My family is insane…and they are starting to make me insane too!
The below image is just a VERY tiny snippet of my mother’s Facebook page. Click on the image to see it in all it’s full-sized glory.
So tell me…what the fuck am I supposed to do with that? It’s every day. Very VERY rarely is something posted that isn’t of this nature. I can’t have any interaction with her. What am I supposed to say? Should I just continue to try to bite my tongue and ignore it? On several occasions I’ve been mere microseconds away from de-friending her. But, of course, that would cause all kinds of problems. I really have no kind of relationship with my parents anymore. Would it really be any loss? I can’t believe that I grew up in this world! No wonder there are days where I feel like I’m nuts.
Seriously…what do I do with this? My family is insane!
I’m not really anti-gun. I’m certainly not pro-gun. One thing is for sure with me, though, I do NOT get this country’s love-affair with the all-mighty gun. I just don’t get it. But it’s become obvious to me that SOMETHING has to change. There have been far too many mass-shootings and horrible gun-related tragedies in our country lately for us to just turn a blind eye to the issue. And it sure seems like we can’t even come together and have a discussion about it.
I don’t know what the answer is. I’m just some middle-aged guy in an average city just trying to do what I do to survive in this world and take care of my family. I don’t have any kind of deep insight as to what the answer is. All I know is that there are statistics to be had that do not lie. Compared to other affluent countries on this planet we are leading the race in gun violence. Frankly a race I would be happy to finish last in. And what is different about those countries? MUCH stricter gun laws.
A Recent announcement by the NRA advocates putting even MORE weapons out there. I tend to think this is a bad idea. We want LESS bullets flying around our society, not more. And if the advocates think that more guns in the hands of the general populous is a good idea, I really have to disagree. “People” aren’t able to drive their cars properly. How are we to expect “people” to handle a gun properly in an intense situation like we’ve had lately. It’s my belief that there would have been MORE casualties as a result.
Look, I don’t propose a ban by any stretch. But I also don’t think that regular civilians have any reason to have high-capacity, rapid shooting assault rifles either. I also think that psychiatric screenings would be a VERY good idea before one can get a weapon.
Do I think those things will prevent the awful events we’ve seen lately? Not really. I try to be realistic in these situations. A deranged person is most likely going to find a way to do the evil he or she’s been contemplating. However, I really think we need to have serious discussions on how to start moving in the right direction. Right now each side is just digging their heals in deeper, and as always, we will get nowhere.
Can we at least talk about it? Probably not, but it was a nice thought anyway.
(actually…a lot of days have been UN-days lately)
In our annual travels around the sun each year, we humans mark milestone occasions with celebrations of all kinds. The timing of these events are often the same (if not very close) for all of us, but the content of the celebratory phenomenon vary wildly. Most have some kind of religious origins. Even if those origins just served to explain some kind of natural occurrence that our ancestors were too primitive to understand.
Most of these ‘holidays’ are opportunities to unite with family, relax with time off work, and generally just blow off steam. And as a secular member of our species, there are generally ways to enjoy the day without having to acknowledge the religious implications that most of the rest of humanity projects onto the day.
Then there’s Easter. Oy…Easter! I realize that the origins go back to the spring equinox celebrated by pagan civilizations far back into antiquity. However, in fundamentalist America, there’s little one can do to avoid the seemingly endless poundings of “He is Risen”. Or “Thank you Jesus for your sacrifice”. Or “The powers of Hell are defeated”. Yadda yadda yadda!
In my atheism, I’ve grown more and more weary of this day each year. I know I could just ignore it, but I’d have to nearly live as a recluse in order to avoid all that mumbo jumbo. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all about living in a world where the M.O. is “To each, his (or her) own”. However, it seems the reality is that I’m living in a world where that viewpoint is very much a minority perspective. I don’t, however, want to be a grumpy old man when it comes to these things. I’m trying to find a way to leave it be, and not drive myself nuts in the same breathe. That’s the challenge. I never want to tell someone what to believe or think or how they should celebrate (and I never would). I just wish that was reciprocated more. And Easter seems to be the one holiday where that reciprocity is violated more than any other.
On that note, I’m going to send out a Happy Equinox and Happy Spring to ALL members of humanity. I will be doing my best to enjoy ushering in longer, warmer days, green and multicolored landscapes, and the prospect of life beginning once again.
So, upon reaching another milestone (or I should say 23,343,648,000 milestone) is seems natural to sit back and take a little ‘life inventory’. ..
40 trips around the Sun!
Those trips have been educational. The bumps and bruises along the way have molded me into the person I am now. It almost seems like these first 40 were just a preparation for a life that starts now. I feel like I can take the things I’ve learned, apply them to my life, and live better for the next 40. At least that’s the plan!
Learn, learn, learn, and then learn some more. I don’t have any grand delusions of making a huge impact on the whole world (though at one time I did – at least I hoped). However, if I can be a positive example on my little circle of influence, then maybe the exponential ripple will travel far. Constant learning and growing, that’s the plan!
Happiness! There’s nothing more important, in my opinion. I’ve seen the darkest of the dark in my own mind at times during these 40 trips. So I’ve learned to value the importance of just being happy and content. I intend on traveling these next 23,343,648,000 miles as happy as I can possibly be. I will try to take life’s lumps as they come, handle them, chalk them up to experience and learn to be happy through it all. Life is way too short to waste a single day in misery. I only wish I’d learned that sooner!
Lessons yet to fully learn: Patience & tolerance to name two (oh and to cut back on the road rage!). Always more to work on in those two areas for me.
So with that, how about a stupid little poem:
40 trips around the sun
Some were tough but most were fun
Don’t know how many I’ve left to run
maybe 40 more before I’m done?