You Can Choose


There are so many things in life that we can’t control – the luck of when and where we’re born, and to whom, for instance. In life, there will be happy surprises and tragic accidents; transcendent moments and unexpected betrayals; passion and loss. That’s just how life works, in all its great beauty, heights and depths. Some stuff you get to decide – some you don’t.

One thing is certain – you’ll never know what might have been if you hadn’t been born you.

Onism – n. “the frustration of being stuck in just one body, that inhabits only one place at a time, which is like standing in front of the departures screen at an airport, flickering over with strange place names like other people’s passwords, each representing one more thing you’ll never get to see before you die-and all because, as the arrow on the map helpfully points out, you are here.”

We are born narcissists, and that’s what knocks us back when key moments occur without warning. We live under the illusion that we are in control of our lives; fate knows better. Even the most meticulously planned course of events can take a left turn, and topple us into joy or despair, forcing our emotions to run the gamut. The world keeps turning, the pieces of the planet’s puzzle drop into place, and that’s just the way it is. No choice but to deal with what we’ve encountered, but much choice in how we handle our feelings. 

path of rosesWhat gets strewn along your path as you navigate the years may surprise you. Spoiler alert … it’s not all gonna be roses. Roses need manure to flourish, so expect a lot of horse shit on that path.

Everything’s relative. Perception is reality. You may think your life is horrible, but to someone with even less of what they need, you probably look like you’ve got it made. What we choose to value says a great deal about character. If your house was on fire, what would you choose to save? What makes you get up in the morning and begin another day? Depending on how you see your life, you can feel gratitude for what you have, or feel chronically and spitefully short changed.

Lachesism: “Longing for the clarity of disaster, the desire for revelation.

There will always be tides in life, times when you feel alone, and wonder if the blackness around you is all there really is. You won’t know if you can take any more, and you’ll wonder why you should bother to even try. But the truth is, when life is tough, you can cave, or you can triumph. You can struggle on alone, or you can reach out to accept help, and to offer others help. Your choice.

We can overcome our infantile narcissism, but it takes insight. To ‘sonder,’ means to realize that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own. Yes, you are the star of your own inner movie, but everyone else is also living their own epic. And what you do impacts upon everyone around you, whether they play a major or minor role in your blockbuster.

Once you’ve understood that all whom you encounter have as much weight and importance as you do in the universe, it takes a concerted effort to dismiss how your own behaviour changes their realities. The way you approach your emotions will have consequence. Your choice to be optimistic or pessimistic, to be altruistic or self-centered, will color the worlds of those around you, and by extension, everyone those people interact with, and so on, ad infinitum.

It’s ironic; to be truly aware of one’s own importance in the universe is to understand that everyone else is just as important.

Scary, eh? Most of us never realize the full magnitude of our actions, and unfortunately, some who do dream of using those very repercussions to achieve dominance. Again … a choice.

can't photoshop uglyWe’ve all known people who have captured our attention through their strong personalities. We call some ‘Suzy Sunshines,’ and others ‘Debi Downers.’ It has little to do with how they appear on the surface, though years of channelling strong emotion and inner convictions will eventually shape our physical forms.

Some intuitively understand the power of personality. We call those people celebrities, or movie stars, or politicians.

But for most of us, it’s the little ways we operate that matter. It’s easy to urge others to join in celebration, but much harder to open oneself to mourning. And yet both of these circumstances will alter the people around you, however subtly.

Kenopsia, n. “the eerie, forlorn atmosphere of a place that’s usually bustling with people but is now abandoned and quiet—a school hallway in the evening, an unlit office on a weekend, vacant fairgrounds—an emotional afterimage that makes it seem not just empty but hyper-empty, with a total population in the negative, who are so conspicuously absent they glow like neon signs.”

It’s important to work through that emotional gamut of joy or grief; to feel is to heal. Denial, anger, despair, rage, numbness, isolation, desperation – we need to know how they feel to know when the hurting stops. But we also have to know when to stop allowing these emotions to control us, and by extension, those around us who love us, but who have psyches of their own to protect.

