How to Retain Your Humanity in Tough Times

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I may ramble a bit, I don’t know.

But I do want to make one thing absolutely clear; none of the people I ‘unfriended’ (three ‘celebrities’ and four indie authors) or who I ‘blocked from feed’ are actual FRIENDS of mine. I do not know a single one of them in the Real World. I did not grow up with them, go to school with them, go to church with them (yes, I used to do that on Sundays….don’t laugh….I did!), worked with them, had them over for dinner….nada. Zippo. Zero. Nuttin’.

Personally I think that may hint at the idea that over 47 years I did a damn good job picking my friends!🙂

That’s not to say they ALL think like I do. Of course they don’t! We’re not robots. BUT not a single one of them was vile or vulgar in their exercising of their First Amendment Rights. Not a single one. They all kept their arguments on the ‘high ground’ and presented interesting questions and scenarios to back up their opinions, their well-thought-out and intelligently relayed opinions. They didn’t swear, debase, or belittle in any manner. I think that’s because they realize the reality of a completely avoidable situation and that is the fact that a young man is DEAD over NOTHING.

I admit, I didn’t answer most of them although I read their posts. I didn’t answer them because I genuinely like these people, I want to continue liking them and being in their lives for a very long time to come.

In other words; it wasn’t worth risking the loss of a real friend. Today will fade, the trial will wash away into history but us, me and my friends, we’ll still be here after that happens. And we’ll be OLD and in need of good friends!🙂

The majority of them seem to favor some type of Civil Rights or Civil Trial…that’s how they finally got freakin’ OJ. I think, on the Civil Rights thing, it’s because most of us are just old enough to remember White Men being put on trial for Depriving Black Men of their Civil Rights…when White had actually KILLED Black but for some reason never went on trial for MURDER. Weird. Definitely not ‘justice’.

If you’re younger than me and you don’t remember that….lucky you. Then again maybe you’re one of the ones who was swearing and ranting and raving BECAUSE you don’t remember that.

Food for Thought. I guess anyway. For you and for me, provided you’re younger than I am.

Anyway, a strange thing happened today and it happened 3 times. The first time it happened I didn’t think much of it. The second time I thought it a little odd. The third time I knew there had been some type of shift somewhere and it was for the better. Light always finds a way to come from Darkness. Always. You just have to look for its glimmer and then follow it.

Twice at the office two gentlemen who wouldn’t ordinarily acknowledge each others’ presence in the room did just that. In two sets. That makes four people. Two white men. Two black men. None of them looked at each other with suspicion or shame. They gave each a hesitate ‘hello’ and then, for no reason at all, started talking. Not about anything particular or important just ‘how are ya’, ‘how’s the family’, ‘you looking for work?’, ‘been to a meeting lately’. BUT, as I said, these particular four people wouldn’t ordinarily piss on each other if they were on fire. I don’t think THAT’S a White/Black thing, I think they just didn’t particularly like each other. That’s allowed. Both times, in their respective sets, the gentlemen chatted with each other and one even waited for the other to finish their business and walk out together even though they hadn’t come in with each other.

I finished my day. I came home. Nikki and Nate are moving out! Woot-woot! Love ’em but…YEAH! LOL They finished their stuff and I went out to water my plants. It’s been so damn hot they’re very thirsty out there. I watered the back and then moved around front. As I watered the Petunias in their pot a black lady came walking down on the street looking to be on her way home from work at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital at the top of the street. No big deal. Just an everyday thing. I’d never seen her before. As she came up to my crappy sidewalk…and was smart enough to not brave enough but walk in the street instead! LOL…she stopped, she smiled a beautiful smile at me and said; “Oh, that’s a beautiful dress.”

If you’re a guy then you’re unaware that a woman receiving a totally unsolicited compliment from another woman is freakin’ gold. It’s better than you telling your wife how sexy she looks…you’re supposed to say that, so please say it often.

I thanked her, told her where I got it. She stopped, we chatted a minute or two…nothing serious, nothing big, mostly about how much we’re looking forward to the end of August and to Fall with its blessed cooler weather. Then she went on her way home.

As I watched her go on her way I couldn’t help but think that, under other circumstances, that nice lady probably would have looked at me a bit of suspicion and I at her the same way. It’s engrained. No matter how any of us ‘of a certain age’ tries to root it out…it’s there…that split second of Black meeting White when fear and suspicion flame up in our eyes and then we beat it back because we Are Not Our Parents. We smile. We nod at each other as we hurry by maybe we even actually say ‘hello’ but usually not.

Today was different. Today, even though there should be an air of distrust, there was an air of peace. An air of understanding that, again, We Are Not Our Parents. We are not stereotypes. Just because 6 women said a man was not-guilty doesn’t make him ‘innocent’. (Look it up…Google it…I ain’t lying. There’s a big difference between the two.)

