Saturday, April 28, 2007

Theres Always Plan B

Have you ever wondered how much you as in individual matter in this world? I have. Especially lately.

I was watching a commercial on TV...Don't ask me what they were selling...I couldn't tell you. It was some sort of insurance I think. I suppose in that regard the commercial failed miserably as a commercial since I cant recall the company it was for. But it did catch my eye for another reason. It was one of those pay it forward type ideas.

It showed an individual who stops for no other reason than just because they can..and helped another person. It was a simple thing...not a cure for cancer or the answers to hunger or world peace. Just a simple act of kindness from one person to another. That act was then observed unknowingly by a third individual who stopped, paused and thought about what he had just seen. The commercial goes on with this ripple effect...The third individual does a small act of kindness that gets passed on because its affects another person and so on.

So this gets me thinking. I wonder how my life effects those around me. Do I have any impact on those people I come in contact with on a daily basis? What about those who I only touch for the briefest of moments?

Id like to think that maybe I could be the kind of person one day that could be something positive in another persons life. I doubt I will ever be anyone who does anything so profound as finding a cure for a disease or the answers to any real world problems. But Id like to think that one day I can become a good enough person that my actions...even the small ones would be a good influence on others around me.

There seem to be all kinds of successes in this world. There are the creators of the world...and the things we have in it. The ones who have great influence over economy, people, politics. There are those who do great humanitarian acts, find cures for disease and work on a global level to cure the world of its ills. Then there are those who appear successful just by the simple act of being in the public eye repeatedly. I don't know if fame is a true success.. I suppose that depends on the stick you measure it by.

I don't see myself as ever falling into any of the above categories. I'm not sure I would want to. But I think that there are more basic ways of being a success. And even though those might not be noticed or measured..they are every bit as important in the big scheme of things. I may not be that kind of person yet. But I could be. I mean I still have a lot of choices a head of me don't I?

My Great Grandmother used to say take life with a grain of salt....My great Uncle would say add a slice of lime and a shot of tequila to that. *smile*

But someone recently gave me some pretty simple but none the less good advise....He told me to stop beating up on myself, don't over analyse and do what I needed to do for me. He could be right. Who knows, maybe everything else might start to fall into place.

If not..there is always plan B...... that slice of lime and that shot of tequila...

Friday, April 27, 2007

No Apologies

We live in the 21st Century. I would like to believe that in this day and time NO ONE thinks slavery was a good idea. Which is why I believe it doesn't exist any longer. It was abolished.

Abolish- To do away with; to repeal; to obliterate.

Which in the most simple terms means its gone...Its not coming back. So I have to say it bothers me that something that was clearly thought to be a bad idea and done away with a very long time ago is still an issue.

Could someone please explain to me why legislators from states such as Alabama, Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina are all writing legislation to officially express regret and apologise for their states involvement in slavery? Are they serious?

I am a 20 year old living in the south. I wasn't around during the time of slavery. I never personally kept a slave. Nor did I promote those who did. I have never profited in anyway from slave labor. In fact....I can pretty much assure you that if there was any sort of slave labor around our home while I was growing up...I WAS IT.

So to me the idea that ANYONE now owes an apology at this point for something that happened two hundred or so years ago is totally ridiculous. Not only that, but I am completely tired of hearing how every bad thing that happens is directly related to the raw deal their ancestors got.

If you are a person living in this country for several generations now.....No matter how you got here or where your ancestors came from there is one thing for certain.....YOU ARE AN AMERICAN!!

You are an American with all the freedoms and privileges given to you by our constitution and laws of this country. Just like every other American. You are not the only group that has been wronged in our nations history or has had its share of struggles.

If you feel that being denied this apology is about a of lack of respect for you. I would like offer a thought.....If you desire respect...look closer to home. I heard someone say that "We can not expect others to respect us if we first don't show respect for ourselves". I think that's pretty true and good advise no matter what race, religion or gender you are.

There is a trend to promote music, movies and a culture that demeans women, race, religion and a respect for the law. This is done for no other reason than for monetary profit. Today we have more respect for the dollar than we have for people. And it doesn't seem to matter how much we have to degrade ourselves, our standards and values to achieve it.

An apology is not your problem here....You have much bigger concerns than that. You're culture is deteriorating right before your eyes. And you are allowing it.

However if you still want an apology for slavery and feel you can get it from someone who actually committed this crime...then I say go for it. But I have a feeling that most who participated in this act are long since gone.