Getting outside our own immediate impulses may be difficult, but it’s also a chance to understand the difference between the savage and the civilized mind. Our natural inclinations lean to a need for comfort and the attainment of our own immediate gratification of physical needs; civilization imposes the strictures necessary for all within a society to live peaceably. Civilization involves rising above the knee jerking of base impulses to a sober rethinking of how our primal reactions of rage or revenge to events beyond our control will eventually destroy the fabric that holds each society together.

When we hurt, when we’re tired, it’s so very hard to work towards a nobler self. We ask ourselves is it worth it? Is it even possible to take the high road? Or is it already too late?

… you can choose.

 

first published Dec 6/2015: bobsegarini.wordpress.com/2015/12/06/roxanne-tellier-you-can-choose/

He Didn’t Act Alone


The 57 year old white male that walked in to a Planned Parenthood office on the day after Thanksgiving and began a siege that ended many hours later with 3 dead, including a police officer, and 5 more officers and 4 more civilians hospitalized … did not act alone.

carly fiorinaHe walked into that clinic holding the hands of every politician that stepped on stage and rained malice and disinformation about Planned Parenthood on the citizens listening, in search of their votes. He stood side by side with every religious leader that has encouraged a belief that he and they had some holy duty to interfere in a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body. He proudly carried the torch of those journalists who sought click bait in a video that allegedly showed murderous misdeeds by a Planned Parenthood leader, which was later proved to be manipulated and untrue.

And he had the applause of every single person on social media who demands that their pro- life argument be heard and deemed more righteous than the voices of those who are pro-choice.

When that man walked into that clinic, he didn’t go in alone. He was carried on the shoulders of those who have proclaimed themselves to be morally and religiously superior to those who do not share his religious beliefs. His banner was a ragged copy of a rewritten Constitution that denied the legality and importance of a separation of church and state.

On Thursday, the people of American gathered to share the warmth of their homes and the bounty of their year with their friends and families.

womens health

Many prayed together – some prayed that Planned Parenthood would be defunded and punished for their work, despite the fact that other health concerns are dealt with in those clinics, problems that can range from menstrual disorders to cancer. And all of those prayers went nowhere near a God in Heaven – instead, they were heard by a man who took those prayers and his guns, and killed 3 people.

There are consequences to your beliefs. A pro-life stance that rationalizes the murder of others in the name of religion has nothing to do with being pro-life, and everything to do with denying others their lives and legal rights.

 

pro life anti baby

 

 

Consent: Not actually that complicated


A little NSFW in spots, but a very good analogy.
Thanks to Rockstar.Dinosaur.Pirate.Princess …

rockstar dinosaur pirate princess

http://kaffysmaffy.tumblr.com/post/780535517 http://kaffysmaffy.tumblr.com/post/780535517

A short one today as my life is currently very complicated and conspiring against my preference to spend all of my days working out what to blog. But do you know what isn’t complicated?

Consent.

It’s been much discussed recently; what with college campuses bringing in Affirmative Consent rules, and with the film of the book that managed to make lack of consent look sexy raking it in at the box office. You may not know this, but in the UK we more or less have something similar to ‘affirmative consent’ already. It’s how Ched Evans was convicted while his co-defendant was not – and is along the lines of whether the defendant had a reasonable belief that the alleged victim consented. From the court documents it appears that while the jury felt that it was reasonable to believe that the victim had consented to intercourse with the co-defendant, it…

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A New Year


  1. Growing up, even thinking of what 2001 would hold seemed like sci fi. The dystopian science fiction film, “Blade Runner,” released in 1982, predicted a 2019 where genetically engineered replicants and flying cars were commonplace. Yet here we are, just 4 years short of that world, and nary a household android in sight. Although we do have the Roomba, and it’s many delights.    roomba cat

But things have changed a great deal in my years on the planet. What seemed to be set in stone wasn’t. The women who wore garter belts and stockings embraced pantyhose; manual typewriters morphed into electronic keyboards; the massive ENIAC computer shrank to tablet size. Yes, the world of technology reinvented the things we took for granted. It also changed how we saw each other.

looking at phone