“Gandalf” once said;

I think the Old Wizard is right. It won’t be big things like ‘widely covered racially charged trials’ or even great warriors, peacekeepers, lawmakers, and governments that do the trick for us. No, in the end, it will be those simple everyday acts of kindness and love will be what saves us from ourselves and keeps our humanity alive.

About lbdarling

Beware...the truth is spoken here. If you can't handle that...buh-bye.

Posted on 15/07/2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. People were so afraid that the verdict would cause a greater divide but looks like at least in your neck of the woods it’s having the opposite effect. I haven’t even been out of the house since Sat evening so I haven’t really experienced the atmosphere around here.

    Yay on Nikki and Nate moving out. One step closer to that empty nest.

    • You’re not kidding….yay!!!! LOL its freaking HOT I wanna sit around in my undies again! Today was a very interesting and slightly hopeful day. I was rather impressed.

  2. It’s great you are seeing some type of peace between colors in your neck of the woods. I have always heard that racism is real bad in certain areas. For me it is hard to believe that statement but I guess there are people out there who haven’t grown up. I live in South Texas, I was born in Houston TX and have 10 years of military experience. I don’t know when it happened but I don’t see racism where I live. I remember being a young girl and remember when the state or city of Houston started the bus transportation of color into the schools. I was very young and I remember my grandparents being against it. But I went to school with all different race, not just black, we had Asian, Indian, etc… I had never been around any Mexicans until I moved to Austin and actually married one. My whole family disowned me and my son.

    I ignored my family and went on with my life. One day when my son was like 2 years old I went to a family reunion and my grandparents came up to me in shock and told me “Why he looks just like us” I mean WTF! I just shook my head and it wasn’t long after that that my grandparents had a change in attitude towards race. By the time my son was 4 years old my husband was killed and my grandparents had passed away a year later.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that it doesn’t matter what color you are, we all bleed the same color. The truth to me is if a person acts or puts themselves in a situation that could be deathly then there is that chance that something bad will happen. Not every white person is racist or even colored person.

    Am I guilty of being pregedous at times? Yes, but not towards their color – more likely towards the way they live their life styles. For instance, those who steal, sell drugs, bully, or live off of others and take advantage of people are on my list to do not associate with in my everyday living.

    Being military i do believe in self defense and believe in owning a gun. I support the courts decision and respect the law. I leave it at that. It is ok if some don’t believe that because it is their choice. But I’m not going to hound anyone or bicker with them.

    From my perspective I see part of the country that thrives on the feeling sorry for themselves pity party and they refuse to grow up. It is time for people to work for a living (stop expecting everything for free), and stop teaching hate. We are all equal, not just race but male and female are equal too. It is time to use our brains and make our world better instead of bickering. It is time for us all to find a happy medium.

    I like living in the south because of the diversity of race. Matter of fact the only thing in our area that Texans are concerned about is the muslim that killed our soldiers on base at Ft. Hood. Actually I am concerned about the muslims taking over our country but that is another matter.

    • Hey Ronda!

      I don’t know if it’s ‘peace’ but at least there seems to be a willingness to reach out to each other and not let this situation drag us all down into the abyss. That’s a good start! I’m liking it.

      I love it when people from Texas tell me where they’re from it’s always something like ‘East Texas’ ‘South Texas’ ‘West Texas’….is the state THAT big? LOL Me, I’m from little ol’ Connecticut, a state you can easily drive across in 2 hours so I’m just from…Connecticut. Southeastern Shoreline to be exact and so as not to be confused with…ah…’West Connecticut’ or The OTHER Connecticut where the mansions are.

      This is a ‘city’ of, i dunno, 23,000-27,000 people give or take at any given time (we have both Coast Guard Academy and the Submarine Base so the population fluctuates quite a bit) and we’re the ‘halfway point’ between NYC and Boston. We’re also a ‘port city’. In short, where ‘race’ is concerned that means part of our ever changing population is a very large population of immigrants. They’re either going to NYC or Boston or coming from there on their way to somewhere else. Yes, you call us a little ‘layover city’ that’s pretty apt I suppose. All of my life, this sounds horrible, but whatever the Immigrant Mass of the Month was we got it.