So I have to ask..Wouldn't the time be better spent looking at how to make the future better rather than looking for someone to take blame for the past?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Innocent Until Proven Guilty...

Innocent until proven guilty has left the building. Or at least its on its way out because of a lot of different circumstances in our country. I realize that with the tragic events that have occurred at places such as Virginia Tech and Columbine people want the powers that be to do something...anything to make them feel safer and protected while in public places.

But can this really be done? I have to ask myself are the freedoms we give up really a good trade for the false feeling of security we will get for them? How many metal detectors do we walk through? How many forms and background checks do we go through before we are deemed safe and law abiding?

Do all these new laws and restrictions really keep us safer? Because in my way of thinking the only people who really follow these rules are the ones who are law abiding to begin with. Criminals and crazies usually step outside the box when it comes to things like this.

We have adopted a VERY unhealthy attitude toward the politically correct. We are so worried that we are going to offend some group that we are giving up many of our own rights to prevent this from happening. As we bend over backwards, we are saying by our actions that we are unable to determine who is criminal and crazy...And if we do suspect, our own fear of political incorrectness makes us unwilling to step up and point them out. Therefore for safety's sake we will have to restrict everyone.

Some will say that all these new restrictions are an acceptable trade off to know that they are safer when flying or going to school or entering a building.. etc. But I think its a slippery slope we need to think over carefully before signing off on it.

Maybe its old school thinking on my part. It just seems it could be a dangerous trade off, because to me freedoms aren't usually lost in big pieces at a time..They are eroded away little by little. So slowly and so subtly that we don't even notice, so we tell ourselves that its just normal.

If we are innocent until proven guilty shouldn't we be allowed to live as if we are?

Please check out exmi's blog post
Unusual Allies to see what set me off today.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Virginia Tech

Normally I don't blog about things like this. But just like a lot of other people in our country, I'm watching the students, faculty and families of Virginia Tech try and cope with the tragic events that occurred on Monday of this week.

Anytime you hear about something like this...Its hard not to be stunned and horrified by it. But I will be honest with you.....In the past, even though I may think to myself that its awful and I truly feel sorry for the people involved. I also to some degree detach from it. Its something that has happened in another place to strangers and doesn't affect me personally.

I am not trying to excuse my behavior on this...But lets face it, we are bombarded with stories of murder, death, starvation, abuse and a thousand other similar occurrences every single day in the news we read, the radio we listen to and the TV we watch. How many of us take each victim or story to heart?

But this time, for me at least its different. I have been watching these people. I have seen their fear...watched them grieve, seen their confusion and frustration that this has happened at all...let alone happened to them.

This one bothers me....because when I look at their faces...I see my friends. I see myself. I am the same age as most of these people who died. I live in a small community who is to some degree close knit. I see them and think of my friends and my family. This one bothers me a lot.

I see the photos of the man who did this. He looked so normal. Just another average 23 year old student. If I had passed him on the street would I have noticed anything about him that made me pause? While there is a lot of speculation and things coming to light right now as to why he choose to do this to these innocent people and then to himself.. I can't even begin to imagine what kind of dark place you would have to be in to actually do it?

I admire these people of Virginia Tech. I have watched them tell their stories and not once have I heard anyone speak in anger. If anyone has a reason to feel anger right would be those whose loss was so great. But what I do get from them is immense sadness, disbelief and a camaraderie of people pulling together to support each other in a time of need. I see that thing in them that gives you hope that human beings are still indeed worth something.

To the students and families of Blacksburg Virginia and Virginia Tech my heart goes out to you. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Feeling Invisable

I woke up this morning around 5:30 to the sound of pouring rain. Normally I love the sound of a storm. Especially when I can lay in bed and listen to it outside. Its the perfect time to think and day dream. But this morning I don't want to have to think anymore and my day dreams are pretty much history.

Ive been feeling sort of invisible lately. As if I'm viewed but not seen...heard but not listened to. It seems that everyone in the world....especially those closest to me (family and friends) seem to have an opinion about what I need to be doing with my life and how I should be doing it.

After the initial irritation I feel subsides...I try and remember that this is coming from a good place. That these people truly do care for me and care what happens to me. They mean well and they're advise and opinions have good intentions behind them. But I have to wonder, how they can know what I need and want when I don't even know myself.

Some of my friends think I need a love life to solve my problems. Trust me..been there tried that. I cant make one work. me you're heart isn't interchangeable.....You either really love someone or you don't....You cant just swap one person for another. Or I cant. NOR DO I WANT TO.

