It’s all about “Choice”

choices decision doors doorway
Enjoy Choice while you still have it!

A couple in their early 50s were celebrating. The last of their 5 children had moved out on her own, and they were now, finally, “empty nesters.” The house was quiet, a bit too quiet they thought, but they agreed to hold off making any big decisions for at least 6-9 months. Days turned into weeks and weeks into months and soon they again, began thinking about down-sizing and retirement, “oh, but what if we have grandchildren?” “we’ll need the space then,” they agreed, and decided to wait a little while longer.

About 6 months later, the phone rings. “It’s me,” she says. “I’m at the doctor’s office and, you’re not going to believe this, I’m pregnant.” (Silence) “Is that possible?” he asked. “Apparently, I didn’t go through, “the change” like I thought,” she replied. “The doctor wants us both to be here for the ultrasound.” “How far along are you?” he asked, surprised. “12-14 weeks, he thinks,” she said. “I wondered…” “Don’t even go there!” she snapped, “I thought I was just ‘putting on my winter coat’ after the holidays.”

The doctor wasn’t optimistic. This would be an age-related high-risk pregnancy and he closed his eyes as the results of the tests began to populate his computer screen. Cringing, he began at the top and, putting his finger on the screen, read each line one at a time. Ok…,Ok…, NT screening… positive, he stopped; Down Syndrome is likely. The doctor ordered a CVS test to be sure … it was positive. Based on the totality of the results, the doctor felt that the child’s Down Syndrome would be quite severe. The doctor explained the results, answered questions and said that abortion was an option that they should seriously consider.

What would you do?

While you’re thinking about that, let me remind you of one word; “choice.” You assume they actually have one. Fortunately for them, they still do; for now. We take for granted the word “choice” and casually allow others to force their beliefs upon us. I say casually because most do nothing, while one politician or another proposes legislation that attempts to take away YOUR ability to choose. I mean you may bitch about it, but that’s about it and then you’ll turn the channel.

Choice matters as when we choose, we evolve. Choice forces us to reason, to grow, to pick a side. One of John F. Kennedy’s favorite quotes was from Dante: ‘The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in a time of moral crisis preserve their neutrality.” While it’s not word for word as Dante wrote it, you get the point. Making a choice is important but having the right to actually choose, well that’s the ballgame.

As long as we continue to tolerate those who, for whatever ignorant reason, insist on taking away our right to choose the destiny of our own lives, of our own bodies, we’ll have no one left to blame but ourselves.  I guess we can still choose whether or not to obey, but is that really a choice?

Well, at the end of the day, they chose to have the child; a wonderful little boy. He has Down Syndrome but is considered “high functioning.” It has been a struggle, but they can’t imagine life without him and he seems to doing well. I most likely, would have chosen differently, though.

Society, or actually those who seek to control it, have little need for choice as it just complicates their decision making process. They would prefer that the flock simply follow the shepherd.

It’s just easier that way.

…and then you take a left at the Constitution…

With a highly visible media push, we are seeing a plethora of “new ideas” gaining traction or at least, the illusion of such. They range from reparations, the elimination of the electoral college and how embracing socialism can, amazingly, be considered a virtuous act.

There is even talk of lowering the voting age to 16. The speaker of the house suggested that America’s youth should be allowed to engage in the process earlier, which patently sounds honorable. Latently, however, the motive is obvious; America’s youth tend to vote Democrat. How the speaker of the house presented this with a straight face…

100 years from now, we won’t even recognize the place. Whether it will be good or bad, depends on the way today’s children raise their children and so on. The future should be fine. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

Though, he’s not real…

Sadly, Thanos may be right. We are destroying ourselves from within. The media seems to agree. According to them, the “end” is always near.

“Little one, it’s a simple calculus. This universe is finite, its resources, finite. If life is left unchecked, life will cease to exist. It needs correcting.”  Thanos, The Avengers Infinity War by Marvel.

Yes, I know he’s not real. But, in the final analysis, the script writer(s) appear to have created an accurate proxy through the character of Thanos, who ultimately, is the harbinger of humanity’s dystopian future.

 

 

 

We opened the box…

The shower is my sanctuary. Its glass walls providing a steamy blackboard where the problems of the world are examined, tested and solved. My mind drifts wildly as the warm water pours across my shoulders, washing life’s drama into the basin, where I watch it splash and swirl before it flows into the drain. I am at peace.

Suddenly, I’m jolted back to reality by a vindictive mind who insists on keeping my tension level in an elevated state.