      Before I came along in 1966, New London saw large influxes of Irish, Italian, Jewish, and Polish. After I came along, in the 70s it was Asians and for reasons unknown to me Greeks😉 (That was lucky, huh?! LOL) . In the 80s it was ‘Boat People’, you know, Cubans and Puerto Ricans and Mexicans and Jamaicans. Oh I fell head over heels for thee hottest little Cuban boy named Enrique….yeow! LOL

      In the 90s it was former USSR citizens (BIG influx of them for a short time, it was sort of weird) along with a rise in Turkish/Indian/Pakistani/Afghans/Iraqis/Iranians that rise has continued through 911 and it doesn’t worry me. In fact, ON 9/11 one of my first thoughts when the shock started wearing off was for ‘the guys at the store’. There’s a convenience store at the top of my street and it’s been run by Middle Eastern folk for…ages now. I was afraid that in our collective anger/hatred/grief the citizens of my city would ‘take it out’ on those guys. Thankfully that didn’t happen, not directly they have seen a large rise in robberies since then and that hasn’t stopped. maybe it’s the economy on that score.

      MY PARENTS however, grew up in a predominantly white world. They weren’t ‘racist’ they were ‘victims of their times’. They often made ‘off color’ remarks and told ‘off color’ jokes and laughed. Jokes that I still remember and even chuckle over to this day although I would NEVER repeat them in ‘mixed company’.

      The best analogy I can give you or anyone is that my parents were ever so slightly to the left of “Archie Bunker”. (I still ADORE “Archie”!) They didn’t mean any harm they just didn’t know any better and didn’t understand what ‘the fuss’ was about when it came to Civil Rights. They figured everyone got hazed. Every Ethnic Group was the ‘low man on the totem pole’ when they first got here. You know, until they ‘proved’ themselves…or something like that.

      My mother was 1/2 Portuguese and had dark skin, she often told tales of being called ‘nigger’ and chased away from the ‘white’ kids by their parents or by the kids themselves. Even into her 60s she relayed a heartbreaking tale of once having owned a ‘little black baby doll’ that she loved and wanted and asked for a very long time. A group of ‘white’ kids smashed the doll on her because it was ‘black’ and so, in their eyes, was my mother. Her eyes welled with tears all of her life over that incident. I even bought her a ‘ little black baby doll’ for Christmas one year to replace the one she’d lost.

      My father was as ‘white’ as you could get except for he got embarrassed. When he flushed bright crimson red you couldn’t help but see the Native American in him although it was very far back in his lines.

      The Civil Rights Movement came along. Viet Nam came along. I was very very young and very very opinionated even then. My views ran slightly to the ‘left’ of my parents’ views. I voiced them often, I asked many questions, and never backed down from my stance. They often wondered what was ‘wrong’ with me. LOL

      In my little city Ye Olde White Folke are officially the ‘minority’ although, of course, no one calls us that. Strange, huh? I find that very weird. You won’t find but a handful of neighborhoods one might consider ‘black’ or ‘white’. I still live in the same house where I grew up and once this entire neighborhood was ‘white’ now I have 3 ‘black’ home owning neighbors and…well,…I have the United Nations living in the 3 apartment buildings at the bottom of my street and always have. I hope no one takes that as an insult because I don’t mean it that way.

      The point is; we’re very ‘diverse’ and we always have been in my little neck of the woods. While my city supposedly has a ‘high crime rate’ according to online statistics it never really seems to be a Race-on-Race thing. Hate Crimes are not known here with the except of one very well publicized case involving a ‘gang’ of ‘black’ teens who stabbed a man to death while he was walking home from work simply because they were ‘bored’. I wish I were lying about that. I really do. If you get bored Google ‘Andrew Chew’ and you’ll read all about it.

      I never saw The Zimmerman Case as a ‘race thing’ until other people started saying it. I didn’t see it as that until the verdict came out. Then I had to wonder. Unfortunately I’m still wondering and I will probably wonder until the day Florida brings to trial a black man who shot/killed a white teenager under the same circumstances. If that guy gets off I’ll have to say it wasn’t racial. If he goes to jail, however….hummmmm…….

      The only person I ever as having a ‘right’ to ‘defend himself’ and ‘stand his ground’ in the situation was Trayvon Martin. I don’t think the jury even considered that possibility. That he felt threatened. He felt HIS life was in danger and reacted accordingly. All because George Zimmerman couldn’t stay in his bloody car that night.

      Anyway, back to New London. We have an inordinate and very excessive amount of ‘public’ or ‘low income’ housing….I mean just over the freakin’ top. If you go to those neighborhoods in New London you certainly will NOT find a lot of ‘black’ people. You’ll find a lot of PEOPLE of every color and nationality you can conceive. I don’t find that they ‘don’t want to work’. I DO find far too many people who are UNABLE to find a job that pays enough to will let them live a life. If you want to work ‘under the table’ or for minimum wage we got some jobs but if you’d like to actually make your bill payments and eat…we ain’t got no jobs. At least we don’t have jobs that pay higher than that nasty ‘in between’ place. The place where the State won’t help you but you’re not making enough money to actually make it in this little city either.