My family thinks that I need to have focus...goals...a plan. I need to get serious and stop day dreaming. To take on more adult responsibilities...yada yada yada....I know the drill. And I wont say that they are completely wrong about some of this....But let me figure it out....Stop trying to do it for me. I keep trying to explain, I'm not them. I'm not the same person. I have to do it my way.

If I have heard it once I have heard it a ga-zillion times..."Ive been where you are. I already know the mistakes a head of you...You need to listen to me. I'm trying to help you".


I know you have seen things I haven't. I also know you may have more life experience than I do. But geezzzzzzzz cut me some slack here. I not stupid. Have some faith in the way you raised me. I just need to work this out on my own. I want to work it out on my own. I want to make my own plan and my own mistakes whatever they might be. I will take responsibility if I screw it up. I'm not making excuses for those Ive made already. Just give me some breathing room. Please.

I keep thinking if I bide my time...some new object of obsession will get their attention and my life will fade from their thoughts. I admit I'm not good at being pushed...I tend to dig in and go the opposite direction when it happens. If those who kept pushing me really thought about it they would know this.

I suppose if the truth be told...I know them too..and I know that the same way they are pushing my buttons...I'm in turn pushing theirs. Its pretty childish and dis functional sounding when you lay it out like that. But in families I guess we all know each others weak spots.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Do You Need 911...If so how badly?

Yesterday I was listening to the local news...They had a story about a man who had called 911 because his 37 year old girl friend was choking. On the recorded phone call you can clearly hear this man obviously frantic. He has no idea what to do for this woman. OK..I understand not everyone knows the Heimlich Maneuver ...And even someone who might know of the point during an emergency might not have a clear enough head to actually attempt to use it.

Lets face it....not everyone remains calm cool and collected in those type of situations. Which is why some of us are cut out to be rescue help, while others are the rescued. would think that when you call emergency assistance you would at least get someone on the other end of the phone who could assist you. Someone with the minimal and basic first aide instruction.

I know these people are mostly there to assess and send out medical help. But this 911 operator didn't know the Heimlich either. And while they were polite on the phone...polite is the last of my concerns if I am calling you because someone I care about is dying in front of me.

To make matters even worse in my eyes...The supervisor of this 911 operator who did in fact know the proper way to assist someone who was choking...refused to get on the line and assist the caller. In fact, could be heard in the background of the call almost making fun of the way the call was going.


It took 11 minutes for an ambulance to arrive...and by the time they got there the mans girlfriend was dead.

Maybe its just me but if you have the need to call 911...You do so because you have an emergency that your skills or knowledge cant solve or handle on your own. You are calling for help...assistance. Not to speak to someone who is nothing more than a glorified telemarketer.

I realise there are probably some legal ramifications I'm not aware of if you provide someone with verbal medical assistance and they screw it up. I will be honest with you..if there are and what they would be... I couldn't begin to tell you. But considering you cant breath air anymore with out fear of being sued, nothing would surprise me.

I will say this...If this were me.....I would much rather be in trouble for attempting to help save someones life...Than to remain legally safe while I sit back and let them die.

Maybe its fortunate I'm not a 911 operator.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Working With A Bad Attitude

The key to understanding how to dig a hole for yourself is knowing when to stop digging. When you hit rock bottom..that's when its time to stop. I think that's pretty good advise. I however have never been one to take good advise. I am stubborn.

Being stubborn isn't my only problem at this moment...toss in a little apathy...a dash of procrastination....apply extreme pressure and you have successfully created one bad attitude. And not that I'm trying to brag here...But this is really the finest bad attitude I have ever managed to create and sustain for this long of a period of time. You always know when you have really achieved optimum success with your bad attitude...because you aren't just making yourself miserable any longer you are also managing to make others around you unhappy as well. So as far as bad behavior goes this will probably be a crowning achievement in my somewhat inexperienced life time.

There was a time not so long ago that I would have looked around and blamed everyone else for my situation. When you are a kid...its always the other guys fault. But I'm too old to be able to play that card anymore.

So I have decided to make my bad attitude work for me. I'm sick of being pushed...I am too stubborn to quit....even if others have given up on me. I am going to succeed and do it my way, if only to prove to everyone who's been riding me that I can. Yes...this will still accomplish some of the same goals. But in doing it my way will have the added bonus of pissing them off at the same time.

Is this childish thinking on my part? Yes probably....but did I mention I'm working with a bad attitude here?