Vivid pictures of Chuck Schumer come splashing across, taking a once peaceful and bare mental canvas and changing it into a Jackson Pollack painting, full of anger and frustration. I am forced to endure, again, the media clip of his response to the President, who, for whatever reason, capitulated and reopened the government. Schumer, as usual, is arrogant and overflowing with hubris, as if he, alone, brought trump to his knees with only a chair and a bullwhip. I loathe this man, from the tone of his voice to the way that he peers at the world over the top of his glasses. Like a snake in the grass, he stays hidden from the public’s eye until the moment is right, and then rises from the swamp, assaulting my ears with the sound of his voice.

I’m now forced to add cold water to my shower as the temperature has become unbearable. My sadistic mind then drags out Nancy Pelosi’s latest media clip and my blood, again, readies to boil; but, oddly, it doesn’t.

I begin to regain some semblance of peace as an unknown force seems to be washing away the paint splattered canvas as one washes away sludge from the bottom of a shoe. My mental canvas, while not perfect, is at least bare again. As the fog of frustration lifts, I begin to wonder why I feel so differently about the two.

Is she less evil than him? Is she evil at all? Maybe, neither are evil.

The difference bothers me. They SHOULD be the same; cut from the same wretched bolt of cloth. But…they’re not. I search for answers as pictures begin forming on the glass. A column comparison is made, they are the same. Yet, they’re not. It then occurs to me that somehow, my mind has not placed Trump center stage. He has said things far worse than the other two. But, wait, he hasn’t. Why has my mind neglected to add Trump to today’s presentation? There are also plenty of right-wing religious conservatives that should be joining this vaudeville act too; where are they?

More cold water, more drawings, more…then the answer appears. They ARE the same!  They ARE cut from the same cloth. I need to lower my expectations. They’ve all been saying the same thing but using different words and behaviors. Schumer says one thing and his body language fills in the gaps. Pelosi says very little but makes up for it by what she DOESN’T say. Trump says it all and you don’t even see his body language, because your eyes can’t stop staring at his mouth. But they are all saying the same thing; I’m right, you’re wrong and I’m not going to bend. So much for coalition building.

I search the shower glass for a time in history when we’ve had so many bad actors, all pursuing their own personal agenda, at the same time. The wall is empty and reveals nothing. Politics, past and present are filled with small people with big ideas and all standing with their hand out. Each, essentially, has been reduced to that of a lobbyist for their micro-cause.

My expectations when I vote are, apparently, also too high. I’m hoping for an Abraham Lincoln, either Roosevelt or a Ronald Reagan, but instead we get The Big Lebowski. I know “the Dude abides” but I was aiming just a bit higher.

The tragic part is that if, like the mythical Hydra, we chop off one head, two others grow back and they’re usually worse than the original. So, we’re essentially stuck with them.

The election of Donald Trump was a paradigm shift for the U.S.A. I would have said “for America” or “for the American’s” but apparently that would be inaccurate as “America” is just a land mass and “for the American’s” might leave someone feeling excluded. (He says sarcastically).

Anyways, we came too far too fast with President Trump. The world didn’t like it and, it seems, that everywhere north and south of the USA, didn’t either. Since their opinion now seems to matter, we’re looking at a whole new ballgame.

In fairness, politics was in desperate need of a change. A S-L-O-W one though.  With the election of Trump, the hard-right, feeling that their time was finally at hand, oozed out of the slime and clogged the plumbing of the Republican party, effectively rendering it impotent and unable to rise to the occasion; that being the first half of the new Presidency. The average voter (whoever that is) prefers that the pendulum stays closer to the middle.

Politics will never be the same again. This hard-right pendulum swing has opened a Pandora’s box and a whole new batch of hard-left crackpots have come crawling out (think Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez).

By electing Trump and drastically changing the status quo, these people, who would normally be just be a bug stain on the windshield, now have an audience and are considered somewhat legitimate; somewhat.

Today, this country is a mess. We agree on nothing, we accomplish nothing, and we are gridlocked. When you deviate too far from the mean, the edges suddenly become relevant.

Normally, the edges are kept in check by the mean, but our world has become constipated. What goes in, must come out, and in 2016, the world uncrossed its legs and took a big crap on the White House lawn. But instead of springing forth flowers, out sprung the “new “politician, spreading seeds of discontent across the country. While each one is different from the last generation, they all remain cut from the same cloth.

In retrospect, I should have voted for Hillary Clinton. My arm would have probably fallen off as I checked the box, but the status quo would have remained the same, and the edges would have remained in the edges.

If the 2016 election taught me anything, its to stick with the devil you know.

With the hot water now gone, it’s time to get out of the shower, put on my rose colored glasses and face the world.

Welcome to the new mean.