It’s been a while since I posted on this blog. So here are some random thoughts I have been thinking about:
The election is now over, but it is still not over. Recounts, cabinet selections are still being reported like it is actual news. Maybe the media can’t let go? With all the smart people that work in the IT world, I am thinking they should be able to come up with a national voting system. Sure, everything is subject to hacking, but shouldn’t we at least try to come up with something? Otherwise, no election results will ever be final and there will always be rumors of inaccurate results. Every new President-elect goes through the process of selecting Cabinet officials and those that will work directly for them. Most of these will require confirmation by Congress. And that show will go on and on. Nothing much happens the first year of anyone’s Administration because of those appointments and confirmation hearings. It is as though Congress will take the political route rather than looking out for what’s best for the country. And I wish new Presidents would be less concerned with campaign paybacks and more concerned with picking people who will really bring something to the table.
Regarding Thanksgiving. The internet is full of clever little pieces about gratitude. I even made a list of small things for which I am grateful. Thanks to my career, I traveled all over the world. Thanks to my bosses, it usually wasn’t the big European capitals although I have been to a few of them too, but mostly to what we called “developing nations”. And every time I came home, I felt so lucky to be living in the U.S. Seeing real poverty, unstable governments, people who were grateful to have any kind of job at all so they could support their families. Because that is one thing I found to be true: that no matter where you go, people want security, a roof over their heads, something on their table to eat, and a better future for their children. And that is what binds us all in our global communities. When I worked counter drug programs back in the late 80s, early 90s, I remember going to meetings and people saying such things as “we will teach them to grow carrots, because it is morally better, than to grow coca.” And I remember thinking how stupid this sounded, because the farmers doing the farming didn’t care as much about morality as they did being safe and earning money for their families. Sure carrots might be a more moral crop, but it didn’t pay as well as the coca. I remember visiting an El Salvadoran hospital, and seeing what appeared to be a 1940’s level facility. I visited the pharmacy, which was in the basement with a dirt floor and the Drs. that begged me to do whatever I could (which wasn’t much) to send medicines – they were even willing to take what we considered “expired” medicines. We complain about our health care and the cost of drugs, but we are not grateful for what we have. That is what irks me about people in this country saying they are “oppressed”. They have no real idea what oppression can mean; where people in other places in the world would be so grateful just to have what our “oppressed” people have.
So that now we are passed Thanksgiving and we move on to Christmas. Most of us complain about how “commercial ” Christmas has become. We feel pressured to buy the perfect present and the cost be damned. Some people use the holiday as an excuse to take on more debt than they can expect to afford. And so many of us are able to buy whatever we want, whenever we want, we couldn’t really tell you anything we want for Christmas. So why do we buy into the commercial Christmas? We have the ability to change it, if we want to, but we don’t, because we have this idea that all the good stuff about Christmas is boxed and wrapped and tied with ribbons under an over-decorated Christmas tree. I’m not criticizing people, because I am much the same. I find a longing for the Christmas I never had – with people that I loved, and happy times (no arguments). As an only child, and only grandchild for so many years and a birthday right before Christmas, I remember being totally overwhelmed with how many gifts I got. One year, I was getting a new bicycle and I had an small bicycle that I hadn’t ridden much and a like new tricycle, and my father gave these to his secretary for her children. Her husband had left her and she had no money to buy anything for her kids. All of my toys stayed like new, because I had so many of them, I didn’t play to much with anything More precious to me than anything else was my little suitcase with all my plastic horses, and the imaginary “stable” I created in my mind. If we don’t like how commercial Christmas has become, then let’s change it.
On rescue – for the first time in my life, my three dogs are dogs that I rescued. And I have come to realize that there are so many great animals that need and deserve a loving home. I always thought that a rescue animal would come with disciplinary problems, health issues or some other affliction that caused them to be dumped. But I have learned that far too many people do not do their research and end up with an animal that is more lively than they expected, or that is ill and needs easy medical care, or just isn’t wanted anymore. Unimaginable to me, but some people just regard animals as disposable. I was at the shelter the other day and looking at the cats they had needing new homes. 4 groups of little kittens, who are at the perfect age for adoption. A momma cat who had been given up with her 3 kittens. (I guess it never occurred to the owner that she could have momma spayed, and our local shelter runs a discounted spay/neuter program every month.) Please people, spay or neuter your pets.
On being “unfriended” on Facebook. This past election cycle, I lost 17 “friends” because I voted for Trump. No one ever asked me why I was voting for him, and every time I tried to explain, I got accused of reciting “Republican” talking points. Some people said that I had changed, one accused me of drug addiction and another of dementia. Two people came after me with after personal attacks. I always like to think that I will not respond to this kind of attack, but something pushed my buttons and I responded in kind. Then this was reedited by someone, leaving off everything that was posted to me to that point. And some more “friends” found the unfriend button. A lot of these people I had “known” in cyberspace for 10 years or more. Not one of them PM’d me and asked me why I felt as I did or what had led up to me posting what I did. I don’t think I am the only person who has ever lost their temper to bullying. The next morning I woke up horrified that I had let them drag me down to their level of discourse, but it happened. Two of the women that unfriended me particularly made me sad, because they are women that I both like and respect. I guess I learned that cyberspace can be a lot like Junior High School. I am the same person I have always been (well, hopefully a bit more mature and wiser). The previous 2 elections I voted for Obama. Oh well. I’m happy for the people that stuck with me, despite our political differences.
So these are the things I have been thinking about these past weeks.
Until next time, Elsie