will be forced to lie in order to protect those I love. Fighting fire with fire comes to mind, but it still doesn't make sense.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My Feelings About My Home Town

Hometown always carries a special place in an individual's heart, and I think there are logical reasons for this sentiment. Life is fairly simple for most youngsters without serious baggage from family issues. Youth was the carefree time when kids played, and obeyed, and didn't worry about too much except being caught in some inappropriate activity, like playing with matches or sneaking a cigarette from the old man or woman. Most of life's innocence is spent in Hometown USA somewhere. Thus, happiness is usually associated with the towns of our youths.

Some have the opportunities to stay in their favorite towns, raise their families, and continue to be blessed by their grandchildren. Life long friendships, began stopped and revisited, forge ties that bind. The community stays strong because of this very dynamic.

I visit my hometown on a very regular basis. My family as a whole never left or came back and have stayed. Generations of cousins, some not seen in 35 years, and some recently reconnected through a high school reunion or FB, are still the strength of this community. Most go about their business, doing the best they can in careers, enjoying their grand and great grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Most are living life, and it makes me happy to know that most have made something positive of their lives.

I read my hometown paper on a regular basis having reconnected to this media several years ago, and it is interesting to me to note that newspaper bias is alive and well in small town papers and the city paper to which I have subscribed for years. I am a fairly discerning reader and don't limit my information sources to just the morning paper. One recent article really bothered me, and I am not sure why.

There was quite a blog response discussion concerning the President's recent speech to the school children across America. Some of the bloggers were quite petty, and others fair, and that's fine. What bothers me is the newsworthiness of the topic. The article set itself up for a barrage of responses that further provoked emotions that really aren't newsworthy. Now, I don't pretend to agree with the President or his people on much of anything, but he is the President of the United States of America; duly elected by the majority of people. At that time his supporters were obviously just as frustrated with the status quo three years ago, as I am with the status quo today. The unemployment issues alone are enough to get everyone's attention.

I don't pretend to understand the financial world and the side bar deals made along the way, that once again guarantee that special interests do get their way. What I do understand is the power of the people to change their circumstances by the simple gesture known as voting. What I do understand is the position given to a select few to run our country, not just the President, but the Senators and Representatives, chosen to run our country and guarantee the American Way of Life.

What I do not understand is the disrespect for the office of President. I didn't understand when John F. Kennedy was brutally murdered. I didn't understand when Reagan was attacked. I haven't understood the verbal assaults on the last three presidents. I am entitled to feel and privately discuss how I do or do not like this or that about my presidents, present and past. What I do not enjoy being a part of is the bashing and bigotry that somehow finds its ways to forums such as those in my hometown paper. I don't enjoy reading articles that set up this kind of banter. A balanced article would have discussed the past presidents speeches to school kids throughout history. Special reminder of where President Bush was on 9/11 would have been a nice touch. The writer could have interjected his or her feelings at the very end of the article just for emphasis. I think this is why I won't ever live in a small town again. At least when I read articles in the city papers, I have no doubt in my mind as to the personal feelings of the writer. I am given glimpses of both sides, choose my position while reading, and agree or disagree at the end of the editorial or article. When hometown papers repeatedly give one sided views of news, it really sets itself up for dissatified customers, me included.

I admire the brave who get into the blog broils that follow biased jounalism, and most of the time some truly journalistic mind interjects a bird's eye view of the real issues. I will continue to read my local paper on line, but only for the local news of people I sometime know as family or friends. As for the editorial attempts at national news and its affect on the community, I will forego them for a while. I really need a break from the biased journalism of Smalltown, USA. Attempts that seem to accomplish only one thing in the community, and that is discord among its readers.