      I don’t mean be able to buy a house or have a fancy car. I mean it takes no less than an income of $14.01 per hour in the State of Connecticut to keep a studio apartment over your head, a working car, insurance, food, gas, and all the rest. Yet most jobs only pay $9.00 or $10.00 per hour. How can you possible make ends meet that way?

      Sad to say, but in a lot of cases it actually ‘pays’ to stay on assistance and/or milk unemployment for as long as you can because there just isn’t another viable option. That’s a very pathetic statement regarding our society. At least I think it is.

      I also think it’s not about ‘race’ but about ‘class’ or, in my eyes, what is rapidly barreling toward a ‘caste’ society. That’s not what we’re supposed to be about. This is supposed to be the Land of Opportunity, Land of the Free/Home of the Brave and all of that sentimental stuff. I see few opportunities and less people willing to brave and stand up for the smallest of their freedoms.

      I don’t know what this world is coming to but I fear it isn’t anything particularly good.

      But you know that already…you read “Rising Son”🙂

  3. You said it girl “there seems to be a willingness to reach out to each other”. Well I say that hesitantly because not everyone sees past color but in most parts of our country we have all accepted and learned how to live beside one another. Hell where I live and I am sure in other places we have more mixed races than we do single races. I think that is why I don’t see racism that much. I see it in smaller towns but in the cities I don’t see it as much.

    Actually at the rate the interaction between the races – there will no longer be a singular race. Like I said I married a Mexican and I had a son so he is half white, half Mexican. But then I have an older daughter who married a Mexican and my grandkids are mixed race. If people would research their ancestors they would find out that they are not one solid color either or maybe one solid culture.

    LOL, you crack me up with your statement “from little ol’ Connecticut, a state you can easily drive across in 2 hours” I freakn’ love it and hope to visit someday. It takes a whole day 8 to 12 hours to get through Texas. Sometimes it is a pain because you can’t just zip through – well I take that back, if you come through my neck of the woods you can go 85 on the toll – LOL

    I think you, like myself are able to look past the color because of our experience of mix race in our lives. For example, You with your mom and me because of my deceased husband. No matter how diverse our neighbor hoods are around us, what it boils down to is respect for the other human being regardless of their color.

    As far as the Zimmer case goes, I did watch the trail and I personally saw no racism. People may disagree with me but that is ok. The sad thing is a bad tragedy happened. We can say well Zimmerman should of done this or that or that Trayvon should of done this or that but two wrongs don’t make a right regardless how you look at it. They were both wrong as far as I am concerned. I think the jurors did their job right. I think the state should have never even brought that thought of racism even to the table. Actually the fact that this has become political shows what it is – a political stunt.

    The republicans and democrats both make me sick. I so wish we could have an Independent party in office. Both sides need to drop this crap and learn from it. I know you said you didn’t watch the case but I highly recommend you to try to see if there are YouTube videos of the trial or see if you can get the manuscript of the trail so you can get your own opinion instead of anybody else’s. I bet half the people bitching about this didn’t even watch the trial. The only thing they concentrated on is that Trayvon was black. I can tell you my opinion like I said before and it had nothing to do with race.

    Your right about the economy sucking everywhere. But in a way that is the peoples fault. I’m talking about greed from not only our government but from everyone who owns a business. Mainly from our own government. I am not for big government. I don’t mind government because we all need rules to abide by but taking advantage of people is not good when the government is the only one that seems to be exempt from the rules. I’m talking about the president, congress, and the senate. They don’t pay out like we do and they get a paycheck for life after their job is over. Is that fair – hell no it isn’t.

    This country makes me sick sometimes with all the caos – if it isn’t something political it is something religious and I hate both. LOL Sorry, don’t mean to hurt any religious person’s feelings but it is what it is (Brain Washing) LOL For Political freaks it’s all about kissing ass and taking the citizens money.

    It may be bad for me to say these things but I feel everyone should be left the hell alone and just live freely without the bickering, I could care less who anyone has sex with, , how they have sex, or what god they worship. Just do your thing and I’ll do mine – I wont bother you and you don’t bother me LOL

    Of course I know I am dreaming of a fantasy world but what the hell – LMAO!
    You know if you look back into history – when Christanity came about, those Christians killed people, they burned people because they thought they were witches and shit or thought they were of the devil if they didn’t worship their god. Well Muslim religion is the same way. Both religions are nothing but Hog Wash that has got them all fuuked up in the head.

    Anyway, don’t want to get off subject. LOL This can be another discussion for another time. Ha Ha…

    By the way, I’m desperately awaiting the next book so hurry up already. LOL You know I’m teasing, take as much time as you need because I know when you are finished it will freakn’ Rock. LOL

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